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Grant awarded for research into cardiotoxicity

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The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (known as NC3Rs) has just awarded £500k to department Professor Blanca Rodriguez. The award is focused on Blanca's team's research into cardiotoxicity  – a major cause of drug attrition in pharmaceutical development and an area where many thousands of animals are used in safety assessment for drug screening purposes or for in vivo studies.

The aim of this award is to accelerate the use of computer simulation in the research of cardiotoxicity and specific cardiac diseases such as myocardial infarction and heart failure. The team includes an impressive list of collaborators including industry and academic scientists, clinicians and regulators from 11 countries. Using data provided by this international network, a database of human cardiac electrophysiology and contractility in computer models will be created. Research evaluation will compare computer model-based human predictions to clinical outcomes, animal data and in vitro models, with the overall aim of building confidence and capacity in computer modelling.

Another department academic, Alfonso Bueno, will be speaking at an NC3Rs workshop on ‘Accelerating the acceptance of mathematical models as evidence in safety and efficacy decision making’.The workshop will be held in central London in September 2016 and a draft agenda can be found here: www.nc3rs.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Maths%20Workshop%20Agenda.pdf

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