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Funding awarded for project that will remove the need to use animals in specific area of pain research

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Dr Oliver Britton and Prof Blanca Rodriguez have just been awarded funding for a project that aims to develop and validate new computational models of human sensory neurons that are involved in pain signalling.  

By using techniques developed over the last five years within the Computational Cardiovascular Science group, these models will incorporate the substantial electrophysiological variability that is present between individual neurons and between neuron sub-types. These models will be used to study the effects of ion channel mutations and drugs on the electrical activity of these neurons, to potentially identify new strategies for the development of pain therapies.  

Currently many studies in pain research use sensory neurons from animals. By making human-specific neuronal models and the software to use them openly accessible and usable by providing training and teaching materials, the research team hopes to enable the replacement of certain types of animal experiments in pain research.  

Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of the NC3Rs, said: ‘We are excited about the broad range of cutting edge science funded through this year’s competition. Project grants are an essential part of our funding strategy, and these awards will harness new technologies and approaches to drive 3Rs impact.’  

Read more about the project here: https://www.nc3rs.org.uk/inter-neuronal-variability-human-nociceptor-electrophysiology-experimentally-driven-computational

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