DFG appoints Peter Loskill to the Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Research
The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft, DFG) has appointed Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill to the Permanent Senate Commission on Animal Research (Ständige Senatskommission für tierexperimentelle Forschung, SKTF). The SKTF is an expert panel that addresses current scientific developments and navigates the intricate legal and ethical frameworks surrounding animal experiments and animal welfare in research. It provides advisory and supportive expertise to various committees, politicians, representatives of federal authorities, as well as researchers at German universities and research institutions.
The SKTF is committed to fostering the comprehensive training of young scientists in biomedical research by developing specific teaching programs. Additionally, it creates informational materials to provide society with evidence-based and reliable information on the subject of animal experiments in research, thus enabling a fact-based dialogue. The commission actively contributes its expertise to expert discussions and debate events.
For centuries, animal experiments have been instrumental in biomedical and pharmaceutical research to understand physiological processes and associated human diseases at the molecular level. The goal is to treat or ideally cure these conditions with safe and effective pharmaceutical preparations or innovative therapeutic approaches. However, the use of living and sentient animals for scientific knowledge gain poses an ethical dilemma, creating a tension between animal welfare and the human solidarity principle. The latter describes the obligation to provide the best possible support to those in need, weak, and ill. This discourse is often polarized and fueled by the realization that insights gained from animal experiments may not always translate to humans.
As of January 1st, 2024, Prof. Dr. Peter Loskill, Professor for Organ-on-Chip Systems at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen and the NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute, and Head of the 3R-Center Tübingen for In vitro Models and Alternatives to Animal Testing, has been appointed by the DFG as an expert in Microphysiological Systems and Organ-on-Chip to the Senate Commission. He will collaborate with other commission members to advise the DFG committees, policymakers, and authorities, contributing his expertise in the field of replacement and complementary methods.
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