Program Scientific Themes

I. Ethics

Sessions in this theme will explore the current thinking surrounding harm/benefit analysis, role of ethics committees/IACUCs in promoting ethical research, ethics of using certain species for research, and ethical challenges presented by new technologies.


  1. Harm-Benefit and Beyond
  2. How Can IACUCs and Ethics Committees Improve to Further Benefit Animals
  3. Ethical Selection of Species - Round Table                                                                                                     
  4. Beyond Refinement - Can We Provide Animals Used in Research with a Good Life Experience
  5. Ethical Considerations for New Technologies Using Animals - Round Table                                                   

II. Lessons Learned

Sessions will highlight regulatory acceptance of replacement methods in the US and Europe, the acceptance of replacement methods for investigative new drug applications, the use of virtual screening and read across methods and integration of in vitro methods for organ toxicity screening, and novel and upcoming possibilities for incorporating in vitro methods for safety and toxicity testing.


  1. Tox21 10 Year Anniversary
  2. Govt Legislation Driven - EDSP/TSCA
  3. Govt Legislation Driven -Cosmetics
  4. Eye Hazzard Potential Examples
  5. Read Across
  6. Integrating in Vitro to Predict Organ Tox
  7. Novel Uses of Genomics for Product Safety
  8. Tipping Point: Using In Vitro to Discriminate Adverse from Adaptive Effects

III. Innovative Models for Safety and Efficacy

There are new and emerging methods that are being developed or used in chemical evaluation as models of human disease.  Sessions in this theme will be organized around organ systems and disease models and will include talks on basic physiology, talks on disease states as well as applications including translation to novel adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and or Mechanisms of Action (MOAs).  Computational toxicology approaches will also be addressed within the model discussions.   This theme will include sessions on metabolism and kinetic models to link outcomes for translation.  Exposure considerations for these models will also be included as will review of models for evaluating drugs, environmental agents, vaccines and medical devices for safety and efficacy.


  1. Models of the Respiratory System
  2. Models Used in Neurodevelopmental Applications
  3. Models of Brain Disorders and Disease
  4. New Advances in Models for Skin
  5. New Models for Cardiovascular Function, Physiology, and Disease
  6. Models of Developmental and Reproductive Biology
  7. Models for Liver Function and Disease
  8. Models of the Renal System
  9. Update on Models for Genotoxicity and Cancer
  10. Models Used for Ecology and Ecotoxicology
  11. Vaccine Development: Role of the 3Rs
  12. Applications of the 3Rs for Evaluating Medical Devices
  13. Regulatory Issues Related to Organs on a Chip - Round Table                                                                             
  14. High Content and 3D Organ Models
  15. Considerations of Exposure Dose, Metabolism in 3R's
  16. Innovations in Drug Development
  17. New Advances in Intestinal Models

IV. Sustainability

This theme will focus on more sustainable methods research and development. Green chemistry will include the development and application of new tools, technologies and approaches to guide the design and use of inherently safer chemicals, such as through the development, acceptance and implementation of new computer- and cell-based 21st century technologies. One Health will address efforts to practice and promote proper stewardship of biological and animal resources, whether through conscientious use of antibiotics, the development of sustainable agricultural.


  1. Predictive Safety Approaches Role in the Design of Inherently Safer Chemicals
  2. Approaches and Frameworks to Advance Alternative Analysis
  3. Educating and Training Scientists to be Future Leaders in Sustainability
  4. Sustainable Agriculture & Antibiotic Resistance

V. Systems Biology and Big Data

This theme will address challenges and emerging solutions for big data to support systems biology for 3Rs with regards to scientific empiricism, theory, simulation and prediction: what are the resources available now to deal with the surfeit of biological data and information; what are the pragmatic approaches for visualization; and how do we prepare for the challenges of bigger data in the future.practices, or the use of naturally occurring disease models in place of traditional laboratory animals.


  1.  Resources and Tools for State of the Art Systems Modeling
  2.  Best Practices for Modeling Data
  3.  Harnessing Big Data for Decision Making at Different Levels
  4.  Future of Big Data in 3Rs and Recommendations - Round Table

VI. 3Rs in Academia

This theme will address the use of animals and new non-animal technologies in education, the communication of the 3Rs information and its implementation around the world, incorporating the 3Rs into basic research and funding for 3Rs.


  1. Evaluation of the Global Impact of the 3Rs in Education and Training
  2. Knowledge Sharing in Promoting 3Rs Advances
  3. Training for Humane Use of Animals in Veterinary Education and Biomedical Research
  4. Innovative Teaching & Training Methods Using Alternatives
  5. Acceptance and Implementation of the 3Rs in Asia
  6. The 3Rs in Research and Funding Opportunities for 3Rs Research
  7. The Importance of Experimental Design in Animals Experiments 

VII. Translation

This theme encompasses best practices and mechanisms (including validation) to achieve optimal translation of research into practice. Topics will include biomarkers, relevance of animal models of human disease, implications of systematic review of animal and non-animal methods and best practices for various replacement alternative methods.


  1. Biomarkers
  2. Relevant Disease Models
  3. Best ES/IPCS Practices
  4. 21st Century Cell Culture Practices
  5. Implications of Systematic Review
  6. IVIVE Approaches

VIII. Refinement and Animal Welfare

In this theme, sessions will cover the use of technology to improve animal welfare, advanced methods for recognition and alleviation of pain in laboratory animals, how to achieve better reproducibility in animal experiments, and welfare concerns about genetically modified animals.


  1. Evolution of Research Animal Welfare
  2. Advances in Technology to Enhance Animal Welfare
  3. Establishing a Culture of Care Through Assessment, Transparency, and Communication
  4. Ensuring Good Welfare for Genetically Engineered Animals
  5. Humane Endpoints and Euthanasia Considerations for Research Animals
  6. Training Animals for Better Science and as Partners in Scientific Process
  7. Promotion of the 3Rs and Research Reproducibility
  8. Advances in Recognition and Treatment of Pain in Laboratory Rodents (Sponsored Session)

IX. Global Cooperation

This theme will address efforts around the world to harmonize methods and validation efforts, the role of international science in promoting the 3Rs, role of advocacy groups in promoting the 3Rs globally and international cooperation.


  1. Animal Welfare: A Global Perspective
  2. Interanational Approaches to Validation
  3. International 3Rs Cooperation: The Role of International Science
  4. Global Regulatory Updates
  5. Global Regulatory Harmonization
  6. 3Rs Communication and Advocacy
  7. Examining the Gap Between Regulatory Acceptance and Industry Use of Alternative Methods
  8. Global Efforts Moving Towards Replacement of Animals