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Animal Research Ethics

Drexel University is committed to the highest standards of ethical and humane care of animals in experimental research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees animal use by reviewing every proposed project including the use of vertebrate animals to ensure that:

  • The use of animals is justified by furthering science and benefitting society;
  • Research animals are spared unnecessary pain and distress; and
  • All research involving animals is conducted in full compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

Drexel University Position on the Importance of Animal Studies in Biomedical Research

Drexel University supports the conduct of biomedical research to further the understanding and improvement of human and animal health and welfare. Biomedical research draws on a variety of model systems to help answer questions about health and disease. Animals represent only one class of subjects for study. Human beings also are used extensively as research subjects. 

Animal research at Drexel has been vital in the development of vaccines, the improvement of the lives of patients with spinal cord and brain injury, the understanding of the progression of cancer, and other innovations that have saved the lives of humans and animals. Future advances in the treatment of human and animal diseases, such as infertility, dementia and cancer, will continue to depend on our scientists working with animals and humans.

At Drexel, all research involving animals is subject to rigorous review by the IACUC. Drexel commits to the three R’s of Animal Research – Reduce, Replace and Refine, whenever considering animal based research. Our IACUC ensures the number of animals requested is statistically justified for every study. Alternatives to animal use, which include computer modeling, cell culture and bacterial systems, are used at Drexel whenever possible. Refinement techniques, including the use of imaging technology, animal enrichment and superior animal husbandry, provide a research environment focused on the welfare of animals.  Drexel also employs a fourth R – Respect – ensuring that all personnel who work with laboratory animals are trained to value the research animals as essential members of their team.

In addition to this institutional oversight, all work is conducted in compliance with government regulations including the Animal Welfare Act and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The Animal Care and Use program at Drexel has received Full Accreditation from AAALAC International. Drexel is committed to conducting the highest quality research in an ethical, judicious and responsible manner, and to providing animals with the best care available.