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Royal Society of Biology representatives visit animal research facilities at Guy's Campus

Biosecurity puff

Earlier this month Biological Services hosted a visit of Royal Society of Biology (RSB) representatives, who toured the animal research facilities at Guy’s Campus. The visit, organised through Understanding Animal Research (UAR), was one of a series aimed at helping to explain to visitors of all ages and levels of understanding, what happens at an animal research facility.

The Understanding Animal Research initiative shares the ethos of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, of which both King’s and the RSB are signatories, which pledges a commitment to being open with the public about animal research. In 2015, King’s won an award for media engagement on animal research at the UAR Openness Awards.

Stephen Woodley, the Biological Services Site Manager at Guy’s, guided the group around the animal research facilities on campus. Stephen is an experienced Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO) and IAT Registered Animal Technologist (RAnTech) and in 2016, was the UK recipient of the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International Fellowship Award.

The group visited the animal facility and saw a group of mice which had been genetically engineered to develop type 1 diabetes. By studying the effects of new treatments on animals such as mice, researchers can develop the first lines of new medical technologies that will eventually treat human diseases.

The group also visited the zebrafish facility, a-state-of-the-art aquarium which is one of the largest stand-alone zebrafish facilities in Europe. Funded by the Wellcome Trust and opened in 2013, the aquarium holds 3,000 tanks accommodating up to 50,000 fish and allows scientists at King’s to carry out cutting-edge medical and biological research. Research which involves the use of zebrafish at King’s include studying the brain, muscle development and diseases and processes that regulate cell migration and tumour invasiveness. Find out more.

In her article for the RSB, Dr Laura Marshal, RSB Science Policy Manager commented on the visit: ‘We found the research facilities within the Biological Services buildings to be ordered, clean and calm… Throughout our visit, the personnel in charge of the care of these animals appeared highly trained, well informed and passionate about the importance of their work and the animals in their care.’

You can find out more about the Biological Services Unit at King’s College London on their webpages.