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In Vivo Pharmacology - Reproducibility & predictability in animal studies
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3120-24-00-00There are 10 available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 01/05/2024
Date and time17.06.2024, at: 08:30 - 28.08.2024, at: 16:00
Regular seats12
Course fee11,160.00 kr.
LecturersJens Lykkesfeldt
ECTS credits6.00
Contact personMaja-Louise Beck Nielsen    E-mail address: mlbn@sund.ku.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
Seats for this course are reserved for PhD students at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences at UCPH.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at the Graduate School, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. After the enrolment deadline, available seats will be allocated to the waiting list.

The course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD students at NorDoc member faculties. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Course title
In Vivo Pharmacology: Biological & experimental variation, reproducibility & predictability in in vivo experiments with drug interventions

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Understand the basic theoretical foundation on in vivo pharmacological testing including both screening and confirmatory methods

2. Apply knowledge of and discuss biological and experimental variation, reproducibility and predictability related to animal experiment

3. Engage in designing laboratory animal experiments

4. Discuss and reflect on validity of animal models of human

Experimental research in animals is justified due to its expected predictability of conditions in other species. Within the same species and even within the same strain or substrain of a species, the variation can be large. This phenotypic variation is not only ruled by the genotype but also by environmental factors as simple as housing conditions, feeding and microbiological status. Integration of study results obtained by animal experimentation is generally accepted as valid. However, due to many factors influencing the experimental outcome, contradictory results may be obtained and sometimes great difficulties have been experienced in reproducing results obtained by other investigators.

The uncertainties in animal characteristics and testing conditions so far have not hindered the insight into biological regulatory mechanisms. However, if animal studies should have the highest degree of predictability and reproducibility, only animals of well-defined health status housed under well-defined conditions should be used. In vivo drug testing should be planned in order to eliminate the variation caused by improper standardisation from group to group or over time and the bias caused by erroneous techniques.

This course will highlight the various factors that are critical for variation and thereby for the reproducibility and predictability in experimental research in animals. The factors are many and some are more important than others. The importance may vary with the goal and design of the study. It is the responsibility of the scientists to take these factors into consideration in order to produce data that offer minimal experimental variation and maximal reproducibility. Taking this responsibility seriously will not only improve drug testing, but it will also be in accordance with the ethical obligation to gain as much information as possible whenever using animals for experiments.

Covered topics include:
• In vivo models in pharmacology and toxicology

• Experimental design

• Validity of animal models

• Variation in animal experiments: Factors related to the animal

• Variation in animal experiments: Factors related to the environment

• Variation in animal experiments: Experimental factors

• New tools and clinical perspectives

The course is relevant for student with a veterinary, medical or natural science degree planning to do animal experiments or enrolled in the In Vivo Pharmacology PhD programme. It is an advantage to have passed the Laboratory animal science course or equivalent.

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

In Vivo Pharmacology and Experimental Animals

All graduate programmes


Lectures, discussions, poster presentations and group work. In addition, substantial self-study, preparation of poster with an in vivo pharmacological perspective, and evaluation of fellow student’s work is included.

Course director
Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt, Department of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Section of Experimental Animal Models, Frederiksberg Campus, KU-SUND, E-mail: jopl@sund.ku.dk

Teachers from both academia and pharmaceutical industry.

Lectures: 17-21 June 2024

Poster-session: 27 August 2024

Oral exam: 28 August 2024

Course location
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Frederiksberg Campus, University of Copenhagen

Please register before 1 May 2024.

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules.
Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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