Merel Ritskes - Hoitinga Evidence based laboratory animal science
Fueled by public opinion, the replacement of animal tests by alternative forms of testing has been progressing rapidly, with politics taking the lead. The question now is whether this process could even be accelerated on scientific grounds.read more
Merel Ritskes - Hoitinga Evidence based laboratory animal scienceFueled by public opinion, the replacement of animal tests by alternative forms of testing has been progressing rapidly, with politics taking the lead. The question now is whether this process could even be accelerated on scientific grounds. After members of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands visited the Central Animal Laboratory in Nijmegen in 2011, two important motions were adopted by them. Both motions aim to set up systematic reviews as alternatives to animal testing and as the research standard. When, furthermore, Meggie Pijnappel published her PhD research at Radboud University, the politics were persuaded to back the full eradication of animal testing in due time. By 2025, therefore, the Netherlands aspires to be at the forefront of non-animal innovations and to fully abandon toxicity testing (for establishing the safety of chemicals) in animals. This aim is ambitious and has set the international standard. In this inaugural lecture, however, Merel will address the question whether these policies are actually ambitious enough.
Date, time and location Inaugural lecture
- Date: 6 November 2019
- Time: 15.45 hrs
- Location: Radboud Universiteit, Academiezaal Aula, Comeniuslaan 2
Since she graduated as a vet in 1986, Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga has been committed to the goal of improving the quality of science and animal welfare, aspiring to obtain results that are more translatable to human patients. After spending a research year in Japan in 1986-1987, she obtained her PhD in Laboratory Animal Science at Utrecht University and worked with the Unilever Research Laboratory in Vlaardingen for five years. In 1996, she was appointed assistant professor at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, Denmark. In 1997, she became the head of the animal unit and was appointed professor of Laboratory Animal Science and Comparative Medicine. From 2005-2017, Merel became the head of the Central Animal Laboratory at Radboudumc and was appointed professor of Laboratory Animal Science. Since 2017, she and her research group SYRCLE, focusing on research and education in preclinical systematic reviews, have been integrated into the department of Health Evidence. Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga was appointed professor of Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science in 2017 and she was also appointed Honorary Skou Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, in 2018.