Research with animals

Animal experimentation plays a significant role in advancing our knowledge of the living world and improving the wellbeing of both humans and animals.

An animal caretaker checks a cage in the facility of the Center of Phenogenomics. © Aurélien Tock, EPFL

A complementary approach

To address scientific questions, life scientists often need to simulate and/or model complex systems. Depending on their research field, they might work with computer simulation (in silico), with cells in culture (in vitro), or with live animals (in vivo). Some of EPFL’s research areas involve animals as a complementary approach for understanding and modelling biological processes in basic and applied research. 

EPFL is fully aware of the growing sensitivity of a large number of people to animals’ rights. We remain attentive to societal debates and respect everyone’s opinion on the issue of research with animals. We are committed to high-quality research while fully respecting and advancing current ethical and legal standards. Sensitive to the welfare of animals and the responsibility it has towards them, EPFL implements an internal policy with strict rules based on the 3R principles: Replace, Reduce, Refine. We make sure to keep the number of animal experiments as low as possible, and to only use the necessary number of animals while ensuring that any distress they might experience is kept to an absolute minimum. 

Our facilities house mice as well as rats, zebrafish, and tadpoles. The involvement of animals in research at EPFL is not systematic, and takes place only when there is no alternative. In addition, many of our research groups work actively on enhancing the replacement of animal use with in vitro and in silico models.

Why do we conduct research with animals ?

Research with animals has played a significant role in advancing our knowledge of the living world and in improving the health and lives of humans and animals.

What kind of research with animals ?

Research in key areas of human and animal health requires specific animal models in combination with other approaches (in silico, in vitro).

How do we work with animals ?

EPFL is committed to promoting high-quality research while fully respecting and advancing current ethical and legal standards.

Where do we work with animals ?

The EPFL Center of Phenogenomics contributes to research through tailored services in animal experimentation and ensures the welfare of laboratory animals.

3R – Replace, Reduce, Refine

The 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) constitute the guiding principles for best practice and more humane animal experimentation.

For any question, write us an email at [email protected]