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Animal Models of Human Diseases

Organizer: Filomena Botelho

Date: 4 - 8 May 2020

The course schedule can be found here

Background and Goals:

The development of the use of animals as a model of human diseases runs, to a great extent, parallel to the development of medical science. From the end of the nineteenth century animal experimentation increased and become an integral part of biomedical research. Nowadays, due to ethical concerns of using humans in research, experimental animals are an indispensable alternative for medical research and safety testing, which caused a rapid increase in animal usage.

This one week course intends to give a general overview on the animal models of human diseases designed to be used in biomedical research, addressing the scientific, technological and ethical aspects of animal experimentation.

During the week course, students are introduced to the different animal models of human diseases, giving special emphasis to the basic criteria needed to design, select and validate the model that more closely reflect the human condition. This content will provide basic information and the background for students to integrate their knowledge into the design and implementation of a research project including an animal model. Students will be asked for participation and completion of a project including an animal model. A practical session will be carried out, during which the students will perform a biodistribution study of a radiopharmaceutical for studying the function of a particular organ.


Legislation and rules in animal manipulation.

Ethical concepts

Behaviour models in pharmacology

Cancer models – xenotransplants

Diabetes – general perspective

Retinal Degeneration diseases models

Surgical models – hepatocellular function

Controlled release models

Seminar: Experimental surgery


Scientific papers and dedicated books in the areas referred above.

“Methods in mammary gland biology and breast cancer research”. Margot M. Ip and Bonnie B. Asch. Kluwer Academy, New York

“ Metastasis research protocols, Vol II”. Susan A. Brooks and Udo Schumacher. Humana Press, New Jersey.

“Principles of laboratory animal sciences”. L.F.M Van Zutphen, V. Baumens, A.C. Beynen. Elsevier.