Animal Models in Biomedical Research

Published February 2015 Updated October 2016 15 lectures
Prof. Axel Kornerup Hansen
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Animal models may be defined as an animal in which one phenomenon resembles the same phenomenon in humans. Animal models are an essential part of biomedical research, and the basis for our understanding within biomedicine is extensively based upon information gained from animal research.... read more

Basic mechanisms often show a high degree of similarity within the biological system, and therefore basic mechanistic animal studies often have a high degree of translatability in relation to humans. In contrast to this, more complicated animal models of specific human diseases have often been criticized for their lack of predictive validity, which may sometimes be due to having too high ambitions on exactly what the particular animal model may actually be used for.

Different research fields have different backgrounds for understanding the diseases they are working with, and this adds to the differences in the translational quality of various models. Historically, animal models have developed from being rough tools giving primitive answers into being advanced, calibrated tools aimed at delivering very specific answers to often complicated matters.

The scope of this series of presentations is to inform members of the scientific community on where animal research stands today, i.e. what is important to consider when attempting to answer a scientific question by the use of an animal model, which options do we have for creating the most optimal model, and how ambitious can we actually be in our expectations for getting the correct answers to our questions?