Republic of Poland

The UPWr Centre for Genetic Engineering

November 27, 2018

Using small lab animals as models for biomedical research is still a necessity considering the level of our knowledge – explains professor Arkadiusz Miążek, the director of the Centre for Genetic Engineering. Such research is required for the registration of medicines, biopreparations, treatment methods and for determining safety of new materials (e.g. nanomaterials) with which people come into contact.

fot. Tomasz Lewandowski

On the other hand, public reception of the research on animal models is negative or neutral at best, when it comes to testing new drugs. Hence, the operations of the Centre for Genetic Engineering must fulfil strict quality requirements, comply with EU regulations and apply the principles good laboratory practice and the 3R rules – Replacement, Reduction and Refinement. All these efforts minimize the number of animals used and their suffering.

The facilities of the centre allow breeding and biomedical research – basic and preclinical – in vivo, on small animal models, in an environment free from specific pathogens and in in compliance with the requirements of good laboratory practice (GLP). The creation of the centre cost almost 5.5 million PLN. The majority of the money came from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

Scientists of the Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences have great experience in applying the techniques of genetic engineering for creating genetically modified cells and animal research models. Presently, in cooperation with the Medical University, they are carrying out research on molecular mechanisms of breast cancer cells’ resistance to chemotherapy. They are also conducting studies on the biology of T lymphocytes, neurodegenerative diseases and dementia. This is being carried out together with the Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Wrocław and the

fot. Tomasz Lewandowski

- Before opening the centre we devoted a lot of time and money for training our employees in the best reference laboratory in the USA – The Jackson Laboratory, which every year conducts hands-on training of surgeries on animals, often very complicated ones. We don’t want to find our own way of performing already existing procedures but to carry them out according to the best standards without inflicting needless pain or stress on animals – says the director of the Centre.

The UPWr Centre of Genetic Engineering will also be a place for training undergraduates and doctoral students. The experience gained by our scientists will be used for optimizing research performed for our ordering parties.