University of Tampere (Finland) Professor Dario Greco appointed to an EU expert committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes

Professor of Bioinformatics Dario Greco from Tampere University has been appointed to the scientific advisory board of the EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM).

The EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) advises the Commission’s European Reference Laboratory ECVAM on scientific issues related to the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and its main task is to assist the Commission in relation to the implementation of existing Union legislation, programmes and policies.

ESAC is composed of distinguished scientists who are appointed based on their scientific expertise and who act independently in the public interest. The nine board members were appointed for 5 years: Rebecca Clewell, Emanuela Corsini, Dario Greco, Sebastian Hoffmann, Anne Kienhuis, David Lehmann, Blanca Rodriguez, Helmut Segner and Tewes Tralau.

The European Reference Laboratory EURL ECVAM, is part of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC). It promotes and coordinates the validation of methods as an alternative to animal testing. Methods can be approved as regulatory tests in the EU and OECD after they have been validated internationally and passed an evaluation by the EU’s and OECD’s own expert bodies.

The topic related to the better use of animals in science, based on the 3R principles (Reduction, Refinement and Replacement of animal experiments) is also very important in Finland. In fact, in the beginning of this year, the Finnish 3R Centre was established. The Finnish 3R Centre is nominated and supervised by the Council on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Education Purposes (TOKES).

“Our mission is to educate about the 3R principles, promote the development of 3R-related robust scientific methods and disseminate the best practices to researchers and operators of relevant sectors”, explains Professor Greco, who is also the Coordinator of the Finnish 3R Centre.

“The Finnish 3R Centre, recently renewed with the election of new 3R Directors, is a dynamic entity that involves top scientists from several institutions across Finland, including for instance the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu”, continues Greco.

Professor Greco leads the Finnish Hub for Development and Validation of Integrated Approaches (FHAIVE) at Tampere University, where develops alternative next generation methods, so-called IATA methods.

Greco recently received the prestigious EU ERC funding and other significant national and international funding to advance the field of 3Rs in toxicology and pharmacology.