Just this morning, the Capitol Hill newspaper and news site The Hill featured an op-ed discussing the critical importance of humane animal research in neuroscience and other fields of research. The piece was penned by Hollis Cline, President of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and Hahn Professor of Neuroscience at The Scripps Research Institute, and Mar Sanchez. Sanchez is associate professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University, affiliate scientist in the Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience at Yerkes National Research Primate Center, and chair of the SfN’s Committee on Animals in Research (CAR).
Cline and Sanchez set the record straight by discussing the influential role that animal research has played in studying how the brain works so that revolutionary advancements could be brought to fruition. Breakthroughs in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, the development of brain-controlled prosthetic devices for lost limbs and life-improving medications for those suffering from schizophrenia all owe their success to research with animals. The authors even go further by noting that animal models have been the basis for nearly every medical discovery in the past century and cite NABR’s Top 25 Most Prescribed Drugs.
Animal research is an undeniably important component to medical discovery as Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), noted at the 2015 SfN Annual Meeting when he said, “We have to continually make the case for how valuable it has been to study animals in order to learn almost everything we know about how biology works.” He continued on to affirm the importance of non-human primates and other animals.
Today’s feature in The Hill follows a letter sent to Collins from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and 27 other Democrats calling for the retirement of primates from a Poolesville, MD NIH research facility.
To read today’s piece in The Hill, please click here.