Research Advancing Health

Pipette_3_smThe goal of biomedical research is to translate discoveries and observations in the laboratory or clinic into new therapies. Biomedical research methods range from predictive studies to those that involve whole living systems. Areas of study may include (1) gross populations, (2) individual human subjects, (3) non-human animals, (4) in vitro techniques using cells and tissues from humans, animals, or even plants, (5) microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, or viruses, and even (6) molecular analyses of genes, proteins, and other biomolecules. Animal models are utilized in biomedical research when questions require a study of whole organisms that cannot be carried out in humans. Typically, animal studies are essential for research that seeks to understand complex questions of disease progression, genetics, lifetime risk, or other biological mechanisms of a whole living system that would be unethical, morally unacceptable, or technically unfeasible or too difficult to perform in human subjects. The most common laboratory animal in biomedical research are purpose bred rats and transgenic mice. In fact, approximately 95% of all warm-blooded laboratory animals are rodents. The contributions made by these animals and other species help researchers answer questions of biological uncertainty and are necessary and critical to the advancement of both human and animal health.

Other very important aids include mathematical modeling, database analysis, computer simulations, and in vitro models, like cell and tissue cultures. These computational methods are utilized to analyze large volumes of historical experimental data in order to highlight biological trends and high priority research objectives, as well as to compile large volumes of experimental data into virtual biological systems and networks that, within the bounds of current knowledge, are capable of making predictive assessments of research questions.

The focus of biomedical researchers are diverse, but all seek to answer questions relevant to human and animal health that may one day translate into clinical practice. Research programs can be found in public health, epidemiology, preventive medicine, epigenetics, cancer, aging, endocrinology, neuroendocrinology, diabetes, cellular biology, molecular biology, pharmacology, psychopharmacology, neuroscience, genetics, virology, and many, many more.

surgery_smVirtually every major medical advance of the last century has depended upon research with animals.  Animals have served as surrogates in the investigation of human diseases and have yielded valuable data in the process of discovering new ways to treat, cure, or prevent them. From immunizations to cancer therapy, our ability to manage the health of animals has also improved because of animal research and the application of medical breakthroughs in veterinary medicine.Surgeon-and-Patient_sm

While a majority of the American public supports the necessary use of animals in biomedical research, they are also concerned about the care and treatment of laboratory animals. NABR, along with the scientific community, is committed to ensuring that all research conducted is ethical, responsible and humane.