3RCC Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

Prof. Pierre Cosson - Chair

Professor at the Département de physiologie cellulaire et métabolisme
University of Geneva Geneva, Switzerland

Since 2009 holder of the Doerenkamp-Naef-Zbinden chair.


Prof. Paul Flecknell - Co-Chair

Emeritus Professor Newcastle
University Newcastle, United Kingdom


Paul Flecknell is a graduate of Cambridge Veterinary School and has specialist qualifications in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia and in laboratory animal medicine, and a PhD in Physiology. He managed the research animal facilities at Newcastle for over 30 years until his retirement in 2017. He is currently an Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University.

He has been working in the field of laboratory animal science and animal welfare since 1977. He has been developing teaching and training resources to promote best practice in animal anaesthesia and analgesia for over 30 years, and he is currently co-developing a series of e-learning programmes. He has extensive knowledge and experience of all aspects of the use of animals in biomedical research.

He has worked with many professional and public bodies including the U.K. NC3Rs, the Swedish 3Rs funding panel, the Doerenkamp-Zbinden foundation and other groups to promote the 3Rs nationally and internationally. He now works as a freelance consultant, and his company (FLAIRE consultants) provides training and training resources for all those involved in in vivo research.


Prof. Thomas Hartung

Professor and Director at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT)
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, United States


Thomas Hartung, MD PhD, is the Doerenkamp- Zbinden-Chair for Evidence-based Toxicology with a joint appointment for Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore. He holds a joint appointment as Professor for Pharmacology and Toxicology at University of Konstanz, Germany; he also is Director of Centers for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT, http://caat.jhsph.edu) of both universities with the portal AltWeb (http://altweb.jhsph.edu).

CAAT hosts the secretariat of the Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration (http://www.ebtox.org), the Good Read-Across Practice Collaboration, the Good Cell Culture Practice Collaboration, the Green Toxicology Collaboration and the Industry Refinement Working Group. As PI, he headed the Human Toxome project (http://humantoxome.com) funded as an NIH Transformative Research Grant.

He is the former Head of the European Commission’s Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), Ispra, Italy, and has authored more than 550 scientific publications.


Prof. Matthias Lütolf

Professor and Head of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering
EPFL Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland

Professor Matthias Lütolf is Director of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Bioengineering at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. His highly innovative and cross-disciplinary research programme is focused on the development of bio- and tissue-engineering strategies aimed at improving organoid culture and enabling its translation to real-life applications.


Prof. Anna Olsson

Professor and group leader at the Laboratory Animal Science
Instituto de investgação e inovação em saúde University of Porto
Porto, Portugal


Anna Olsson's background is in animal science, ethology and animal welfare. She has been a full-time researcher since 1996, working with farm animals, laboratory animals and recently also companion animals. Since 2005, she coordinates a research group at the Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology (now part of i3S – Institute for Research and Innovation in Health) at the University of Porto.

Her research focuses on behaviour and welfare of animals used in research and on animal research ethics. She is engaged in the international animal welfare research community in a number of ways, as co-editor for the textbook Animal Welfare, as academic editor for the journal PLOS ONE, as Trustee for Universities Federation for Animal Welfare and Humane Slaughter Association and now also as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Swiss 3R Competence Center. This engagement reflects her strong belief in that human and non-human animals can live together in mutual benefit, and in the importance of knowledge to improve the way we keep animals. Finally, she is the author of the science communication blog Animalogues about animal welfare and animal ethics research.


Dr Nathalie Percie du Sert

Head of Experimental Design and Reporting
National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs)
London, United Kingdom


Prof. Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga

Professor in Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science at the Department for Health Evidence
Radboud University Medical Center
Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga (DVM, PhD, Dipl ECLAM) is Professor in Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science at the Department for Health Evidence at the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, and Honorary SKOU professor at Aarhus University, Denmark. She is the head of SYRCLE, founded 2012, which focusses on education, coaching and research in the field of systematic reviews of animal studies. Systematic reviews support the actual implementation of the 3Rs, a more evidence-based choice of animal models and better transparency in quality and translation of animal studies. She supervised the PhD by Judith van Luijk (2017) focussing on the implementation of the 3Rs and systematic reviews. From 1997-2005 she was professor in Laboratory Animal Science and Comparative Medicine and head of the Biomedical Laboratory at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark. In the past, she has been the FELASA President and Vice-President of the working groups in the FELASA board and the chair of Laboratory Animals Ltd. Currently she is the President-elect of the ECLAM board and member of the editorial board of Laboratory Animals. She has participated in many scientific and organising committees of scientific meetings such as ScandLAS and FELASA and the ESLAV-ECLAM-LAVA meeting in 2017. She organised the first international conference on Systematic Reviews of animal studies in 2012.


Dr Tobias Schnitzer

Global Head of Comparative Medicine Roche
Basel, Switzerland

Tobias studied Veterinary Medicine at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, where he also did his thesis at the Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology. He joined Roche Diagnostics in 1997 and in 1998 transferred to Roche's Pharmaceuticals Division. From 1998 to 2007, he worked in Discovery Oncology as preclinical pharmacologist on several research projects. In 2007, Tobias moved to Large Molecule Research, heading the department of Immune Biology, overseeing the generation of new therapeutic proteins for all disease areas. In 2013, he transferred to Roche's Pharmaceutical Sciences organization and took over the role as Global Head of Comparative Pharmacology and Toxicology. In this role, he and his team are in charge of running Roche's animal facilities including the veterinary programmes and preclinical in vivo safety assessment in in-house in vivo studies. Tobias is representing Roche on several national and international animal welfare and 3Rs bodies e.g. at the Vfa and Interpharma. Since 2002, he serves on the Ethical Review Committee for Animal Experimentation at the Government of Upper Bavaria, since 2017, he has been appointed as member of the Swiss Federal Commission on Animal Experimentation. Tobias is a certified veterinarian in both pharmacology and toxicology and in laboratory animal science.

Declaration of interests


Dr Jan van der Valk

Director of the 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Utrecht
University Utrecht, the Netherlands

Jan van der Valk is trained in biomedical sciences. He was involved in establishing the Netherlands Centre for Alternatives to Animal experiments in 1994 and has been involved in stimulating the development, acceptation and implementation of 3Rs models ever since. Since 2010, he coordinates the 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences (www.uu.nl/3rsCentreULS) at Utrecht Life Sciences, which include Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht. He is involved in several 3Rs education and training programs. The 3Rs-Centre ULS supports the 3Rs, among other activities, by the 3Rs-database program (https://www.uu.nl/en/3rsdatabases). He is also member of the project team of U-AIM (Utrecht Advanced In Vitro Models), a hub aimed to replace animal experimentation with advanced in vitro and in silico methods. There is a close collaboration from the 3Rs-Centre ULS with the Utrecht Animal Welfare Body.


All SAB members have declared their conflicts of interest. Their declarations are available upon request at the 3RCC Directorate.

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