People – «Relaxed, reflected, respectful»

© Maik Dahlhoff

Presenting our members of the steering committee. 3 Responses from Maik Dahlhoff, Professor for in vivo and in vitro Models, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

1. Please describe yourself using 3 words that start with an R?

Relaxed, reflected, respectful

2. What was your motivation to become an NRP 79 Steering Committee member?

My motivation to become a Steering Committee member was to help to shape and implement the idea of 3Rs and to contribute to how 3Rs can be realized in the future. By working in the NRP 79 Steering Committee I can also help and support how scientists can design animal experiments in the future and how animal experiments could be replaced sensibly.

I also think it is important and excellent that the committee members keep in touch with the applicants throughout the funding period and guide them in the implementation of their projects. In this way, the SNSF offers the committee members the opportunity to actively support the funded projects. The great concept of NRP 79 finally convinced me to become a member of the Steering Committee.

3. How do you implement the 3R principles in your daily work?

At my institute we are generating genetically modified mouse models and doing basic research on in vivo models, but we also work directly on the implementation of the 3Rs in vivo and in vitro. Some of my employees and collaborators are trying to improve the housing conditions of mice in animal testing facilities. For dermatology and gastroenterology research in mice, we are trying to refine experimental conditions such as improved pain management, better termination criteria, and human endpoints. Another group is working on non-animal methods to replace animal experiments with in vitro models in the future. One possible and interesting method is 3D bioprinting. With this method, cells can be arranged as a tissue on slides or Petri dishes using a modern tissue printer. As director of the European Mouse Mutant Archive (EMMA) Austria, we also routinely freeze mouse lines from scientists around the world which reduces surplus animals.

Main fields of expertise:

  • 3R research
  • Basic research in dermatology and gastrointestinal medicine
  • 3D bioprinting
  • Generation of genetically modified animal models
  • Director of EMMA Austria