Ethics Committees

Both the Human Ethics and Animal Ethics Committees provide advice on research proposals and procedures. All projects that include the use of human material or subjects or animals are screened by the ethics committee. These committees also sponsor public debates on ethics, which have had significant participation from students, researchers and the general public. It is as a result of one of these discussions that the following Public Statement on Animal Research has been issued:

• The evolutionary similarity between species makes it possible to learn about biology in health and disease by studying other species. Therefore, correctly designed and well-executed research with animals provides results that are useful in understanding human disease, in the development of treatment and in advancing scientific knowledge in general.

• Animals, in particular vertebrates, are sentient beings. Their health and welfare matter to them; they can suffer from physical as well as psychological harm.

• Both animal welfare and human health are morally relevant issues and research with animals creates an ethical dilemma between the two.

• Animals are used as one of several research approaches at IBMC•INEB and will continue to be used in studies where there is no scientifically equivalent alternative.

• In order to promote best practice, IBMC•INEB organizes training for all personnel involved in research with animals and has an institutional ethics committee reviewing all projects with animals.

• Research done at IBMC•INEB respects the 3Rs principle of Replacement (of animal research with alternative methods), Reduction (of the number of animals used) and Refinement (of research protocols in order to minimize the harm caused to animals). This is both an individual and institutional responsibility. A correct application of the 3Rs principle in combination with high-quality research is the most effective way of easing the ethical dilemma between animal welfare and human benefit.

• IBMC•INEB plays an active role in the public debate over animal research. Statement created with the collaboration of Biosense.


Animal Ethics Committee

Alexandre Quintanilha

Anna Olsson

Anabela Cordeiro da Silva

André Pereira

Isabel Duarte

Meriem Lemghari

Sofia Lamas

Teresa Summavielle  


Substitute members:

Nuno Santos

João Relvas

Ana Pego



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