Optimizing experimental research in respiratory diseases

Chairs: Martin Kolb & Philippe Bonniaud

This Task Force proposal is based on an ERS Research Seminar entitled “Optimizing disease models for lung diseases and drug development”. The concluding remarks of the seminar were that "animal models are critical to understand mechanisms and pathogenesis of pulmonary health and disease, and are indispensable for drug development".

However, it was also acknowledged that the pathogenetic and clinical relevance of the models is often unclear and that the use of animals in medical research has become increasingly controversial from an ethical perspective. The primary objective of this Task Force is to construct guidelines about lung disease models by facilitating detailed discussions between respiratory scientists from different pulmonary subspecialties. It is expected that better knowledge and description of the available models, especially their specific benefits and limitations, will result in more efficient use of resources and reduce the numbers of animals in pulmonary research, thereby enhancing the ethical standards of experimental pulmonary research.