Research involving animals
At Manchester we're committed to research excellence and impact, seeking to be a force for positive change in societies and environments across the globe. To pursue this commitment, we accept that there is sometimes a need to use animals in our research – but only when it is absolutely necessary, and carried out at the highest level of ethical conduct.
To make the progress needed to alleviate human and animal suffering and benefit society, our research must be underpinned by an understanding of disease mechanisms and the study of immunology, genetics and cell biology, including stem cell therapies.
Sometimes this research may involve animals where absolutely no alternative is available in order to progress drug treatments for particular diseases.
Transparency and accountability
The University is a signatory to the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research. Signed by higher education institutions, bio-industry companies, charities and research councils, this pledges transparency and public engagement on research involving animals. The Concordat informs our standards and governance.
The University of Manchester’s Animal Welfare Review Body (AWERB) meets bi-monthly and publishes minutes from their meetings. You can download these on our ethical review process page.
We also have a proud culture of care among our staff working with animals, based on a strong collaborative environment and a shared collegiate philosophy. Innovative research techniques are willingly shared, creating a highly effective research environment.
We apply the same standards and governance regardless of whether we are working with animals in a laboratory, or involved with conservation work in the field.
In 2019, the University's communications lead for anmial research joined a European Animal Research Association working group, consisting of specialists from across Europe, to draft a template for Non-Technical Summaries – the part of a project license which is accessible to a lay audience – as an input into the drafting of the European Commission’s new obligations on openness and accessibility in animal research.
In May 2020 the European Commission decided to include the EARA guidance document produced by this working group in the materials supplied to the member states before the new reporting obligations begin.
Improving arthritis treatments
We're investigating how body clocks might regulate the process underlying arthritis, in order to improve treatments.
Tackling inflammatory bowel disease
We're looking at how immune system cells suppress intestinal conditions, in order to prevent inflammatory bowel disease.
Reducing symptoms of Parkinson's
We're seeking less invasive treatments to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Searching for a stroke wonder drug
We're working on developing a potentially 'game-changing' drug that could finally lead to stroke treatments.
Fighting heart failure
We're looking at inhibiting genes in order to stop the damaging effects of heart failure - and perhaps prevent it.
Gene therapy for blindness
We're looking at reprogramming the eye's light receptor cells in order to treat certain types of blindness.
Animal research policy
Read our official policy on the use of animals in Manchester research.
Download our policy
Find out about our research involving animals at Manchester.
Learn the facts about animal research in the UK.
Find out how our scientists are tackling major global health concerns.
Have a look inside the University's animal unit.
Take the tour