CRG Strategic Plan 2017-2021: Integrative Biology
In a relatively short period since its foundation in 2002, the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) has generated important scientific insights in our understanding of the organization, deployment and evolution of genetic information, the internal workings of cells, their differentiation and reprogramming, their collective organization to form tissues and their alterations in disease, including cancer. The CRG has reached considerable international recognition as a centre of excellence in bioinformatics, molecular and cell biology, biomedical research and as an institute for advanced training at all levels of the scientific career, aided by its non-tenured system, high turnover of junior faculty and a flexible and efficient administration.
The CRG contemplates Integrative Biology at the heart of its scientific programme for the next five years. Addressing the complexity of biological systems and, more specifically, of humans requires, more than ever before, concerted integrative approaches and biomedical interdisciplinary science. To do so the CRG will foster the following scientific and technological areas: Digital Biology, Biomedical Research and Technological Platforms.
CRG Institutional Statement on the Use of Research Animals
The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) has joined the Agreement on Openness on Animal Research, promoted by the Federation of Scientific Societies in Spain (COSCE) with the collaboration of the European Association of Research Animals (EARA), and launched on September 20th 2016.
Scientists at the CRG study fundamental biological processes in our genes, cells, tissues and organs. The use of animal models in our research is essential to advance the knowledge about mechanisms of health and disease. This knowledge will lead to treatments and cures otherwise not possible.
CRG scientists only use animals when necessary for developing their research projects, and always consider alternatives to animal research, such as cell culture, simple organisms, computer modelling or human samples.
The highest standards in animal welfare are of paramount relevance for the CRG scientists since it is necessary for research excellence, as is the compliance and respect to the legislation on the protection of animals. All experimental protocols have to be approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Experimentation of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park.
The CRG also ensures that the personnel involved in animal care and researchers have the highest level of education, training and professional skills for animal research, while the PRBB Animal Facility guarantees the best facilities, husbandry, wellbeing and veterinary care.
CRG Supports Statement on Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes
The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is a signatory of the Wellcome Trust Statement that was released on 4th March 2015 supporting European Directive 2010/63/EU (“Directive”) on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. The Statement calls on the European Parliament and Commission to reaffirm their commitment to the Directive, which is considered vital to ensure that necessary research involving animals can continue whilst requiring enhanced animal welfare standards. The Statement can be found here.
A summary of the Wellcome Trust Statement says: “The use of animals in research has facilitated major breakthroughs in medicine which have transformed human and animal health. We support research using animals where alternative methods are not available, where the potential benefits to health are compelling, and where acceptable ethical and welfare standards can be met. The Directive has enhanced animal welfare standards and introduced the concepts of refinement, replacement and reduction (‘3Rs’) across the EU, while ensuring Europe remains a world leader in biomedical research. (…) Repealing the Directive would represent a major step backwards both for animal welfare in the EU and for Europe’s leading role in advancing human and animal health.”
Institutions around Europe have endorsed this initiative. More information can be found at the Wellcome Trust.