Dr. Lindsay Marshall: Vortrag zum Thema human-relevante respiratorische Modelle

The 3rd Webinar in the 3Rs training series will take place on Monday, June 21 at 7 pm CEST. Dr. Lindsay Marshall from the Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International will give an overview about innovative respiratory models that can mimic the structure and functions of the human airways, including the lung-on-a-chip, and its application to understand SARS-CoV2.


Respiratory Research in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond
Human-relevant airways models for disease research: You might think that breathing is the same for all air-breathing animals, and to some extent you would be correct. But just as humans are not gigantic mice, then mice are not merely tiny people, and there are significant differences between the airways of different species. For example, mice and other rodents are obligate nose breathers, and mouse airways have a very different branching pattern and cellular composition compared to humans. Mice are not naturally susceptible to the same infections as people, and this is very relevant today, considering the SARS-CoV2 pandemic.
In this talk, we will consider how the innovative, human cell-based models that can mimic the structure and functions of the human airways, including the lung-on-a-chip, can be exploited to understand, and ultimately defeat, SARS-CoV2. In 2015, the Wyss Institute’s lung-on-a-chip formed part of their human organs-on-chips model awarded the Design of the Year Award by London’s Design Museum. We will take a closer look at this award-winning creation to understand how this, and similar human cell-based models, are being used to decipher how SARS-CoV2 infects us. Application of these human-based models are vital if we are to fully comprehend the human response to the virus and to identify effective treatments. We have known for some time that animals are not accurate predictors of human responses, and the same is true with SARS-CoV2 – infected non-human animals display different symptoms to humans and many animals are not susceptible to this infection. We will see how using human-relevant methods offer a more cost- and time-effective route to revealing the virus’ weak spots in order to discover treatments and to allow us to overcome this devastating pandemic.


Lindsay Marshall, PhD, is Biomedical Science Advisor at the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International (HSUS/HSI). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology in the UK and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Prior to her current position, Lindsay spent around 12 years at Aston University in the UK. As Senior Lecturer in Immunology, she incorporated a strong element of animal replacement in all of her teaching. She was winner of the student-led ‘Astonishing Academic’ award for three consecutive years. Her research programme during her time in academia was dedicated to the theme of human respiratory defences, where she ultimately developed multi-cellular human cell-based models of human airways. Her models of healthy human airways were used to examine the potentially toxic effects of e-cigarette vapour on human lungs, and she also created models of cystic fibrosis airways, which were used to evaluate possible treatments for infections in people with cystic fibrosis.
She is now the European Advisor for the BioMed21 Collaboration, an initiative that brings together scientists from across Europe, Asia and the Americas with a shared vision of a new, human-focused paradigm for health research. As part of this position, her key activities are to liaise with academics to develop critical reviews of animal disease models, and support HSI-HSUS public policy efforts through the preparation of targeted briefing materials for politicians and other non-expert stakeholders. In 2018, she reviewed the use of non-animal models used in respiratory tract disease research for a collaboration between the chemical consultancy EcoMole, Prof Ian Adcock of Imperial College London and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM). The ultimate aim of this research is to develop a freely available database of non-animal methods which scientists could access in order to help them make decisions regarding the use of these innovative human relevant techniques in their research. Other projects are creating databases for common human diseases like neurodegenerative conditions (such as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease), breast cancer, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
Along with several academic colleagues, she is currently working on a project to produce an animal-free curriculum – creating educational materials that will allow scientists, students, lawmakers, funders and other interested parties, to design and execute their research projects without using animals, as there are currently few courses that help and encourage people to carry out animal-free research.