What we do at Lancaster
Lancaster University has a world-class reputation as a centre for excellence in teaching, scholarship and research. We aim to apply our ideas, knowledge, technologies, skills and services regionally, nationally and internationally to the benefit of society, partners and stakeholders.
Health and Disease Research
The University undertakes a wide variety of research aimed at understanding and alleviating human and animal disease and improving community health and wellbeing. The primary research themes at Lancaster are Ageing, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cancer, Infectious Diseases, Mental Health and Public Health.
The use of animals in biomedical and veterinary research has and continues to provide significant advances in understanding and alleviating debilitating diseases and conditions. Any proposal to use animals in research must demonstrate stringent experimental design including appropriateness of species and minimized numbers before it will be considered.
Research investigating areas such as Neurodegenerative disease, Cancer biology and Parasitology sometimes requires the use of laboratory animals either to enable advances to be made at a whole organism level, or to provide suitable tissue for further research. Animal models of disease are used to study onset, progression and alleviation in shorter timeframes and in ways that would not be possible with human or higher order animal subjects, and therefore can provide valuable benefits in progressing to new treatments.
Research involving laboratory animals is currently being conducted to investigate:
- Mental illness and dementia including Schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, aimed at developing novel drugs and treatment approaches;
- Cancer biology including understanding predisposition to malignancy, proliferation and treatment of cancer;
- Debilitating parasitic infections including leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), aimed at developing new control methods and treatments.
Wildlife and Conservation
Wild animal populations are constantly under threat from natural environmental challenges and anthropogenic impacts. A small number of research projects at Lancaster aimed at understanding these risks and helping the development of effective conservation management strategies involve the use of minor procedures on wild animals. These projects must adhere to laws protecting wildlife and the environment in addition to compliance with those involving scientific research on animals. As with laboratory based work justification must be demonstrated and appropriate licensing obtained before these projects can be undertaken.