Openness award for MRC animal research team at Oxford

Researchers at the University of Oxford receive national award for public engagement work about animal research.

The Medical Research Council Brain Network Dynamics Unit at the University of Oxford (MRC BNDU) has been recognised for its public engagement work at Understanding Animal Research’s fifth annual Openness Awards and the 82nd Stephen Paget memorial lecture.

The Public Engagement Activity Award was presented to the MRC BNDU for its outstanding and sustained advocacy, highlighting in particular the Unit’s work with people affected by Parkinson’s, conveying the complex journey of research from the laboratory to the clinic.

Professor Peter Magill, Deputy Director of the MRC BNDU, said: ’The use of animals is critically important for our innovative science, and we and our partners are committed to best practice in communicating exactly when, how and why we use animals in brain research. We have carefully tailored our outreach programme to give our public stakeholders the opportunity to learn more about and discuss research using animals. We are delighted that our engagement work has been recognised in this way.’

Understanding Animal Research (UAR) provides information and educational materials based on research and an understanding of the historical and scientific facts. The fifth UAR Openness Awards celebrate the achievements of the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, and recognise and reward best practice in Openness around animal research, following nominations made earlier in the year.

The awards were followed by the 82nd Stephen Paget Memorial Lecture, which will be given by Professor John O’Keefe, who in 2014 won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain - an ’inner GPS’ - that enables us to orient ourselves.