The 3Rs Committee of the International Society for Transgenic Technologies (ISTT) announced the winner of the 2022 ISTT 3Rs Prize: Ronald Naumann. He received the award for his abstract titled “Reducing the number of breeding cages and of experimental animals using IVF by accurate prediction of expected germline transmission rate.” Ronald is the head of the Transgenic Core Facility at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. This prize recognises Ronald’s work in developing a technique (STR-IVF technique) that implements the reduction principle of the 3Rs (refine, reduce, replace) to reduce the number of experimental animals. He developed the technique together with Peter Dobrowolski, an expert in the analysis of genetic fingerprints, working at GVG Genetic Monitoring GmbH in Leipzig.
At this year’s ISTT conference, the prize was awarded to Ronald on September 18th, where he gave a talk about his newly developed technique. Ronald received free 2023 membership, free registration for the TT2023 meeting, and a cash prize of 500 euros, all sponsored by Janvier Labs.
The generation of mutant mouse models for biomedical research still plays a major role in understanding processes in the organism. Mutations are still first integrated into mouse embryonic stem cells (mES-cells). A large number of matings has to be performed in order to firmly establish the mutation of a newly generated mouse line in the first generation. In this way, a large number of offspring have no scientific value. Through collaboration with Peter Dobrowolski, Ronald succeeded in developing a forensic analysis system that detects an exact guarantee of a mutation already in the sperm. Thus, it is predictable that the mutation will be passed down to the following generation. This reduces the need for a substantial number of test animals, as well as time and money.
Ronald Naumann says, “I have been working in research with laboratory animals for over 25 years. Very often we have been able to reduce animal numbers through technical or biotechnical developments in the sense of the 3Rs. The STR-IVF technique now developed will be of great benefit to many laboratories worldwide. It also shows that scientists take the 4th R, “Responsibility”, very seriously and exert positive influence on the development of better systems themselves.”