November 07 - 10, 2017  ·  Matrix building Level 4, Breakthrough Theatre
SALAS-SVA Conference 2017 (SALAS)
Joint SALAS -SVA Conference 2017




7-8 November will be a 2 day SVA conference

9-10 November will be a 2 day SALAS conference

The theme of this year's SALAS conference is The Future of Lab Animal Facility (9th Nov) and Animal Modelling & the Future ahead.(10th Nov)



 

 

4 Days

(7-8 Nov:SVA conference, 9-10 Nov: SALAS conference)

2 Days

(9-10 November SALAS conference)

1 Day

Early Bird Registration

(Till 1st Oct 2017)

SALAS Members

$350

$250

 

-

Non-SALAS Members

$450

$350

Students

$300

$200

 

 

Normal Registration

SALAS Members

$400

$300

$160

Non-SALAS Members

$500

$400

$210

Students

$450

$250

$135

AGENDA
Tuesday, November 7
9:00 AM
Event Start
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
SVA Conference
Wednesday, November 8
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
SVA Conference
Thursday, November 9
9:00 AM - 9:05 AM
Welcome address
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
SALAS conference
9:05 AM - 9:55 AM
Additive Manufacturing and Animal Research
Additive manufacturing has been widely talked about in recent years. Some people praised the technology, and some doubted it. What exactly is additive manufacturing? What are the pros and cons? How can this technology help in research involving animals?
9:55 AM - 10:45 AM
Automated solutions inside the wash rooms - Robotics
Automated solutions inside the wash rooms : benefits for people, organization and for a rewardable research Analyses of the interconnections between automated equipment and facility flows, with focus on case studies coming from worldwide experiences and the way to justify the investment.
11:15 AM - 12:05 PM
NACLAR Updates
The talk will give the background to the setting up of NACLAR, and will cover the drafting and publication of the NACLAR Guidelines. The issues and challenges in the implementation and revision of the Guidelines will also be discussed.
12:05 PM - 12:55 PM
Digital Pathology in Veterinary Diagnostics and Biomedical Research
Advancement of digital technology and global connectivity has given rise to telemedicine and telepathology in both human and veterinary fields. While technical basis of histopathology has changed little since 19th century and is still fundamental, digital pathology has already been integrated into veterinary colleges, hospitals and diagnostic laboratories. Automated slide image analysis and artificial intelligence have been used in biomedical research. Further advancement of such technologies is inevitable. Traditional gross pathology and light microscopy will change, and these will affect the way clinicians, pathologists and researchers visualize, analyze and share their cases. It is crucial to learn and adapt to these advancements in the current era of digitization.
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
3D Bioprinting Applications for Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology
3D Printing and bioprinting is a fast growing field that is creating great impact on the future of healthcare. The field is fuelled by innovations in materials, processes and received a strong boost with the advent of bioprinting technique. 3D Bioprinting aims to produce engineered tissue in a repeatable, reconfigurable, and optimized manner. In this talk, we will present our experiences in printing of scaffolds for tissue engineering and cell-encapsulated hydrogels. Various examples will be shown to illustrate the potential of this technology in toxicology testing and lab animal sciences.
2:50 PM - 3:40 PM
Understanding Laboratory Animal Behaviors – The interpretation that matters.
The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals recommends that personnel responsible for animal care and husbandry should receive training in the behavioral biology of the species under their care. Similar to their role in providing front-line observation for clinical illnesses, personnel responsible for daily care should be adequately familiar with normal animal behavior such that abnormal behavior may be recognized and reported. Animals share some common behavior across different species. The species-specific behavior, however, is the key to improve captive management. This presentation will explain different strategies to solve or improve the well-being of common laboratory animals in captivity by understanding the normal and abnormal behavior.
3:55 PM - 4:15 PM
The Future Lab has arrived
The foundation of advances in human healthcare is based on the successful translation of preclinical research based on animal models. The sophistication of genetically engineered models and the analytical tools used to investigate and understand diseases has developed exponentially in recent years. There is great interest and excitement about the role machine learning or AI and predictive analytics can play in further enhancing our insights into variables that lie at the heart of discovering relationships between the drugs and therapies we have targeted and the clinical outcomes we expect them to deliver. However, in our 21st Century in-vivo research laboratories, we continue to see a reliance on out dated, unreliable and error prone processes and technologies. Scientific rigour is a hit and miss affair: experimental design and execution does not yet consistently meet commonly accepted standards of best practice. Paper lab notebooks are still common primary sources of research data collection and recording; Excel spreadsheets still dominate as a source of data storage and analysis; identification methods for lab animals still rely on tissue removal and idiosyncratic pattern recognition. The lab of today still runs largely on analogue technologies and lacks data quality assurance procedures to identify sources of error. Many of the key variables effecting the research outcomes are not even recorded. It is no surprise that preclinical research struggles to achieve levels of reproducibility expected in other scientific disciplines. Investment in AI is wasted if you cannot guarantee the authenticity and accuracy of your data. So, the Preclinical Research Lab of the Future must address the need for scientific rigour, reproducibility (which demands data transparency and availability) and modern standards of best practice in research. That Future Lab has arrived: it marries reliable animal identification with automated experimental data collection; best practice experimental design and planning with secure, auditable chain of custody of the data; and efficiency, accessibility and affordability. With Somark’s SensaLab platform, say goodbye to paper, data exports to Excel, inconsistent experimental processes and uncertain data authenticity and say hello to the Future Lab, today.
4:15 PM - 4:45 PM
Diabetes, a Growing Health Crisis in Singapore – What is the Best Animal-based Disease Model?
Diabetes is a major challenge for the population at large, and for the health system in particular, in many developed countries. In Singapore, we have observed an alarming trend, with numbers of type 2 diabetics quickly catching up with those in “the West”. What are the underlying reasons, and how we can model this disease appropriately in rodents, or do we even need to engage alternative animal species? This overview talk will give some insights in what represents a good animal model in general, and shed some light on the differences between poplar rodent diabetes models (STZ, NOD, and Ob/Ob mouse).
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Development of genetically engineered pig models for rare monogenic diseases
Pigs characterized with physiological and anatomical similarities to humans provide attractive models for investigating human diseases. Recent technological development of genome editing and somatic cell cloning enabled us to develop variety of genetically engineered pigs that reproduce human monogenic diseases. Our recent achievements in developing disease model pigs including diabetes, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, Marfan syndrome, autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, and dilated cardiomyopathy will be discussed.
Friday, November 10
9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
SALAS conference
9:00 AM - 9:50 PM
The Husbandry and Veterinary Care of Captive Local Cave Nectar Bats Colony for Use in Bio-Medical Research
In the past three episodes of Annual SALAS Conference, the interest and imaginations of Singapore bio-medical research community were tickled by exciting talks about captive bats and its use in biomedical research. SALAS have invited experts and the Bat topics has always been the most talked about after the conference. The local research community maybe aware and some may recall from previous speaker talks that the colony of captive bats has been existing in one of the research facilities in Singapore which is also one of the very few in the world and perhaps the only one in Asia. Rewind year 2014, the group of Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) has collaborated with Singhealth Experimental Medicine Centre (SEMC) to develop the local bat breeding colony for use in infectious diseases and immunological studies. The original plan is to import breeders of fruit flying fox from Australia, propagate and develop the specie as model for EID’s research. The attempt to import was unsuccessful due to tough regulatory requirements until the group decided to develop the local cave nectar bats colony instead. The collaboration of Duke-NUS EID and SEMC was ideal as the former has a pool of scientist with experience in bats research and the latter currently manages the National Large Animal Facility (NLARF) which has an outdoor housing available for various species of animals and team of veterinarian and animal care staff. The project was not an easy journey for the group as it started from planning and modifying the outdoor shed, cages and workflow tailored to the requirements of cave nectar bats. There were limited references available on the husbandry and veterinary care standard of the said specie and the group had an intensive discussions/planning in formulating the right diets, feeding program, enrichment and daily maintenance as appropriate to the requirement of captive colony. Another huge challenge was the design of breeding program as the starting population of bats were captured from the roost in the wild and the animals have no information of age, strain and health back ground. Fast forward 2017 – the captive colony of cave nectar bats at NLARF has a total population of about 40 heads as of August this year from the starting population of five (5) heads in 2015. The increased in numbers were not because of breeding as there were batches of captured bats added in the inventory. But in recent months there were successful pregnancies and significant birth of pups years after challenging management and veterinary care. In my presentation, I will be giving you an insight of daily husbandry program of the captive colony of cave nectar bats at NLARF. I will also share the veterinary care program we especially design to achieve the breeding targets with a big hope of success to achieve the goal of the project.
9:50 AM - 10:40 AM
Alternative methods for the efficient and accurate prediction of organ-specific toxicity
Alternatives to animal testing are of increasing importance in toxicology. This development is driven by various causes, including concerns about the predictivity of animal models. Also, animal models are too slow and costly for screening of the large and increasing numbers of compounds that need to be tested. Furthermore, changes in legislation (e.g. animal bans for cosmetics testing) and other developments steeply increase the demand for alternative methods. However, many alternative methods are of unknown predictivity, and accepted alternative methods for predicting toxicity for human internal organs are not available. This problem is addressed by our work, which was initially focused on the kidney (Li et al., Toxicol. Res., 2013; Li et al., Mol. Pharm., 2014; Su et al., BMC Bioinformatics, 2014; Kandasamy et al., Sci. Rep., 2015; Su et al., Arch. Toxicol., 2016; Chuah & Zink, Biotechnol. Adv, 2017). Our kidney-specific methods include the only available predictive methods based on human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived renal cells and a predictive high-throughput platform. The high-throughput platform is currently applied in collaboration with the US Environmental Protection Agency to predict the human nephrotoxicity of ToxCast compounds. Based on a similar methodology we are now developing high-throughput platforms for predicting toxicity for other human organ systems, including liver and vasculature, and we are also establishing predictive organ-on-chip technologies for efficient repeated dose testing. Faezah Hussain1, Jacqueline K. C. Chuah1, Lit-Hsin Loo2 and Jackie Y. Ying1 and Daniele Zink1 1Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, Singapore 138669, Singapore 2Bioinformatics Institute, 30 Biopolis Street, #07-01 Matrix, Singapore 138671, Singapore
11:10 AM - 12:00 PM
Using the Social Amoeba Dictyostelium as a biomedical model: An innovative approach to help children with intractable epilepsy
Brief Abstract: Epilepsy is a severe neurological disorder where 30% of patients continue to experience seizures despite treatment, with research predominantly involving animals. We have developed a replacement model for this research, the social amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, to discover a mechanism of action for a common anti-epileptic drug. This enabled us to identify more potent compounds including a fat, found in coconuts, that is used in a dietary treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy. From this, we have demonstrated that the compound rapidly blocks seizure activity, and have developed an improved diet for children with drug resistant epilepsy that is currently in clinical trials. Full Abstract: Our research has focused on employing the social amoeba Dictyostelium as a simple model system for biomedical research. The model provides a range of advantages in this role including rapid growth, single and multiple cell stages, well characterised development, rapid genetic ablation or protein tagging and the use of isogenic cultures. Here we will outline a long-standing research area in our laboratory concerning epilepsy, initiated in Dictyostelium and translated to mammalian systems. Our studies initial employed Dictyostelium to better understand the molecular mechanisms of the commonly used epilepsy treatment, valproic acid. We showed that, in Dictyostelium, the drug blocked turnover of phosphoinositides, and were able to show a similar effect in the mammalian brain during seizure progression. Using this effect in Dictyostelium, we then identified a range of compounds with enhanced activity. One of these compounds, decanoic acid, is a major constituent of a diet used to treat drug resistant epilepsy, called the medium chain triglyceride (MCT) ketogenic diet. We then showed that decanoic acid, which is elevated in the plasma of patients on the diet, acts to directly control seizure activity in multiple seizure models, and this effect is not shown for ketones, suggesting that the diet may not act via ketogenesis. We further identified a primary target for decanoic acid, in this therapeutic role. From this work, clinical trials are now underway for the treatment of both children and adults with intractable epilepsy using a new ketogenic diet derived from this work. This projects therefore highlights the use of Dictyostelium as a simple and malleable model system for biomedical research, and successful translation to clinical studies.
12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Uncommon Laboratory Animal Species
This talk is designed to give an introduction to some uncommon species seen in laboratory animal medicine. The talk focuses on model information, care and diseases of the unique animals. Major emphasis is placed upon spontaneous diseases arising in these species. Animal models to be discussed include: Electric eels, tentacled snakes, galagos (bush babies), Xenopus laevis, zebra finches, Grasshopper Mice (Onychmys torridus), terrestrial frogs, naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber), etc…
2:00 PM - 2:50 PM
The use of ferrets as an animal model in virology with a focus on virus transmission studies
The ferret belongs to the family of mustelids (weasels) and the infection of ferrets with influenza viruses has been described as early as 1933. To this day, the ferret remains an important animal model to mimic human infection by several respiratory viruses including influenza viruses, coronaviruses and Respiratory Syncytial Virus. An important feature of respiratory viruses is their ability to transmit via the air between individuals. This key aspect can be studied in custom designed ‘airborne transmission settings’ equipped with ferrets as virus donors and recipients. General aspects, advantages and limitations of the ferret in virological research will be discussed.
2:50 PM - 3:40 PM
Amoeba Tastes Bitter - A novel non-animal model for bitterness research
Brief abstract Many current medicines taste bitter, leading to low patient compliance and reduced therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of bitter taste effects of new medicines employs animal in vivo experiments that are time consuming and have limited throughput. We have investigated the replacement of animals in these tests with the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum to show that cell behaviour is sensitive to bitter tasting compounds. Analysing of a range of structurally distinct bitter tastants using Dictyostelium, and comparing effects with responses in animal and human tests, suggests that Dictyostelium provides a useful replacement model for the prediction of bitter taste effects of new medicines. Full abstract A large number of therapeutically active compounds have a bitter taste. This often causes an aversive reaction - particularly in children - leading to decreased patient compliance and in some cases to severe reactions such as, nausea and vomiting. Identification of bitter taste liability during drug discovery utilises the rat in vivo brief access taste aversion (BATA) test which is time consuming and has limited throughput. Here, we investigate the suitability of using a simple non-animal model, the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum, to examine taste-related responses and particularly to identify those molecules with a bitter taste liability. We initially analysed the acute effects of taste-related compounds on Dictyostelium cell behaviour to show no response to salty or sour conditions, or umami and sweet tasting compounds, whereas cells rapidly responded to bitter tastants. We then developed a medium-throughput assay, based in Dictyostelium, to monitor responses to a wide range of structurally diverse bitter tastants and a panel of blinded molecules. This assay employed visualising cells pre- and post-bitter tastant exposure, recording cell response with time-lapse photography and using computer-generated quantification to monitor changes in cell membrane movement. Dictyostelium showed varying responses to the bitter tastants, with IC50 values providing a rank order of potency. Comparison of Dictyostelium IC50 values to responses observed at a similar concentration range in the rat BATA test showed a significant positive correlation between the two models (p = 0.0172). In addition, the data showed a similar response of Dictyostelium to that provided by a human sensory panel assessment test. These experiments suggest that Dictyostelium may provide a suitable model for early prediction of bitterness for novel tastants and drugs, where a common response to bitter tastants appears to be conserved from a single-celled amoebae to humans.
3:55 PM - 4:45 PM
Sheep as large animals models of human health and cardiovascular disease
Pre-clinical physiology studies in large animal models are essential to bridge the translational research gap between small animals and clinical studies. CHI has a long track-record of studying sheep as large animal models of cardiovascular disease. We have modelled normal physiology, acute myocardial infarction and congestive heart failure. Whilst CVRI Singapore has established pig models, we now plan to introduce sheep to complement our research. Sheep are relatively easy to handle and house long term. Their size is comparable to small adults and thus they are amenable to serial blood sampling for multiple biomarkers, instrumentation with widely available clinical equipment and monitoring devices.
4:45 PM - 5:30 PM
Preparing the AAALAC International Program Description
AAALAC International offers the only international accreditation for animal care and use programs. Accreditation through AAALAC International is voluntary and demonstrates a willingness to go above and beyond the minimums required by law. It tells the public that the institution is committed to the responsible care and use of animals in science. Program Description (PD) is the key document used by the Council on Accreditation to evaluate your animal care and use program. The PD template will take you step-by-step through the process of preparing this information. This presentation will explain how to successfully prepare the PD and give some tips on what information is expected by AAALAC International.
5:30 PM
Event End
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
The Future Lab has arrived
SPEAKERS
LOCATION
Matrix building Level 4, Breakthrough Theatre - 30 Biopolis Street Singapore Singapore 138671 Singapore 138671 Singapore

Direct Bank Transfer - to OCBC Account 552-712226-001

Account name: SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION FOR LABORATORY ANIMAL SCIENCE

 

Please email  Ocampo Ervin Marquez  (lacoem@nus.edu.sg) after the transfer to indicate that the payment is for 2017 SALAS Conference, number of attendees, number of days attending, and whether payment is for member/non-member/student.

Cheque – made payable to:  SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION FOR LABORATORY ANIMAL SCIENCE

Please mail to the following address:

Singapore Association For Laboratory Animal Science

Ghim Moh Estate Post Office PO Box 047

Singapore 912732

Indicate on the cheque that the payment is for 2017 SALAS Conference, number of attendees,

number of days attending, and whether payment is for member/non-

member/student.

CASH will not be accepted at Onsite registration