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School of Medicine Statement on Animal Research

The Stanford University School of Medicine supports the conduct of biomedical research to further the understanding of the world in which we live and to apply this knowledge for the benefit of humans and animals. Biomedical research draws on a variety of model systems to help answer questions about health and disease. Animals represent only one class of subjects for study. Human beings also are used extensively as research subjects. Alternatives to animal use, which include computer modeling, cell culture and bacterial systems, are used at Stanford whenever possible.

Animal experiments have been vital in the development of the polio vaccine, the isolation and use of insulin, the discovery of a vaccine for canine parvovirus (which causes a lethal infection in dogs) and other advances that have saved the lives of humans and animals. Future advances in the treatment of human diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and cancer, will continue to depend on inquiries that use animals, humans and other alternatives.

At Stanford, all research involving animals is subject to rigorous review by the University Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. In addition, the federal and state governments, as well as independent accreditation organizations, work to ensure that research animals are used only when necessary and under humane conditions. Stanford is committed to conducting the highest-quality research and to providing animals used in research with the best care available.

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