Read more about the safety policy for Scand-LAS 2021 here


There will be many specialists from different countries giving interesting lectures and carrying out the workshops at the 50th Symposium of Scand-LAS. This website is continuously updated whenever more lecturers register. Below you will find their short introductions.


Rafael Frias


Rafael Frias is a lab animal veterinarian with over 20 years' experience in the field. He is an Associate Professor of laboratory animal science at both the University of Helsinki, Finland and the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He works as Head of Education at Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institute, where he leads the Unit for Education and Training in Laboratory Animal Science. Rafael is the President-elect of the European Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians (ESLAV), Board Member of the Laboratory Animals section of the Swedish National Veterinary Association, and External Expert of the Board of Education and Training at the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA).


Adrian Smith


Adrian Smith is a British veterinarian who graduated from Cambridge in 1979 and emigrated to Norway in 1980. He held the Chair in Laboratory Animal Science at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science from 1988 until 2011. He has arranged over 50 courses for all personnel categories. He has been the Secretary of Norway's consensus-platform for the 3Rs, Norecopa ( since it was established in 2007. Adrian has had a special interest in 3R resources for many years and has co-authored several databases in this area. He is a Board Member of the Danish 3R centre and a member of the National Committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes in Denmark.



Katarina Cvek


Katarina works as coordinator for laboratory animal science at the Swedish university of agricultural sciences, and as such she has the overall responsibility for animal protection of all animals used for research and teaching at the university. Katarina is the head of the animal welfare organ at the university, member of the national committee for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes in Sweden and she has been a member of the regional animal ethics committee in Uppsala for several years. She will give a presentation on the system of the ethical review of animal experiments in Sweden.



Nuno Franco


Nuno Franco is a Researcher at the i3S’ Laboratory Animal Science group, at the University of Porto. He has a background in both Education and Biology, and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences.

Nuno is currently researching thermography applications for animal experimentation, particularly for understanding thermobiology of disease, and for stress assessment. He also studies methodological quality of animal research, along with other topics on animal welfare and ethics. 

This presentation will cover how thermography-assessed mean body surface temperature can reliably signal acute stress responses, and present recent results on its application to compare the impact of diferent stressors in laboratory mice.


Axel Kornerup Hansen


Axel Kornerup Hansen (DVM, DVSci) is professor in laboratory animal science and welfare at University of Copenhagen. He is one of the founders of the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. He has been teaching on laboratory animal courses globally, and he has a leading role in the University of Copenhagen laboratory animal science teaching program with more than 700 students annually, including the lab animal vet training LABVET Europe. He does research in microbiota impact on laboratory animal models. He has published 218 peer-reviewed papers, two full textbooks, and 8 book chapters.



Jaanus Harro


Rich environment nurtures diversity. Physical surroundings and aspects of social life shape genetic variability and mold epigenetic regulation of gene expression patterns. Since early psychopharmacological  research experience as an undergraduate student I have been wondering how are the ingrained behavioural differences between laboratory rodents and other animals, including humans, represented in brain, what kind of impact these can have on our animal models of psychiatric disorders, and whether such diversity could be exploited to refine the models. My expedition to the land of diversity has often brought me to the house that Karl Johan Öbrink built, but the map-making and establishing the coordinates still remains to be properly carried out.


Paulin Jirkof


Paulin Jirkof studied biology in Germany. She obtained her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Zurich, Switzerland and a Master of Advanced Studies in Management, Technology, and Economics at the ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. Her scientific field of interest is in the implementation and evaluation of severity assessment tools and the reliable assessment and treatment of pain in laboratory rodents. Currently she works as 3R coordinator at the Department for Animal Welfare and 3Rs of the University of Zurich. She is chair of the executive board of the Swiss 3R Competence Center, editor of the joournal Laboratory Animals and board member of the Swiss Society for Laboratory Animal Science.



Lars Lewejohann


Professor for animal welfare and refinement at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Head of Unit "Laboratory Animal Science" at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Berlin. Presentation on assessing affective states of laboratory animals in order to promote animal welfare.



Lotte Martoft


Lotte Martoft has a degree in veterinary medicine and a PhD from Copenhagen university and she is currently the global head of Animal Sciences and Technologies in AstraZeneca. Since Lotte joined the pharmaceutical industry, she has worked within or in disciplines closely connected to animal sciences and has a long track record of data generation across the efficacy and safety domains of drug discovery.


Lotte is passionate about technological innovations and how they can be used to drive the 3Rs including improved translation to the clinic and the development of new medicines.


As a leader in animal sciences, Lotte continuously strives to refine laboratory animal models and drive and promote ethics and a culture of care. Lotte’s philosophy is that all laboratory animals should have a good life and that any animals used in research should be used responsibly and only to generate high quality and decision-making data.



Anna Meller


Anna Meller is a veterinarian with almost 20 years of experience on the laboratory animal field. She currently works as designated veterinarian and vice director of the Laboratory animal centre of the Helsinki institute of life sciences (HiLIFE) at the University of Helsinki. She has been teaching on the laboratory animal science courses from the beginning of career.  Anna has specific interest on refinement and especially on improving handing and procedures. She works as a designated veterinarian for Luke; Natural Resources Institute Finland on wild life research. She is a member of the National Project Authorization board and Finnish Council on the protection of animals used for scientific or educational purposes.



Timo Nevalainen


Timo Nevalainen is DVM and Professor Emeritus from the University of Eastern Finland. He has worked as the president of both Scand-LAS and FELASA. His special interest is in the training of the future generation of scientists through competence courses. He has played a key role in establishing the FELASA education guidelines and the FELASA Accreditation system.

The common theme of his research is Refinement and Reduction alternatives and their interplay. More recently, his interest has focused on a third dimension: how those Two R alternatives also result in better science.

His presentation ’Reduction Revisited’ includes approaches of this alternative taken by his group and lessons learned for practical applications.


Merel Ristskes-Hoitinga


Since she graduated as a vet in 1986, Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga has been committed to the goal of improving the quality of science and animal welfare, aspiring to obtain results that are more  translatable to human patients. In 1997, she became the head of the Biomedical Laboratory at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense and was appointed Professor of Laboratory Animal Science and Comparative Medicine. From 2005-2017, Merel became the head of the Central Animal Laboratory at Radboudumc in Nijmegen (NL) and was appointed Professor of Laboratory Animal Science. Since 2017, she and her research group SYRCLE, focusing on research and education in preclinical systematic reviews, have been integrated into the Department of Health Evidence. Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga was appointed Professor of Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science in 2017 and she was also appointed Honorary Skou Professor at Aarhus University, Denmark, in 2018. She will give 2 presentations: one on the relationship between the 3Rs and Systematic Reviews (14 May) and one on the 3R educational implementation pilot initiatives in the EU (15 May).



Oliver Stiedl


As Behavioral Neuroscientists and Chairman of the Animal Welfare Body of the VU University Amsterdam, he strongly support the 3R's principles in animal research with a particular interest in the refinement of translational behavioural approaches in animal models of emotional disorders and cognitive dysfunction. This includes a range of behavioural readouts partly obtained in refined home cage-based tests with the inclusion of physiological measures from ECG to EEG and advanced analytical tools including nonlinear measures. Here, I will present novel results from home cage-based tests to assess fear learning in mice with improved translational validity.



Anton Terasmaa


His doctoral thesis was on the characterization of dopamine receptor in rat models of Parkinson’s disease in the laboratory of Prof. Kjell Fuxe at the Karolinska Institutet. Later, at NIH/NIAAA his research was focused on the intracellular signalling in animal models of alcoholism. From 2008 until 2020, he worked at the University of Tartu, where his research was connected to the characterization of rodent models of Wolfram syndrome, a rare neurodegenerative disorder. 
According to 3R principle, the substitution of animal experiments with in-vitro models is strongly encouraged. However, significant biochemical discrepancies are often introduced into such in-vitro cell models, which consequently diminish the validity of preclinical research. The caveats of in-vitro models and possible ways to improve their validity will be discussed during the talk.


Vootele Võikar


Director of Mouse Behavioural Phenotyping Facility (Neuroscience Center, University of Helsinki)

PhD in physiology (2006). Research topics and interests: Application of genetically modified mice in behavioural neuroscience; the impact of environment, genetic background and sex on the behavioural phenotype and animal welfare; test batteries for behavioural screening; automated monitoring and analysis of behaviour in the animal home-cage; neuro-ethology.