Animals in Research

Many diseases that plagued the globe are now preventable, treatable or have been eradicated because of medical research involving animals.

In fact, when you take antibiotics, get a vaccine, a blood transfusion, dialysis or chemotherapy, you’re able to do so because of animal testing and research. Practically every drug, treatment, medical device, diagnostic tool or cure in place today was developed with the help of laboratory animals.

We at UTMB realize that there are organizations that oppose the use of animals in research but such research is necessary and required to improve human health. Scientists worldwide believe that halting scientific research that involves animals is unrealistic and would greatly reduce medical advances and discoveries.

Mouse sitting on gloved hand

The important role of laboratory animals in research and discovery

UTMB is a major research university dedicated to improving human and animal health through medical discoveries. Some of the most important laboratory work on campus involves the use of research animals. And, as required by the federal government, potential therapeutics such as vaccines must be tested on animals before they can be offered to patients.

We want you to know that researchers can’t arbitrarily decide to use animals in their studies; they must meet and maintain a strict set of rules to ensure that animals are treated humanely. UTMB is committed to responsible and ethical research that is overseen by highly-skilled veterinarians, federal and state agencies.

Why is it necessary to use animals?

UTMB embraces what is known as the “3Rs” -
replace, refine and reduce. Learn more.

Thank animal research for COVID-19 vaccines

"Thanks to vaccines developed via animal research, an end to the pandemic is finally in sight. Animal research can deliver the treatments and therapies we’ll need to combat the next public health crisis, too — if we let it."

Read the full op-ed written by Matthew R. Bailey and published Jan. 6, 2021 in the Houston Chronicle.