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PRESS RELEASE: Moredun scientist awarded prestigious International 3Rs Prize

Dr Francesca Nunn of the Moredun Research Institute has been awarded the International 3Rs Prize by the National Centre Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs).

This prestigious prize, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline plc. (GSK), is awarded annually to the author of primary research published in an international peer-reviewed journal that describes outstanding and original work that has, or could have, major impacts on the replacement, reduction or refinement of the use of animals in research.

Dr Nunn says:

“It's an honour to be awarded this prize and on behalf of all the authors, I thank the NC3Rs and GSK for their consideration and support. The study was very much a team effort, from first concept of the device to its optimisation as well as experimental design and data analysis with our colleagues at BIOSS.”

Dr Nunn’s work has focused on the reduction and refinement aspects of the 3Rs. Her team have produced a technology which allows the assessment of new products and vaccines to control poultry red mites in hens while greatly reducing the numbers of hens required for such studies. It also limits the exposure of hens to small numbers of the parasites over short periods of time (3 hours), instead of the hens potentially being continually exposed to many thousands of mites for several weeks.

Dr. Alasdair Nisbet, Head of Vaccine and Diagnostic development at Moredun says:

“This is a great honour and a just reward for Fran and the team who have really focused our efforts on the enhanced health and welfare of livestock and the refinement and reduction of animals in research across the sector”.

Poultry red mites are one of the most important parasites of laying hens globally with over 80% of European facilities affected costing the industry in excess of €231 million per year. There is therefore a great deal of research activity internationally to develop new methods of controlling this parasite. Multiple groups worldwide in both academic and commercial research can use the new technology developed by this team to impact on the numbers, health and welfare of hens used in these studies.


You can view the winning study here:

Nunn F. et al. (2019): A novel, high-welfare methodology for evaluating poultry red mite interventions in vivo
Veterinary Parasitology 67:42-46


You can read the full press release from NC3Rs here: International prize awarded to two pieces of novel research in the 3Rs





For further information, please contact:

Dr Amy Tyndall
Communications Officer
The Moredun Group
E: [email protected]


Moredun Research Institute conducts internationally recognised research on the infectious diseases of livestock, caused by important viruses, bacteria and parasites. It employs 170 scientists, vets and support staff who continue to help find solutions for major challenges to modern farming such as the consequences of a changing climate; ensuring safe and sustainable food and water supplies conserving biodiversity and finding solutions to infectious disease. Today, many of the veterinary medicines and vaccines that are routinely used on farm have either been researched, developed or tested at Moredun. More information about the work of Moredun Research Institute can be found at https://www.moredun.ac.uk/