The Animal Model of Human Disease - A Core Concept of Medical Research: Historical Origins, Significant Manifestations and some Implications
הציבור מוזמן להרצאתו של Volker Roelcke במסגרת סמינר המחקר של מכון כהן להיסטוריה ופילוסופיה של המדעים והרעיונות, ביום ב', 1.4.2019, בשעה 18:00, בבניין גילמן, חדר 449, אוניברסיטת תל אביב.
The Animal Model of Human Disease – A Core Concept of Medical Research: Historical Origins, Significant Manifestations and some Implications
The study of animal models of human diseases is an essential method of biomedical research used to understand disease mechanisms and to develop effective interventions. The underlying idea is that phenomena and processes observed in laboratory experiments on suitable animal models may be used to predict intended effects and hazards of interventions in humans. The knowledge derived from such laboratory experiments is claimed to be highly valid. Nevertheless, the final transfer of such knowledge from the animal model to human beings to start clinical trials is associated with some risk, as regular cases of massive failure document. The lecture will describe three exemplary historical cases of such failure and look into various types of explanations of the involved actors. Following this, the origins of the idea of an animal model of human disease in the laboratory of Julius Cohnheim (Breslau) in the mid-19th century will be reconstructed. Cohnheim’s explicit reservations will be employed to better understand the intrinsic limitations of the concept and its precarious validity. In conclusion, the concept of the animal model is used to draw attention to scientists’ strategies of turning precarious (“weak”) into “strong” knowledge.