Invited and workshop speakers

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.

Workshop speakers

Lars Bräutigam


The zebrafish has been the central animal model in my research for more than 15 years. After completing a PhD in redox biology and working as a project leader in translational medicine, I was appointed as Director of the zebrafish core facility at Karolinska Institutet in 2018. The facility is the largest in the Nordic countries and serves more than 40 internal and external research groups. We moved into a new state-of-the-art facility in early 2020 providing high-end infrastructure and competence to the research community.

My workshop will cover central aspects of designing and running a zebrafish facility and discuss routines for importing and exporting, breeding and strain management. Additionally, I will provide recommendations for health management and monitoring.



Paul Flecknell


Paul Flecknell has worked in the field of laboratory animal anaesthesia and analgesia for over 35 years, and will present a workshop on the assessment and alleviation of animal pain, and a seminar providing an overview of best practice in anaesthesia and analgesia, with a particular emphasis on recent developments in this field.

Paul is a graduate of Cambridge Veterinary School and has specialist qualifications in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia, and in laboratory animal medicine, and a PhD in physiology. He is an Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University, having retired from the role of Director of the animal facilities in 2017.



Rafael Frias


Rafael is a veterinarian (University of Murcia, Spain, 1999), with a master’s degree in laboratory animal science and welfare (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain, 2007). He is a doctor in veterinary medicine (2013) and a docent (associate professor) of laboratory animal science (2017) by the University of Helsinki, Finland. Since 2016, he is Head of Education and Director of the Unit for Education and Training in Laboratory Animal Science, Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, where he educates and trains in LAS to over approx. 1 500 participants/year. Rafael is an External Expert for the FELASA Board of Education and Training, Member of the ETPLAS Working Group on Assessment of Practical Skills, Board Member of ESLAV, Member of the NCLASET Program Committee.



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.



Invited speakers

David Anderson


He is a veterinary surgeon with over thirty years experience in practice, academia and government service.  He worked initially in a University teaching environment before he joined the UK Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate.

Since 2011, as a veterinary advisor for PMS, he has provided technical support to the European Commission during the transposition of the new European Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.

He is a Vice-President of Institute of Animal Technologists, immediate Past President of Laboratory Animal Science Association and a current member of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Association Council.


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.



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 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.



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).



Tuul Sepp


Tuul Sepp works as a researcher of animal ecology at the University of Tartu. Her studies mainly focus on evolutionary ecology, and anthropogenic impacts on wild animals. Recently, she spent two years as a Marie Sklodowska Curie fellow at the Arizona State University, USA, studying urbanization of birds. She has received various awards for her activity in science outreach. In 2019, she was awarded the L´Oreal Baltic fellowship “For Women in Science”. She currently serves as the Vice-president of the Estonian Young Academy of Sciences.

The presentation will focus Tuul Sepp's experimental studies with wild animals, in particular, birds. She will give an overview of ethical aspects related to wild animal studies and her experiences with obtaining ethical permits for animal studies in the USA and Estonia.



Oliver Stiedl


As Behavioral Neuroscientists and Chairman of the Animal Welfare Body of the VU University Amsterdam I strongly support the 3R's principles in animal research with a particular interest in refinement of translational behavioral approaches in animal models of emotional disorders and cognitive dysfunction. This includes a range of behavioral readouts partly obtained in refined home cage-based tests with an 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.



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.