The awardees, who will both receive €50,000, were selected from 16 applicants. The prize will be awarded on November 23, 2018 on the occasion of the opening of the new research centre „Charité 3R – Replace, Reduce and Refine“ in Berlin by DFG-vice president Prof. Dr. Katja Becker.
Prof. Dr. Fritsche receives the prize for the development of an in vitro developmental neurotoxicity test system intended to replace a regulatory animal test. The test is based on neurospheres cultured from human stem cells. The prize money will be invested in the further development of the test in collaboration with the European Food Safety Authority.
Dr Dr Noori receives the prize for his use of "big data" in neurobiology to reduce animal experiments. Using new approaches from mathematics, data mining and machine learning, data from neurobiological research projects on almost 150,000 rats performed during the last decades was mined to elucidate the biochemical processes in the rat brain. The results, made available in two open access databases, allow the in silico analysis of research questions without new animal experiments or the planning of more stringent animal experiments.