The 3rd International Symposium on Systematic Reviews in Laboratory Animal Science to systematic review and meta-analysis of animal data was held in Washington, D.C.


We had an exciting program with eminent speakers describing why and how to use systematic review and meta-analysis, what can be learnt about therapeutic utility and disease biology by their application, and how we might adapt the available techniques to new fields of research and to the challenges of scientific resource allocation and of understanding and assimilation of an ever growing published literature.

We attracted methodological researchers at all career stages to present and discuss how data from animal studies might best be synthesised using these tools. Ultimately we aim to increase awareness of existing resources and provide a network of support; particularly for those inexperienced in the field.

We built on the success of previous years’ meetings held in Nijmegen and Edinburgh and continue the great progress we have made over the last couple of years in sharing, educating and discussing issues in the field.



The aims of preclinical systematic review and meta-analysis are to provide empirical evidence to improve animal welfare and the internal and external validity of preclinical studies, explore disease biology, and ultimately inform clinical trial design. The meeting will comprise of presentations from early career researchers through to well-established researchers in the field, spanning academia and industry. We also seek to capture the experience of those who have used similar approaches in the analysis of clinical studies.

The symposium will be composed of 8 scientific sessions spread over 2 days to stimulate discussion and address issues relating to recurring issues regarding the synthesis of existing data from animal studies that we believe exist across the life sciences.

Confirmed Speakers

David W. Howells, PhD
The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Thursday 13th November 09:00 - 09:30

Michael B. Bracken, PhD, MPH, FACE
Yale School of Public Health

Friday 14th November 11.15 – 12.00

Andrew S. Rice MBBS, PhD
Imperial College London

Friday 14th November 15:25 - 15:55

Shai Silberberg, PhD
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Thursday 13th November 15.50 - 16:30

Julian Elliott, PhD
Monash University

Friday 14th November 15:10 - 15:25

Malcolm R. Macleod, PhD, FRCP
University of Edinburgh

Thursday 13th Novermber 10:00- 10:15
Friday 14th November 8:30-8:50, 14:40-15:10

Emily Sena, PhD
University of Edinburgh

Thursday 13th November 10:15 - 10:30, 13:45 - 14:00
Friday 14th November 15:55 - 16:15

Gillian Currie, PhD
University of Edinburgh

Thursday 13th November 14:30 - 14:50

Tracey Woodruff, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Friday 14th November 08:50 - 09:10

Click on the session title for details

Thursday 13th November

08:30 - 08:50 | Registration
08:50 - 09:00 | Welcome (David Howells)
09:00 - 10:30 | Session 1: Components of a systematic review (Chair: Malcolm Macleod)
Time Speaker Title
09:00 - 09:30 David Howells Keynote 1: Why do systematic review and meta‐analysis?
09:30 - 09:45 Marc Avey A pre‐specified protocol
09:45 - 10:00 Judith van Luijk The search strategy
10:00 - 10:15 Malcolm Macleod Approaches to statistical analysis
10:15 - 10:30 Emily Sena Publication standards
10:30 - 11:00 | Morning Coffee
11:00 - 12:00 | Session 2: Examples of the use of systematic reviews (Chair: Emily Sena)
Time Speaker Title
11:00 - 11:15 Ralf Watzlawick Therapeutic interventions for spinal cord injury
11:15 - 11:30 Ana Antonic Stem cells across diseases
11:30 - 11:45 Nathalie Percie du Sert Opiate self administration
11:45 - 12:00 Theo Hirst Why animal models of gene therapy have let glioma patients down
13:00 - 14:00 | Session 3: Exciting new techniques for systematic review and meta‐analysis (Chair: Judith van Luijk)
14:00 - 14:30 | Afternoon Tea
14:30 - 16:30 | Session 4: Impact of bias at the bench and beyond (Chair: Andrew Rice)
Time Speaker Title
14:30 - 14:50 Gillian Currie Reduction ad nullita: Power and diminishing returns
14:50 - 15:10 Jeremy Howick Impact of risks of bias
15:10 - 15:30 Orestis Panagiotou Biases Across The Continuum of Animal Studies Translation
15:30 - 15:50 Eric Martens (Senior Editor, PLOS ONE) Mitigating risk of bias in publication
15:50 - 16:30 Shai Silberberg Keynote 2: The challenge for the neurosciences
16:30 - 17:00 | General Discussion (Chair: Malcolm Macleod)

Friday 14th November

08:30 - 9:50 | Session 5: Lessons for translation (Chair: Marc Avey)
Time Speaker Title
08:30 - 08:50 Malcolm Macleod SRMA in understanding the pathogenesis of MS
08:50 - 09:10 Tracey Woodruff SRMA in regulatory toxicology
09:10 - 09:30 Annette O’Connor SRMA in animal husbandry
09:30 - 09:50 Alison Booth PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews: An expanding resource
09:50 - 10:15 | Morning Coffee
10:15 - 12:00 | Session 6: New opportunities (Chair: Emily Sena)
Time Speaker Title
10:15 - 10:35 Greger Wegener Mental Health
10:35 - 10:55 Paul Garner Infectious diseases
10:55 - 11:15 Rob Stewart General anaesthesia
11:15 - 12:00 Michael Bracken Keynote 3: Evidence based medicine: A Cochrane Perspective
12:00 - 12:50 | Lunch & Launch of EBPM and its Help Desk (Chair: Jackie Jones (Wiley)/David Howells/Malcolm Macleod)
12:50 - 14:20 | Session 7: Exciting new data from animal experimentation (Chair: Tracy Woodruff)
14:20 - 14:40 | Afternoon Tea
14:40 - 16:15 | Session 8: Challenges for the future (Chair: Shai Silberberg)
16:15 - 16:45 | General discussion (Chair: Michael Bracken/Andrew Rice)
16:45 - 16:50 | Launch of CAMARADES centres (NED/UK/AUS/USA/CA)
16:50 - 17:00 | Invitation to next meeting

Registration is now closed.

This year the symposium will be held at the Embassy of Australia in Washington, D.C.

Embassy of Australia
1601 Massachusetts Ave
NW Washington D.C.

Please note that due to the fact that the symposium will be held at the Australian Embassy, you will be required to present a form of identification to enter the embassy.

Getting to the Embassy

The Embassy is easily accessible by a variety of options.


The following metro stations can be found nearest to the Embassy:
  • Dupont Circle (Red Line) at the intersection of Massachusetts and Connecticut Ave NW.
  • Farragut North (Red Line) on the corner of Connecticut and L St.
  • Farragut West (Blue and Orange Lines) on the corner of 18th and I St.
  • McPherson Square (Blue and Orange) on the corner of 15th and I St.

Local Bus Service

Buses S1 & S2 towards 16th and Colorado, and the S2 & S4 toward Silver Spring are your options if you would like to travel by bus.

Taxi Service

The major taxi service companies are Diamond Cab, Maine Cab Co of DC, MATS Taxi Cab, Car & Sedan Service, Taxi Transportation Service, Washingtonian Cab Company, Washington Flyer Taxi and Yellow Cab Company of DC in the area.


If you are travelling by a car, the closest parking to the Embassy is the Airline Pilots Association located two doors down from the Embassy. The next nearest location is on the corner of 15th and M St.

Staying in Washington, D.C.

Hotel accommodation is available and plentiful. The closest neighbourhoods to the Embassy are Downtown Washington, D.C. and Foggy Bottom. Hotels are also available in Capitol Hill and Arlington-Pentagon, located marginally further out from the Embassy. Airbnb is an alternative, more cut-rate option to hotels in the area.