An official journal of the Society for Biology of Reproduction and the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research of Polish Academy of Sciences in Olsztyn

March 2014 (No. 1)

International symposium on „Animal models for human health”

Adam Ziecik a, Barbara Jana a, Nafis A. Rahman b,*

a Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Olsztyn, Poland

b Department of Physiology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

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We were very happy to be able to organize the international symposium on ‘‘Animal models for human health’’ that took place on June 7–8, 2013, in Lansk, Poland. One of the major themes of this meeting was to increase the awareness of using animal models for quality medical research in order to improve human health. Fundamental issues included the validity and limits of animal models, the key differences between models/species as human disease models, as well as the development of animal models that better mimic human disease to truly drive forward preventive and therapeutic advances. Experimental animal models for diseases, such as diabetes, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and inflamma-tion were discussed. Conference summarized the major advances in the use of currently available animal models in the research dedicated to the human health prevention and therapeutic strategies. The conference location was Lansk, a beautiful resort located 22 km from Olsztyn, in the middle of a deep forest along the shores of Lanski Lake, a famous place over the past decades for fishing, hunting, horse riding, bird watching and hiking. Our choice of this special location was prompted by our strong desire to give the participants the warm flavor and very peaceful ‘‘long sunny June days’’ beauty of the Polish Masurian Lake district, one of the most famous lake districts in Central Europe and a popular vacation spot, with the highest number of visitors every year. Moreover our congress-participants found the place excellent for jogging and boat rowing. This conference was organized with the support of the 7th Framework Programme project entitled ‘‘Unlocking the po-tential of the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research for strengthening integration with the European Research Area and regional development’’ (FP7-REGPOT-2010- 1-264103). The symposium attracted about 100 participants and consisted of 17 invited lectures. In addition to the lectures, several posters were on display during the entire symposium. Majority of our participants were of medical or biological backgrounds. The informal and cozy atmosphere during the meeting provided ample possibilities for discussion and interaction with the established scientists in the specific fields. We hope that this publication of the symposium proceed-ings in a special issue of Reproductive Biology will ensure a broader knowledge of the valuable information presented during the symposium. We wish to thank the participants and the speakers to make the symposium so successful. Special thanks also goes to the local organizing committee as without them this symposium would have serious troubles to come into reality.

Reproductive Biology 2014 14 1: 2.

* Corresponding author. e-mail addresses: (NAR); (AZ); (BJ)