About the speaker
Emily is a Stroke Association Kirby Laing Foundation Senior Non-Clinical Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh. She is specialised in the validity of preclinical research. Her interests are in the use of meta-research approaches (research on research) to drive improvements in the validity, transparency and reproducibility of primary research using animal models of human diseases. Her work has informed laboratory practice guidelines, editorial policy and clinical trials design. Emily is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of BMJ Open Science and convenor of CAMARADES.
About the talk
Laboratory experiments of the life sciences are often conducted with the aim of improving human health. The translation of findings observed in preclinical animal studies to humans in a clinical setting has proven difficult in many areas. Discrepancies between the results of preclinical animal studies and human clinical trials, and limited reproducibility between laboratories, has in part been attributed to compromised internal and external validity of animal experiments, and the presence of publication bias. Meta-research approaches, including, systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical studies have proven to be useful tools in quantitatively estimating the impact of study quality and informing the design of clinical trials. The use and implementation of open science approaches may improve the quality and transparency of preclinical research but it is important the effect of these tools are assessed.
If preclinical studies are used to inform future research decisions in the life sciences their design, conduct and reporting must be rigorous and their results disseminated in an unbiased and timely manner. Improving our approach to preclinical practice and evidence based clinical trial design may improve translation from bench to bedside.