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Background / Rationale

The Wildling mouse model is a new preclinical model with a natural microbiome that can improve the generalizability and translational potential of preclinical findings by better reflecting human immune system interactions (Rosshart et al.). In this context, Charité 3R now funds the consortium C3RHeaD, bringing experimenters and meta-researchers together to systematically evaluate and validate the potential of this model as an alternative to the state-of-the-art animal models.


To evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of using Wildlings as an alternative to the current state-of-the-art animal models in biomedical research to make an evidence-based decision regarding the implementation of Wildling facilities at Charité.


The potential of Wildlings will be assessed through an experimental evaluation of external model validity in various established disease models, including influenza, lung infection, kidney injury, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer's, cancer, and stroke. We complement the consortium with a meta-research and support project that ensures robust evidence generation, high scientific rigor, and harmonization of procedures. Recapitulated disease characteristics in the Wildling model will be compared with their established disease model analogs and humans. Moreover, the efficacy of a given treatment -considering a different disease onset- and immune response to the treatment will be investigated.

Expected results / Implications / Perspectives

The interdisciplinary work environment will enable the consortium to gain knowledge on the potential of the Wildling model in a disease-dependent manner and generate evidence about its validity. The expected outcomes of this study are twofold: first, a knowledge gain on the potential of Wildling models in diseases, and second, a decision-making base for Faculty Management to decide about future capacities for Wildling models in the local housing facilities and beyond. The study will provide valuable insights for other medical centers interested in incorporating and validating a new disease model into their pre-clinical research.

Funder and cooperation partner

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(Kopie 2)

Dr. Natascha Drude

Research fellow - Responsible PrecliniX

Contact information
Phone:+49 30 450 543 454