"The scientists who designed and conducted this program have been unfairly accused and maligned in recent years, and this shows that their work meets the exacting standards required by federal regulators, as well as our own internal safeguards.
"They deserve our admiration and thanks for enduring these attacks and continuing their efforts at improving our understanding of spinal cord injuries," Rosol said.
The program in question is a federally supported project intended to teach researchers how to effectively use a specific animal model in studying the microscopic damage spinal cord injuries can cause, and to better assess potential treatments for such injuries.
"We are teaching other spinal cord injury researchers from around the world how to correctly use an animal model developed in our laboratory," explained Jacqueline Bresnahan, professor of neuroscience and head of the project.
"The end result will be a dramatic reduction in the numbers of animals required worldwide for this kind of research." Other research programs may lose as many as 60 to 70 percent of their animals during research. The rate of loss for Ohio State projects using this animal model never exceeds 2 percent, she said.
"By sharing our techniques with other researchers around the globe, we can reduce the number of animals required and, at the same time, enhance the quality of our discoveries, including those that lead to improved treatment for spinal cord injury."
Last month, the federal Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academies of Sciences, released a massive report calling for a national strategy to help physicians and scientists improve recovery from spinal cord injury.