Magda Castelhano-Carlos re-elected President of SPCAL

ICVS researcher and employee of the University of Minho School of Medicine, Magda Castelhano-Carlos, was re-elected President of the Portuguese Society of Laboratory Animal Sciences (SPCAL).

SPCAL celebrated its 20th anniversary at the 5th congress of this society, which for logistical reasons ended up having to be scheduled for dates at the beginning of 2024, taking place in Coimbra on the 25th and 26th of January at the University of Coimbra, under the theme “ LAS for all: Laboratories, Animals and Scientists” and including several areas of interest for everyone involved in the use of animals for scientific purposes, including researchers and vivarium professionals (directors, managers, veterinarians, technicians and keepers).

In a retrospective, Magda Castelhano-Carlos mentioned that in the mandate from 2021 to 2023, the objective of the SPCAL Management was to “retake the dynamics” of the Society in terms of scientific and training activities after the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as “strengthen the connection” of this Portuguese association with other international organizations related to Laboratory Animal Sciences.

As milestones of this mandate, it is worth mentioning the organization of SPCAL’s first scientific day, the implementation of an online exam platform for SPCAL’s online Theoretical Course that can be completed in any geographic location, as well as the resumption of courses practical, complementary to this theoretical training in institutions that need this help to train their researchers in Laboratory Animal Sciences – necessary training for anyone who needs to use animal models in scientific research. In 2022, SPCAL became a member of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Sciences (ICLAS) and in 2023 SPCAL signed the Transparency Agreement on Animal Research in Portugal.

For this new mandate, from 2023 to 2025, the ICVS researcher reiterates that “the focus is on continuing the work carried out so far and promoting even more growth of the Society, already starting a path with the objective of bringing to Portugal, in 2030, the largest European CAL congress”.

“All this work is obviously done as a team and I was and am fortunate to have managed to form two excellent teams that were very dedicated and dedicated to continuing SPCAL’s mission, promoting the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) in science with laboratory animals, contributing to continuing education in laboratory animal sciences. and promoting care for everyone involved, as well as communication within and outside the scientific community, with the competent national authority and other international organizations, with partner associations, and also with society in general”, reinforces Magda Castelhano-Carlos.
When we ask what motivates her, she says “I use my personal time in the activities of this association for science and affection for animals, trying to make my small contribution to animal welfare and the quality of science.”

The objective of SPCAL is to promote animal welfare and biomedical progress, through training, collaborations and interdisciplinary approaches between professionals involved in Laboratory Animal Sciences (CAL), and the dissemination and continuous improvement of a culture of care , as well as the harmonization and optimization of the use of laboratory animals while there are no viable alternatives.