National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS), Center for Biological Safety and Research (CBSR)

Center for Biological Safety and Research

In light of the major social issue of chemical substances in our living environment, such as thalidomide, arsenicum, methyl mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyl, that cause harm to human health, the Center for Biological Safety and Research (CBSR) was established in 1978 as a research facility to investigate the safety of chemical substances and their effects on living organisms, particularly from a neutral standpoint. The CBSR currently comprises five research divisions (Cellular and Molecular Toxicology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Genetics and Mutagenesis, and Risk Assessment) and Experimental Animal Facility. Its mission is to research and test the safety of work-environmental-related substances, such as chemical substances, food, and medicinal products using biological resources (such as experimental animals and cells) and to conduct comprehensive safety assessments, including toxicity prediction methods based on scientific grounds. In addition, based on the spirit of the “3Rs” (reduction, refinement, and replacement) of animal welfare and to respond to international trends on how to appropriately conduct animal experiments, the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM) was established in 2005. The JaCVAM cooperates with various related facilities within and outside Japan to conduct activities to promote the use of alternative methods for animal experiments.