Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

  • A. Composition of IACUC

    The composition of the IACUC conforms to the standards set by the National Research Council, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Public Health Services (PHS under which is the NIH-OLAW). The Committee is composed of at least five members appointed by the Provost of the University along with at least two members elected by the Faculty Senate. The IACUC will report directly to the Institutional Official (IO) who shall be the campus Provost or the Representative for the Provost. Composition of the committee includes the following:

     

    • Member #1: the Veterinarian of Record (appointed by the Provost).
    • Member #2: Chair, oversees the program (appointed by Provost).
    • Member #3: a faculty member that is a non-scientist (elected by Faculty Senate and/or appointed by the Provost).
    • Member #4: a public member who represents community interests. Public member is not a laboratory animal user. The public member(s) is not affiliated with the institution and is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution (appointed by Provost).
    • Member #5: a practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals (elected by Faculty Senate and/or appointed by the Provost).
    • Additional members can be elected by the senate to obtain representation across the schools which have researchers working with animals.
    • The Research Conduct/Compliance Officer and the University Safety Office shall be unofficial but voting members of the committee (appointed by the Provost). (do we want to add Development Officer?)
    Each member is appointed for three years and may serve consecutive terms. The IACUC reports to the Institutional Official (IO) or his/her representative. 
     

     

    B. Roles and Responsibilities

    The IACUC is responsible for reviewing all research in which vertebrate animals serve as research subjects as well as the use of vertebrate animals in teaching. IACUC oversight covers all use of live vertebrate species in research and teaching, whether in the laboratory or in the wild as a part of field research. Once approved, the IACUC maintains continuing oversight of the approved projects on an on-going basis and requires an annual review and a complete resubmission on a triennial basis to both comply with the regulations as well as to vigilantly oversee the use of animals.

    Not only is the IACUC responsible for ensuring that the protocols conform to acceptable standards and regulations, it also ensures that the animal care program is in compliance. In this regard, the IACUC undertakes semi-annual program reviews and facilities inspections. This includes review and oversight over all animal use activities (research and teaching) as well as a review of IACUC policies and procedures to ensure continued adherence to the highest standards of animal care and use. The results of these reviews are communicated to the Institutional Official for his/her consideration and, as necessary, action. Additionally, the reports form the basis for the required annual reporting to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) and the USDA.

    As part of its charge, the IACUC is expected to oversee the program on a continual basis and to report problems to the Institutional Official who should report unapproved variances from the standards of animal care and use promptly to the oversight agencies.

    Its many responsibilities can be summarized under six main groupings:

     

    • Review, prior to their initiation, of all proposed projects at the university involving vertebrates; the review is conducted with respect to the humane care and use of animals and compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines;
    • Inspection of facilities where animals are housed or animal work is done;
    • Review and making recommendations regarding any aspect of the university's animal care program;
    • Ensuring the University's compliance with federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to animal use;
    • Setting general Saint Francis University policy on humane care and use of laboratory animals;
    • Collection of all reviews and inspection reports for use by the Provost in preparing the annual OLAW assurance update and semiannual inspection reports.
    Although the IACUC functions to ensure that animals are utilized in a humane fashion, the responsibility for this rests with those individuals performing the research; the principal investigator and staff. The IACUC serves an important function 1) to ensure the care and well being of research animals, and 2) to safeguard a researcher's privilege to use animals by protecting the principal investigator and the institution. The Committee is dedicated to maintaining an open dialogue with investigators to achieve these goals, and it is the Committee's hope that investigators will see it as a resource for this purpose.