The Role of the IACUC in the Design and Conduct of Animal Experiments that Contribute to Translational Success.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUCs) have a mandated role under the Animal Welfare Act and under Public Health Service Policy to assure the ethical and humane use of research animals in experiments conducted in the United States. The IACUC by virtue of its mandated functions is well positioned to help nurture an institutional culture of optimized animal use since this Committee is often responsible in large part for the culture of animal use that evolves within an institution. In addition to fostering a culture of humane care for research animals and a culture of working with the concepts of the 3Rs (refinement, reduction, replacement), the IACUC can help foster a culture of optimized animal use that encourages high quality reproducible studies that contribute to translational success. In part this is achieved when the IACUC is successful in encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration early and often within the animal use community it serves. Unfortunately in some instances the institutional research community may envisage the IACUC as a bureaucratic burden, regulatory necessity, and compliance tool more than a group that enhances the methodology and quality of animal experiments. A well-functioning IACUC should strive to nurture an institutional culture that places value in enhancing the scientific quality of research to help assure the reproducibility of animal studies and translational success of animal models. This is integral to both high quality science as well as excellence in the supporting animal care and use.
Everitt, JI; Berridge, BR
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