From the Vice Provost for Research

Strengthening the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the University of Pennsylvania serves as the focal point of the institution's commitment to maintain the highest standards of animal care. The University recognizes the scientific and ethical responsibility for the humane care and use of animals involved in research and education, and enjoins all individuals involved to maintain the highest standards of animal care and consideration. This responsibility extends to investigators to protect the animals as well as comply with the specific requirements established and regulated by the sponsors of their research. The University of Pennsylvania recognizes and supports fully the IACUC, as the agent in its obligations for the humane care and use of animals. The IACUC is empowered to:

  • Assure all activities involving animals meet the ethical and legal requirements for humane care and use.
  • Maintain and promote an open and cooperative relationship with investigators and faculty, and the greater university community.
  • Educate the University of Pennsylvania community concerning the ethical and regulatory considerations for the humane care of animals.

The recent years of double-digit growth of research at the University placed severe strain on the system of laboratory animal oversight. In order to strengthen the IACUC, the Committee will undergo a reorganization of its regulatory oversight activities. Under the direction of Dr. Lawrence Soma, V.M.D., Chairman of the IACUC, and with new administrative support from the Office of Regulatory Affairs under the direction of Joseph R. Sherwin, Ph.D., the IACUC will significantly expand its federally mandated education and compliance inspection activity. This reorganization of the IACUC will include an increase in the committee membership and the establishment of several new subcommittees charged with specific education and review activities. These faculty-guided committees will provide the IACUC with assurance that faculty, staff, and students are complying with the standards of humane animal care established by local and federal agencies as well as independent accrediting bodies. The Chairman of the IACUC will continue to report directly to me.

The University of Pennsylvania Animal Care and Use Committee considers it a moral and ethical obligation to educate our community, both internal and external, on the importance of animals for research and teaching. As research continues to grow, so too will our commitment to review the quality of the infrastructure to support these activities. I know that I can depend on the support of the University Community in assisting the IACUC in its activities by complying with the standards of care and use established by the Committee.

--Ralph D. Amado, Vice Provost for Research

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 18, January 25, 2000