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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

 

IACUC Membership Roster

Dr. Anthony C. Santucci (Chairperson) Psychology Dept.
Dr. Vahram Haroutunian, Department of Psychiatry; Bronx VA Medical Center and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
Dr. Wendy McFarlane, Biology Dept.
Dr. Sapan Parikh, Chemistry Dept.
Dr. Matthew Pauley, Political Science & Legal Studies Dept.
Fr. Wilfed Tyrell, Duchesne Center
Dr. Gary Yarnell, DVM, Rye Harrison Veterinarian Hospital

Purpose

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is an administrative body responsible for ensuring the humane care and treatment of animals used in research and instructional activities and for ensuring the safety and training of all animal use personnel. In accordance with the Animal Welfare Act and New York State laws and regulations, the IACUC at Manhattanville College is responsible for evaluating all research and instructional animal use protocols involving vertebrates, including fish and amphibians. It has the authority to approve, require modifications, or disapprove animal use protocols. The Committee is also responsible for investigating complaints that allege violation of animal use practices, including those practices which deviate from previously-approved animal use protocols. If violations of animal use practices are confirmed, the Committee has the sole responsible for imposing sanctions on the investigator including banning him or her from using animals in the future for instructional and research activities. The IACUC reports directly to the Institutional Officer for Animal Care and Use Issues. At Manhttanville College, the Provost serves in this position.

Membership

The Animal Welfare Act requires the IACUC to have at least 5 members and include at least one DVM (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals, one non-scientist, and one non-affiliated member. In consultation with the Chairperson of the IACUC, the Institutional Officer for Animal Care and Use Issues appoints the members of the Committee. At present, Manhattanville College's IACUC consists of 7 members (see above). The membership includes a small animal veterinarian in private practice locally, three practicing scientists experienced in research involving animals, a clergy member from the College's administration and a College Faculty member who holds a law degree whose primary concerns are in a non-scientific area, and one member not affiliated in any way with the institution.

Procedure

The IACUC meets several times per year. All meetings are documented with minutes and those minutes are then sent to the Institutional Officer for Animal Care and use Issues. At most meetings the IACUC deals with evaluating submitted animal use protocols. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. All principal investigators and their research assistants whose projects involve animal subjects must first successfully complete the computer-based training module on the use and care of laboratory animals. Access to this training Web site is supported by an annual subscription fee paid for by the College. The training is available at the CITI - Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative web site.

After completing the on-line training module, principal investigators submit a written Animal Use Protocol to Dr. Santucci at Anthony.Santucci@mville.edu (If you have difficulty downloading or completing the form, contact Dr. Santucci). The Chairperson, after circulating the submitted animal use protocol document to the members of the IACUC in electronic form, then convenes a meeting of the Committee at which a quorum needs to be present. The animal use protocol is discussed with regard to the following eight questions:

  1. Does the principal investigator ensure for the humane care and treatment of animals?
  2. Does the principal investigator ensure for the adequate training of all personnel involved in the execution of the animal use protocol?
  3. Are there alternative, non-animal approaches that can be used to instead?
  4. Has the principal investigator thoroughly reviewed the scientific literature so as to avoid unnecessary scientific duplication?
  5. Does the principal investigator use the minimal number of animals to ensure statistically reliable results?
  6. If the animal use protocol involves experimental procedures that induce pain and/or distress to the animal, what is the scientific rationale for including such procedures and into which USDA category does the pain/distress fall? How will the principal investigator eliminate (if possible) or minimize such pain and distress?
  7. Do the expected research and/or educational "benefits" exceed the "cost" of using live animals?
  8. Are there any ethical or moral objections to the proposed use of animals?

After vetting the animal use protocol, the Chairperson calls for a vote. Members may approve without modification, approve with modification, or disapprove the animal use protocol. The decision of the Committee is then transmitted to the principal investigator in writing. Decisions are typically rendered within two weeks of receipt of animal use protocols. A Committee member may not vote on his or her animal use protocol.

In addition to reviewing animal use protocols, the IACUC is also responsible for investigating complaints that allege animal use violations. Working closely with the Institutional Officer for Animal Care and Use Issues, the Committee conducts its own investigation including collecting testimony and evidence in the case. Once it is determined that there exists sufficient evidence to substantiate the alleged violation, the Chairperson of the IACUC then communicates the Committee's findings to the accused and offers the opportunity for him or her to respond to the Committee's findings including providing the Committee with contradictory evidence. Once this phase of the investigation is complete, the Committee then makes a final decision as to whether the individual in question violated animal use practices, and if so, what sanctions are to be imposed. All decisions made by the Committee are final and binding. Decisions are communicated both to the individual involved and Institutional Officer for Animal Care and Use Issues.

Additional information and animal use protocol forms can be obtained by contacting Dr. Santucci at Anthony.Santucci@mville.edu.