Division of Comparative Medicine Roles and Responsibilities

Unit Role
Principles, Standards, and Guidance
Education and Awareness
Administration and Management
Institutional Oversight
Monitoring
Noncompliance
Coordination Among Entities
Records and Reporting

Unit Role

Washington University has several entities that share responsibility for assuring humane animal care and use for all research that is funded through Washington University and/or that involves animals that are housed at Washington University. The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) is responsible for providing routine animal husbandry, veterinary clinical care, and professional, technical, and facilities support for all animal research projects. In addition, DCM coordinates with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to provide communication, education, and training for researchers, staff, and new IACUC members and to assure that research involving animals is in compliance with Federal regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.

DCM reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Principles, Standards, and Guidance

  • Promotes a culture of compliance and oversees adherence to all federal regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.
  • Coordinates with the IACUC to develop and implement institutional policies and procedures to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.

Education and Awareness

  • Provides veterinary advice regarding animals, animal models, and experimental design to faculty and staff involved in animal subject research.
  • Provides veterinary advice regarding anesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia/humane endpoints.
  • Develops and implements educational programs and tools to effectively train faculty and staff participating in research involving animal subjects.
  • Participates in community outreach initiatives to educate the public about science and the importance of animal research.
  • Coordinates with other educational programs within the University to raise awareness regarding the importance of animal research.
  • Coordinates with educational institutions within the community to train veterinary technicians in laboratory animal medicine and provide students with extern- and internship opportunities.

Administration and Management

  • Represents the university to federal regulatory agencies and accrediting organization.
  • Coordinates and oversees the purchase of all animals used in university research projects.
  • Maintains an animal health surveillance and disease prevention program.
  • Coordinates and oversees all animal transfers and shipments within and outside the University.
  • Establishes costs for purchasing and maintaining research animals.
  • Determines long-term animal housing space needs.
  • Manages all financial accounting for animal husbandry, professional, and technical charges.

Institutional Oversight

  • Provides veterinary reviews for all institutional animal care and use protocols.
  • Assists in the development and periodic review of animal and use guidelines and policies.

Monitoring

  • Oversees the conduct of research to assure compliance with federal regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.
  • Coordinates with the IACUC to perform inspections of all animal housing facilities and monitor the care and treatment of animal research subjects to assure compliance with federal regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Researches and inspects potential animal vendors to assure that their animal health and welfare standards comply with federal, state, and local regulations and university policies and procedures.

Noncompliance

  • Supports and endorses cooperation with university compliance and monitoring efforts and reports instances of noncompliance to the appropriate compliance office.
  • Coordinates with the IACUC to investigate instances of non-compliance related to animal welfare.

Coordination Among Entities

  • Coordinates with the facilities management department regarding the design, construction, and renovation of animal housing facilities.
  • Coordinates with Environmental Health and Safety to assure that all health and safety issues related to animal research protocols are addressed in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Coordinates with Environmental Health and Safety to assure that animal research protocols involving recombinant DNA have been reviewed and approved in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Coordinates with Occupational Health Services to ensure appropriate vaccinations and health screens for all employees (DCM and researcher) with animal contact.
  • Coordinates with Medical Public Affairs to answer questions from the press or the general public about animal research at Washington University.
  • Coordinates with Protective Services to limit access to, monitor entrance/exit of, and secure all buildings housing animals.
  • Coordinates with Radiation Safety to ensure that animal research protocols involving the use of irradiation or radioactive substances have been reviewed and approved in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations, and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.

Records and Reporting

  • Coordinates with the IACUC to fulfill animal health and welfare reporting requirements in accordance with federal regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Maintains animal health and welfare records in accordance with federal regulations and university and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Maintains controlled substances records in accordance with federal and state regulations.