Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Roles and Responsibilities

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

Unit Role

Washington University has several entities responsible for assuring high standards of 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 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees and evaluates animal care and use programs, procedures, and facilities.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee coordinates​ with the Division of Comparative Medicine to provide communication, education, and training for researchers, staff, and new IACUC members and to assure that research involving animals is in compliance with all applicable Federal regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.

The IACUC reports to the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Principles, Standards, and Guidance

  • Promotes a culture of compliance and oversees adherence to Federal regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures instituted to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.
  • Oversees the development and implementation of institutional policies and procedures to assure the humane care and use of animals in research projects.

Education and Awareness

  • Develops and implements educational programs and tools to effectively train researchers, staff, and students participating in research involving animal subjects.

Administration and Management

  • Represents the University to Federal regulatory agencies.
  • Develops and maintains electronic systems and technology solutions related to administration of animal studies research.
  • Recruits and appoints or recommends the appointment of members to serve on the IACUC.

Institutional Oversight

  • Reviews and approves, disapproves, or requires changes to protocols or proposed changes to protocols for all research involving live animals.
  • Reviews all research, research training, and biological testing activities involving vertebrate animals and notifies the Principal Investigator of results.
  • Reviews and advises the Vice Chancellor for Research semi-annually on the status of the University’s animal care and use program.

Monitoring

  • Monitors the care and treatment of animal research subjects to help assure compliance with Federal regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Monitors open research protocols to help ensure that an approved and active protocol is obtained and maintained for the duration of the research project.

Noncompliance

  • Investigates and assists in resolving instances of non-compliance associated with animal studies research.
  • Supports and endorses cooperation with University compliance and monitoring efforts and reports instances of noncompliance to the appropriate compliance office.
  • Authorizes the suspension or termination of approved research that is not being conducted in accordance with IACUC requirements or Federal regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.
  • Notifies appropriate individuals and entities of actions to suspend or terminate research that is not being conducted in accordance with IACUC requirements, Federal regulations, and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.

Coordination Among Entities

  • Coordinates with the facilities management departments regarding the design, construction, and renovation of animal housing facilities, provides animal facility access control and monitors local animal rights activities.
  • Coordinates with Environmental Health and Safety to help ensure 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 Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee to help ensure that animal research protocols involving recombinant DNA and infectious or hazardous agents have been reviewed and approved in accordance with Federal, State, and local regulations and University and sponsoring agency policies and procedures.

Records and Reporting

  • Creates and maintains records for all IACUC proceedings.
  • Prepares and submits Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) assurance statements in accordance with Federal regulations.