New Investigator Resources

Welcome to Washington University! If you plan to conduct animal research as a Principal Investigator, we have gathered some resources to help you get started. All links require a WUSTL key (What is a WUSTL Key?). If you do not have a WUSTL key, ask your department business administrator. Please feel free to contact the IACUC Office at any point in the onboarding process with any questions you may have.

Helpful Links and Webpages

Determine When a Protocol is Necessary
A protocol is necessary when any live vertebrate animal is produced for or used in research, testing, or teaching. A useful guidance document if you are unsure as to whether your research constitutes a need for an IACUC protocol.

Begin Working with Live Vertebrate Animals
Helpful step-by-step guidance for the process of getting started with new live animal research at Washington University. The document also includes contact information for Environmental Health and Safety and the Division of Comparative Medicine.

Lab Animal Management & Protocol System (LAMPS)
Before you begin work on your protocol take a moment to review the information on this website for new investigators. Protocol resources include the Researcher Handbook and quick guidance for adding new personnel to your protocol.

Animal Care and Use Website
Resource page for Washington University IACUC policies and procedures, How-to Documents, and helpful contact links.

How to Transfer Your Animal Colony to WashU
Our goal is to help make your transition as smooth as possible. New faculty members with active animal colonies moving to WashU have several options for transferring animals to the Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) Facilities. The options presented in this link are designed to meet regulatory and institutional requirements.

Acquire Animals – Investigators
All new animal acquisitions and transportation must be processed through the DCM Procurement Office. This link includes guidance for animal ordering and delivery processes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit my IACUC protocol before I arrive at WashU?

Yes! We encourage investigators to submit the IACUC protocol as soon as possible. The committee can review the protocol prior to your arrival. The IACUC cannot approve the protocol until your official start date, but if you submit early, your animal research can begin on your first day at WashU.

What do I need to do if I use Hazardous Chemicals, Infectious, or Radioactive Materials?

The Environmental Health and Safety website has guidance and contact information. Any materials associated with your animal research must be listed in an approved Institutional Biological and Chemical Safety Committee Protocol prior to IACUC protocol approval.

Do I have to wait for IBC approval in order to submit my IACUC protocol?

No. Although the IBC approvals must be in place before we can approve your IACUC protocol, the two protocols can be submitted and reviewed in parallel. We recommend submitting your IBC and IACUC protocols at the same time for the fastest and most efficient approval.

Where will my animals be housed?

The Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) is a separate department and maintains all animal facilities at Washington University. Please contact the DCM representative listed below prior to importing animals to discuss your lab’s housing space requirements and special research needs.

Ken Boschert
Associate Director, Division of Comparative Medicine,
Director for Animal Health Operations

How do I gain access to DCM animal facilities?

Once your protocol has been approved and your animals specifically assigned to a housing location, follow the Access Animal Facilities step by step guidance in order to gain access to the animal facilities.

How should I approach my protocol Flowchart?

The protocol flowchart is an important experimental snapshot reflecting all proposed animal experiments in your protocol. The flowchart should include all procedures, the chronological sequence from start to humane endpoint, and timing of manipulations that experimental animals will undergo during that sequence. Your flowchart can be demonstrated descriptively or by illustration. Click on the HELP tab at the top of the Lay Summary Section of the LAMPS protocol for great flow chart examples. 

Are there additional in-person resources for help with my protocol?

The IACUC is happy to offer additional guidance for protocol preparation, flow chart suggestions, submission pre-review, and navigating LAMPS. Please contact the IACUC personnel below to schedule.

Meredith Moore
Director, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Allison Overmyer
Manager, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Where Can I Obtain Controlled Substances for my Animal Research Projects?

After a successful background check with Washington University Human Resources, individuals are eligible to order Schedule II-V Controlled Substances using the Washington University umbrella DEA license. Controlled substance purchases under the WashU license should be made through the DCM Stockroom (purchase instructions included). Following the first purchase request, the IACUC will schedule a short orientation of rules and guidelines associated with controlled substances at Washington University. Laboratories that are not part of the contiguous WashU campus, such as Cortex, Danforth, VIR, or University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy, operate under different provisions so please contact the IACUC Office for specific guidelines.

I work with Schedule I controlled substances (e.g. heroin, LSD, ecstasy). Can I order them through the DCM Stockroom?

No. Investigators using Schedule I controlled substances will need to get an individual DEA license to purchase and perform research studies involving these drugs. See the Procedures for the Use of Controlled Substances in Laboratory Animal Research page for more details.

Still Have Questions? Schedule a Site Initiation Visit!

Following your protocol approval, you will be contacted with an offer to participate in the IACUC Site Initiation Program (SIV). In the SIV, we meet with you and your staff to review your protocol, discuss the inspection process, and answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions prior to the SIV contact the IACUC staff below.

Nicholas Benshoff
Training Coordinator, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee