FEB 06, 2014 08:00 AM PST

Education and training in Laboratory Animal Science a global priority

  • Professor, University Autonomous of Barcelona, USA
      Professor in Physiology, at the School of Veterinary Science, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB). Responsible for the education and training of personnel who use animals for scientific purposes. Course co-ordinator for three different training courses in laboratory animal science: FELASA category C course for scientists; UAB-ECLAM training program; and Master Course in Laboratory Animal Science and Welfare (FELASA Category D programme). Responsible of SIAL (Integrative services for laboratory animals) a service that acts as ICLAS Laboratory Animal Quality Network Distribution Center. President of the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science ICLAS. Chair of the FELASA Accreditation Board for Training and Education in Laboratory Animal Science. Coordinator of the ICLAS Network for Promoting Animal Quality in Research. Charter Diplomate of the European College for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ECLAM).). Principal Investigator of research projects since 1992. Responsible of a group of research on digestive diseases since 1999. Interests in research: neurogastroenterology, mast cells, microbiota, IBD, IBS.


    Education and training is closely linked to the quality of performance of all levels of LAS personnel and directly effects both the welfare of the animals used in research and the quality of research. However, looking globally, there are significant regional differences in the challenges and opportunities we face. Currently, the number of countries where research is carried out is continuously increasing and there is a global exchange of research results and of scientists. However, education and training in LAS is only well established in a few countries and we cannot achieve high standards of quality in science without the proper training of all categories of personnel involved in animal experimentation. For example, Europe and North America have well established training programs and, as in the case of AALAS and FELASA, well established schedules for certification and accreditation of the personnel and of the E&T programs respectively. There is also a network of laboratory animal medicine colleges (IACLAM) for the education and examination of veterinarians as a mechanism of veterinary specialization. We need to use all of these already existing programs and strategies to be able to respond to the demand for training, especially from emerging countries. In parallel, we also need to establish globally accepted systems of accreditation and certification in order to ensure high standards in both education and science. During this presentation the main current global initiatives and future challenges in laboratory animal science education and training will be discussed.

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