FEB 08, 2018 12:00 PM PST
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Measuring Laboratory Animal and Human Patient Outcomes in the Same Way
Presented at the Laboratory Animal Sciences 2018 Virtual Event
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  • Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University
      Dr. Jamie Ahloy Dallaire received his B.Sc. in Biology from McGill University (2004-2007), in Montréal, Québec, then went on to study fundamental and applied ethology with Dr. Georgia Mason at the University of Guelph, in Ontario. There, his M.Sc. work (2008-2011) pertained to abnormal repetitive behaviors, environmental enrichment, and animal welfare in American mink and in Asiatic black bears. In his doctoral research (2011-2015), Dr. Ahloy Dallaire studied the developmental effects and evolutionary functions of play in mink and in lambs. Since 2015, he has been working on automated behavioral assessment of pain in laboratory mice, with Dr. Joseph Garner in the Department of Comparative Medicine at Stanford University. Since 2017, he has additionally been working on barbering and ulcerative dermatitis in laboratory mice as models of trichotillomania and skin-picking disorder, and planning a first-in-human clinical trial of a therapeutic candidate in collaboration with UCLA clinician researchers. He also frequently collaborates with animal researchers and clinical scientists on aspects of experimental design and statistical analysis, to help them conduct powerful and informative experiments.

      In terms of fundamental ethology, Dr. Ahloy Dallaire's research interests include animal play as well as using behavior to assess emotions, motivation, and welfare in animals. In terms of applied ethology, Dr. Ahloy Dallaire's current work aims to decrease the negative impacts of biomedical research on laboratory animal welfare, and to deliver better outcomes for human patients through improved research. He believes that good welfare makes for good science, and that these two goals can be achieved in conjunction through a focus on the 3Rs (hhttp://nc3rs.org.uk/the-3rs).


    The translation gap in biomedical research can be attributed in part to differences in how outcomes are assessed in preclinical research and in the clinic. Reasons for these mismatches include that "gold standard" human health outcomes such as self-reported emotional states may be inaccessible in animals, and that the context in which measurements are taken may affect what they actually tell us about a patient. We will discuss potential solutions for obtaining results from animals that are genuinely analogous to human outcomes, including techniques for "near" self-report, and how automated testing in the home cage can make the context of measurement more human-like by allowing subjects to voluntarily participate in the experiment when motivated to do so.

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