FEB 04, 2016 12:00 PM PST

Optimizing reproducibility in animal studies through assurance of animal welfare

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  • Corporate Vice President, Global Animal Welfare, Charles River Laboratories
      Dr. Brown is currently Corporate Vice President, Global Animal Welfare, at Charles River. She is board certified in laboratory animal medicine with both ACLAM and ECLAM. From 1982-1990, Dr. Brown directed a large experimental surgical facility at the University of Illinois/Chicago, where she also served as Associate Director of the Biologic Resources Laboratory. She was the Director of the Dartmouth College Animal Care and Use Program and Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology of the Dartmouth Medical School from 1990-2002. While at Dartmouth, she served as Chairperson of the Faculty Advisory Board of the Ethics Institute.

      Dr. Brown has over 30 publications in various areas of laboratory animal care and use, including several chapters in the National Agriculture Library's publication "Essentials for Animal Research" and has served as author and editor in the ACLAM Book Series. She served on the AVMA Panel on Research Animal Surgery and was on the ILAR committee to revise the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals in 1996. She has been particularly interested in the areas of surgery, anesthesia, IACUC functions, humane endpoints, ethics and animal welfare.

      Since beginning her work in the field of lab animal medicine she has worked closely with many local and national organizations. These include, AVMA; APV; AALAS; Association of Women Veterinarians (past president); ASLAP (Board of Directors); ACLAM (Board of Directors, Certification Oversight Committee, ACLAM Foundation Advisory Committee), ECLAM (Foundation Board of Directors, Credentials Committee); ESLAV (Board of Directors), Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (Advisory Board), Scientists Center for Animal Welfare (Board of Trustees); and AAALAC (Council on Accreditation and Board of Trustees). Dr. Brown is also one the foundation faculty of the highly successful IACUC 101.


    Working with animals carries legal, scientific and ethical responsibilities.  These responsibilities merge as we strive to humanely use the least number of animals necessary to provide the most robust scientific data possible.  Attention to animal welfare not only serves the interest of the animal, it also minimizes negative impact of animal distress on the scientific results.  Decreasing the confounding effects of stress on experimental results not only leads to more valid results, it can also lead to less variability and thus result in the need for fewer animals in a study.
    This presentation will review some of the biologic effects of stress and discuss stressors which may be present in a study and strategies to refine our work with animals to mitigate those stressors.  The details of experimental refinements must be included in reporting scientific results to maximize scientific reproducibility.

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