FEB 06, 2014 10:00 AM PST

Refinement of rodent anesthesia through the appropriate selection and use of physiological monitoring

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  • Global Head, Animal Welfare and Compliance Training, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
      Dr. Szczepan Baran is the Global Head, Animal Welfare and Compliance Training at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

      Dr. Baran received a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from the University of Delaware, a Veterinary Medical Doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a Master of Science in Comparative Medicine from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine.

      In 2005, he joined Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center where he was a member of the team that discovered the first canine embryonic stem cells. Then in 2007 Dr. Baran founded and became COO of the Veterinary Bioscience Institute before his current employment at Novartis.

      Dr. Baran founded the LinkedIn group "Laboratory Animal Science and Medicine," the largest group in this field. He also served as, Graduate Course Director, Drexel University College of Medicine, Assistant Professor at Delaware Valley, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine and most notably as Director at Large for the Academy of Surgical Research as well as a Board Member of Americans for Medical Progress.

      His research interests include use of microfluidics in safety pharmacology and toxicology, the development and validation of online surgical training programs, and the development and validation of rodent endoscopic procedures. Dr. Baran's hobbies include boxing, micro-facial expressions and psychology of adolescent communication.


    The proper surgical techniques represent a key opportunity to improve the welfare of laboratory rodents, while meeting legal and ethical obligations. Use of inappropriate or poor surgical technique requires a large number of animals, and in some instances introduces a high degree of morbidity and mortality, thereby increasing study variability and number of animals required. A recent increase in validations of inanimate surgical training tools has enabled the implementation of inanimate tools for training and competency assessment. Proper surgical technique improves animal welfare, decreases inter-animal variability, decreases expense and improves data yield. Inanimate based training is an integral part of clinical surgical training. However, the effectiveness of this type of training is as dependent on the manner in which it is implemented and delivered as it is on the inanimate object being used. In this presentation, specific inanimate tools will be identified that may assist trainers in optimizing the effects of inanimate-based training. These elements include scenario design, feedback, and conditions of practice. Specific guidelines for inanimate-based surgical training will be provided. This lecture will compare various inanimate surgical training tools, and describe the utilization of these tools in training and competency assessment. This information will be presented by summarizing our current studies addressing competency assessment. Justification, regulatory compliance processes, as well as the equipment and training required to establish and implement inanimate training into a surgery program will be discussed with a hope that this lecture will encourage IACUC personnel, investigators, veterinarians, surgical and veterinary technicians and research staff to consider and investigate the potential of these techniques to enhance research support capabilities and improve animal welfare.

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