FEB 04, 2016 10:30 AM PST

Reproducibility of Animal Studies - An Animal Welfare/Ethical Perspective

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  • Director of Operations, Absorption Systems
      Vatsala Naageshwaran is Director of Operations of Absorption Systems. Prior to joining Absorption Systems she has worked for several biotechnology / pharmaceutical companies as a research scientist with experience in drug discovery, assay validation, and product development. As Director of Operations Vatsala manages the West Coast facility of Absorption Systems located in San Diego. She oversees scientific and business operations for the Medical Device, Ocular, PK and Toxicology business verticals offered at this site. She continues to also oversee and expand business operations in India. Previously as Associate Director of Scientific Operations she has collaboratively helped drive research and expansion of CellPortTM, Absorption Systems' exclusive drug transporter technology. As Associate Director she managed a team of account and business managers while maintaining oversight of key high value company accounts.

      Since she joined the company in 2008, Vatsala has made presentations and performed workshops on behalf of Absorption Systems at various conferences and scientific forums including the 2011 Fall Symposium organized by the Delaware Valley Drug Metabolism Group (DVDMG), IQPC's Clinically Relevant Drug Transporters Conference in 2011 and 2012 and Disso India in 2013. She is on the scientific committee of SPDS (Society for Pharmaceutical Dissolution Science) and involved with various scientific organizations in San Diego.

      Prior to joining Absorption Systems, Vatsala made significant contributions at Supergen in the development of several drug candidates. Her research has been featured at national conferences such as AACR and EORTC and she has authored publications submitted to peer-reviewed journals. Prior to this Vatsala worked at Myriad Genetics focusing on BRAC clinical data analysis for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and as a senior data reviewer of CODIS for forensic DNA analysis.

      Vatsala has a Masters degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Mt Holyoke College.
    • Director, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center
        Dr. Stacy Pritt is the Director of the IACUC Office at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. In this capacity, she oversees regulatory compliance for one of the largest animal research programs in the United States. Dr. Pritt holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University. Additionally, she holds a Master of Science degree in Managerial Science and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management. She is a Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA) and a diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare (ACAW).

        During her career, Dr. Pritt has held numerous positions in both academia and industry. She has been on faculty at the Harvard Medical School where she served as Associate Director for Animal Care, Training, and Operations and was the Director of Regulatory Compliance and Animal Welfare at Covance, Inc.

        Dr. Pritt is a nationally recognized authority on regulatory compliance including IACUC operations, adherence to federal regulations and policies, maintenance of Good Laboratory Practice procedures as dictated by the US FDA, and managing the audit process. She has authored more than 25 publications on management and regulatory compliance, including book chapters. In 2012 she was awarded the TurnKey Animal Facility Leader of the Year Award and in 2014 she served as Program Chair for the University of Texas System IACUC Symposium focusing on process improvement. In 2015, she was Awarded the Ron Orta Memorial Award for the most outstanding presentation at a meeting of the Laboratory Animal Management Association and the Founder's Award for exceptional education in the field of laboratory animal science by the Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange. She serves in numerous leadership positions within organized veterinary medicine.


      The reproducibility of animal studies is now critical to ensure that limited resources are used wisely and that efforts yield useable knowledge.  At this time, IACUCs and other similar animal research oversight bodies are not necessarily charged with reviewing the potential reproducibility of animal studies.  However, there are important animal welfare and ethical components to reproducibility that should be considered.  This presentation will review some common animal welfare and ethical topics as they relate to reproducibility of animal studies.

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