INSTITUTIONAL ANIMAL CARE AND USE COMMITTEE

MEMBER ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERITY

IACUC CHAIRPERSON

Definition: The chairperson needs to be knowledgeable and effective as a leader.  This individual needs to have the full support of the Institutional Officer and sufficient stature to perform the functions of the positions without jeopardy to career or position. The chairperson is appointed by IACUC members, through a majority vote. The chairperson plays an active role in the oversight of all IACUC activities.  The Chair serves five constituent groups: Senior Administration (CEO and IO); the scientific community; other members of the IACUC; the federal government; the public.  It is not recommended that the Attending Veterinarian be the IACUC chairperson due to real or perceived conflicts of interest.

Responsibilities:  The IACUC Chair has the responsibility for overseeing the coordination and implementation of effective, efficient systems for protocol review and program review by the IACUC in compliance with the PHS policy and the AWA.  Specifically the Chair should:

  1. Ensure that the IACUC has a quorum present at all meetings
  2. Declare the loss of a quorum resulting in the end of official  business if a sufficient number of members depart
  3. Prepare and/or oversee the preparation of meeting minutes, agendas and reports and submit appropriate documents to the IO in accordance with PHS policy and the AWA
  4. Report to the IO any activities which have been suspended by the IACUC for non-compliance as required by PHS policy
  5. Ensure the establishment of a written system of communication for the IACUC with the investigators concerning the approval status of protocols and the steps necessary to secure approval.
  6. Stay abreast of the most recent regulatory trends and interpretations
  7. Evaluate and champion policy and practice initiatives to improve the animal care and use program
  8. Be a point person for interacting with other institutional committees, occupational health and safety, physical plant, human resources
  9. Assign designated reviewers for protocols
  10. Advise PIs
  11. Educate and support IACUC members, PIs and others regarding the IACUC process
  12. Participate in facility inspections
  13. Communicate regularly with the IO,  Attending Veterinarian, IACUC Administrator and staff
  14. Serve as spokesperson for the IACUC

ATTENDING VETERINARIAN

Definition:   The Attending Veterinarian (appointed by the I.O. as the University Veterinarian with direct or delegated program authority and responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution as defined under the Animal Welfare Act and PHS policy) serves on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. This individual should have graduated from an accredited veterinary school. (PHS Policy (IV,A,3,b,1) and AWAR (2.31,b,3,i).

Responsibilities: The role of the IACUC Attending Veterinarian is to:

  1. Provide veterinary consultation on the recognition and palliation of pain.
  2. Provide medical care.
  3. Serve as a resource for IACUC members, PIs, graduate students on issues related to animal welfare, such as providing expertise on matters of animal health and welfare, including, but not limited to: use of proper anesthesia and analgesia in laboratory animals in the relief of pain and distress; discussion of the possible complications related to procedures used or a disease model proposed; provide a review of the plans for appropriate and timely medical intervention.
  4. Conduct initial review of protocols for completeness prior to submission to the IACUC committee.
  5. Serve as a member of the IACUC.
  6. Serve as designated reviewer when appropriate

NON-AFFILIATED MEMBER

Definition: Someone who is not affiliated with the University in any manner, intended to represent the general community interests in the proper care and treatment of animals.  This person may not be the immediate family of a person affiliated with the institution.  Public members should not be laboratory animal users.   (AWAR 2.31,b,3,ii;PHS Policy IV, A, 3,b,4)

Responsibilities: The role of the Non-Affiliated member is to:

  1. Play an active role in all IACUC activities.
  2. Make persistent, straightforward inquires about matters that are undetected by the institutional members of the IACUC.
  3. Critically review protocols
  4. Serve as designated reviewer when appropriate
  5. Attend monthly IACUC meetings.
  6. Participate in six month facility inspection and program reviews.

NON-SCIENTIST

Definition: A person whose primary concern is in a non-scientific area having no obvious connections to any area of science.  Individuals may have some scientific training, but clearly do not qualify as a practicing scientist with experience in research involving animals.

Responsibilities: The role of the Non-Scientist member is to:

  1. Play an active role in all IACUC activities.
  2. Make persistent, straightforward inquires about matters that are undetected by the institutional members of the IACUC.
  3. Critically review protocols
  4. Serve as designated reviewer when appropriate
  5. Attend monthly IACUC meetings.
  6. Participate in six month facility inspection and program reviews.

SCIENTIST

Definition:  A practicing scientist knowledgeable about the types of research and teaching being reviewed and conducted; at least one with laboratory animal experience.  NMU policy is to represent all areas having involvement with animal research.  No more than three scientists from one department unit should be on the NMU IACUC.

Responsibilities: The role of the Scientist member is to:

  1. Play an active role in all IACUC activities.
  2. Make persistent, straightforward inquires about matters that are undetected by the institutional members of the IACUC.
  3. Critically review protocols
  4. Serve as designated reviewer when appropriate
  5. Attend monthly IACUC meetings.
  6. Participate in six month facility inspection and program reviews.

INSTITUTIONAL OFFICIAL

Definition:  The individual at Northern Michigan University who is authorized to legally commit on behalf of the research facility that it will meet the requirements of the AWA.  PHS policy defines the IO as the individual who signs and has the authority to sign the institution’s Assurance, which commits the institution to meet the requirements of PHS policy.

Responsibilities:  The role of the Institutional Official:

  1. Has the authority to sign the University’s Assurance and commit the institution to met the requirements of AWA.
  2. Commits the institution to meet the requirements of PHS policy.
  3. Receives inspection reports and recommendations from the IACUC.
  4. In consultation with the IACUC, determines whether deficiencies are minor or significant, determines corrective actions or suspensions and reports such actions to regulatory and funding agencies.
  5. Receives notification of the IACUC’s decision to approve or withhold its approval of animal activities.
  6. Receives and transmits annual reports to NIH/OPRR and to APHIS.
  7. May subject protocols that have been approved by the IACUC to further review and approval, but may not approve an activity that has not been approved by the IACUC.
  8. Ensures that all personnel involved in animal care, treatment and use are qualified to perform their duties and that specific training is provided to those personnel.
  9. Ensures that training and instruction and the qualifications of personnel are reviewed with sufficient frequency to fulfill the research facility’s responsibilities.
  10. Ensures the University has an attending veterinarian who provides adequate veterinary care to its animals in compliance with the AWA.
  11. Ensures that the University maintains the required records for the specified time periods.

The membership information above was based on The IACUC Handbook: The Basic Unit of an Effective Animal Care and Use Program by Jerald Silverman, Mark A. Suckow, Sreekant Murthy, and the National Institutes of Health (U.S.) Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. Published by CRC Press, 2000