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IACUC Memo to Investigators - July 2013

Dear investigator,

The IUP IACUC is pleased to offer our IUP research community another of our IACUC "Memos to Investigators", an irregular email series used to provide updates and information we hope will be useful to our research community.

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01)  2013 USDA inspection passed

IUP underwent its annual USDA inspection, early in July 2013.  Once again, our inspector was pleased with the efforts of the IACUC and its approved investigators, and we passed the inspection with no violations.  Thank you all for your attention to animal care and welfare.

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02)  New IACUC web address and updates

Our IACUC web page recently has been updated, to incorporate a menu system that mirrors other IUP web pages and which should make it easier to navigate.  Other web page updates and additions are planned, but the framework of the new web page is already in place.  You can find it at our new, easier-to-remember address:

http://www.iup.edu/iacuc

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03)  IACUC form updates

Our IACUC user forms also have been updated.  The new forms are field-protected, meaning that users can enter all of their information into form fields, without worrying about modifying the document layout or formatting.  The new forms also have been edited to reduce duplication, and to enable user elaboration on the most-commonly questioned aspects of user protocols.

The new forms are available from the 'Forms' link on the IACUC web page.  When submitting an IACUC protocol, please be sure to always download the latest copy of the IACUC form in question.

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04)  New links to external animal care and use guidelines

Our new IACUC web page also includes a link to a page which lists a variety of external animal care and use documents, including updated euthanasia guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as animal use compliance policies from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.  It is our hope that these guidelines will be useful in preparing your protocols.

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05)  USDA animal facility contingency planning - underway

In our last 'Memo to Investigators', we notified our research community that the USDA had instituted a contingency planning requirement for all Animal Welfare Act-licensed animal facilities, including IUP.  Essentially, this requires all facilities housing animals to detail how they might respond to emergency situations, disruptions of normal facility services, or other unusual events impinging upon housed animals.  The IUP IACUC will draft a general plan, which we expect to distribute for user comment and discussion.  In the meantime, those of you housing animals should consider what kinds of situations you might be prepared to respond to, who in your laboratory would serve as response personnel, and the preparations and actions you might undertake should the care or safety of your animals be compromised.

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06)  New cage washer to be installed in the Weyandt animal facility

The IACUC has assisted recent efforts to replace the defunct rack washer in the Weyandt Hall animal facility with a replacement, cabinet-style cage washer.  The replacement washer has been purchased and delivered to campus.  It is scheduled to be installed and tested next month, and will be made available to users shortly thereafter.

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07)  Animal care and use training for investigators - coming soon

One of the IUP IACUC's core tasks during this past year was to implement a user training system, to provide our research community with relevant training in animal care and use practices, policies, and ethics.  I'm pleased to report that we have adopted the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Animal Care and Use courses, which we soon will make available to the IUP research community.  CITI provides online training modules, with traceable user completion certificates, 'refresher' updates, and extensive background material.  The CITI Animal Care and Use training is expected to be available at IUP this Fall - stay tuned for an announcement of its availability.

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08)  On the IACUC 'todo' list - post-approval monitoring

During our annual USDA inspection, it was noted that our IUP IACUC currently has no mechanism by which it ensures user compliance with approved protocols.  We have been advised by the USDA to implement some form of post-approval monitoring, by which the IACUC would verify that investigator procedures adhere to those which have been approved by the IACUC.  The IACUC expects to undertake this issue during 2013-14, and we welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue at any time.

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As always, the IACUC is here to serve our IUP research community.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

IACUC web page:  http://www.iup.edu/iacuc

Questions or concerns?  Email them to iacuc-info@iup.edu

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