The annual IACUC Conference hosted by PRIM&R is the premier venue to engage with colleagues on all things IACUC. There, you can learn about the fundamentals, latest trends, and emerging issues. My personal favorite is just chatting with fellow conference goers to learn the same. Now that I have been an IACUC administrator for almost 20 years, many attendees have become friends and professional confidantes.
The IACUC Conference and its few hundred participants is a friendly-sized event where it is easy to make professional connections. Years ago I would attend the annual Society of Neuroscience Conference, which hosted tens of thousands, and I recall being instantly lost in a sea of other scientists. At PRIM&R’s meeting, in contrast, we meet in small groups, then reunite as a whole several times over two days. Repeat faces can quickly become life-long professional partnerships here.
Whether you are a new-comer or long-time attendee to this conference, I am an advocate for the common strategy of focusing on one or maybe two topics only. Attend talks and discussions with that focus and intentionally talk with others in the audience who are there for the same reason you are. Comparing notes with these colleagues is ideal for finding solutions for your own program—and if nothing else, misery does love some company! The added benefit of a sharp focus is that any incidental knowledge gleaned at the conference is tethered to it, which is a great help to remember it in context.
As a final thought, please, don’t be shy. I will be at the meeting representing the PRIM&R Membership committee and also sharing my experience on the IACUC19 Blog Squad. Stop me to say hello and ask questions. There will also be a host of other PRIM&R leaders and staff, who have organized this meeting precisely to meet you! See you in Seattle!
David J. Lyons, PhD, is Director of the Wake Forest Animal Welfare Program, Deputy Research Integrity Officer, and the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Coordinator for the School of Medicine. He received a BS from Penn State University and a PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Boston University, and started his career as a researcher at Wake Forest School of Medicine investigating the neurobiology of substance abuse. He shifted to school administration at the Wake Forest in 2001, where he remains today. He is Wake Forest’s first full-time director for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, where he coauthored the training tool, An IACUC member’s Guide to Animal Facility Inspections, housed at the NIH’s, Office of Research Integrity. In addition, he directs graduate courses on Scientific Integrity and Professionalism at the Graduate School in support of the RCR program.
Members of PRIM&R’s Blog Squad and other guest contributors are valued members of our community willing to share their insights. The views expressed in their posts do not necessarily reflect those of PRIM&R or its employees.