I grew up in my grandad’s farm in the Quebrada Ceiba barrio of the town of Peñuelas, Puerto Rico. There, my incipient love for animals began, and that love grew as I aged.
During those years my little brother, age 9, was diagnosed with type I diabetes. The diagnosis was scary for all but him. He was a wild, indomitable spirit of a kid, and the inconvenience of dieting and insulin shots with the occasional hypoglycemic fainting episode where just that— an inconvenience.
Life went on and I obtained a DMV from the then called Superior Institute of Agricultural Sciences of La Havana (ISCAH), Cuba and later came to the United States and, as a lab animal technician, was introduced to the field of Laboratory Animal Medicine at the Ohio State University.
I worked with many species, from mice to baboons, and developed a love for the beautiful and exciting work that takes place behind the scenes. I applied to vet school, and while working in the laboratory animal unit, I obtained a DVM (again) and later completed a residency training and master’s degree.
I have seen some of the work that goes into elucidating the mechanisms by which devastating diseases occur—cardiovascular diseases and stroke, brain injury, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. I have seen the fervor of a researcher at work; I have seen the glimmer of hope in the eyes of a grad student when explaining their project’s goals; and I am proud to be in a position of helping research move forward.
As a Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA®) I now use my previously gained knowledge as a veterinarian from a different angle. I help the institution maintain compliance with federal requirements, I help researchers and IACUC members during the protocol approval process, and I help university in its scholarly pursuits.
However, this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I work with a group of other talented staff members who, like me, take great pride in the work they do. I also count with the support of PRIM&R, an organization committed to advancing ethics in biomedical, behavioral and social science research that provides education, a certification program second to none, public outreach, and much more.
At PRIM&R’s IACUC Conference I have learned about guidance interpretation, ways to reduce regulatory burden, and ethical considerations in research among other subjects. But more importantly I have made friends and have connected with other professionals in the field who are glad to share experiences and knowledge.
My little brother died four years ago from complication of his diabetes, and I think how lucky we were. Before insulin was discovered, diabetic patients died shortly after the diagnosis. Thanks to insulin (developed in animals), my brother had a long and productive life. He loved and was loved by many.
This is one of my many selfish reasons I support the responsible use of animals in research. This is one of the reasons why I attend PRIM&R events.
Noé Tirado-Muñiz DMV, DVM, MS, CPIA, joined the University of Kentucky Office of Research Integrity (ORI) in 2011 and is currently the Associate Attending Veterinarian and Associate Director for the Office of the Attending Veterinarian (OAV). He serves as Executive Secretary to the IACUC and his functions include IACUC administration, policy development, completion of federally mandated reports, IACUC education and Principal Investigator orientation among others.
Dr. Tirado-Muñiz obtained his DMV from The Superior Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Havana, Cuba (now The Agrarian University of Havana) in 1984 and his second veterinary degree (DMV) in 1994 from The Ohio State University. After being in private practice he was accepted into the Laboratory Animal Residency Program at OSU where he obtained his MS in 1999. He obtained his credential as Certified Professional IACUC Administration in 2014.
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.