Introducing PRIM&R Blog Squad Member Derek Fong

by Derek Fong, VMD, DACLAM, clinical veterinarian at the University of Colorado Denver
Hello everybody! I am a clinical veterinarian at the University of Colorado Denver. I am now a local, but grew up near San Francisco and made my way to Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Washington before settling here. While I have only been a Denver resident for a few years, I have embraced the city and am happy to provide recommendations for exploring all that Denver has to offer, especially good eats. I am excited to be a part of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2014 IACUC Conference, and hope you will find my writing informative, insightful, and maybe even entertaining.
This will be my first PRIM&R IACUC Conference, and I was surprised to open the agenda and find that it didn’t ever seem to end. The breadth and depth of the conference exceeded my expectations. When choosing which breakout sessions to attend, I had to read through the agenda multiple times to remember all of the options! It’s great that there are talks for both neophytes and experts and that those talks are clearly labeled. In addition, I was pleasantly surprised to recognize the names of many of the accomplished individuals and great speakers who will be sharing their expertise at the conference.
Beyond the talks and panels, I am excited to continue to meet the amazing individuals who work in our field. I have always appreciated that we work in a small field with a close knit community. I love meeting colleagues at other institutions, touring their facilities, and learning about their practices, but, unfortunately, that cannot happen on a regular basis. Thus, the discussion of issues and exchange of ideas that are required to keep driving our field forward at conferences such as this are of the utmost importance. 
Lastly, I am also very interested in the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) Conference, which is taking place on Tuesday, April 1, in conjunction with the 2014 IACUC Conference. I did not realize that AAALAC only puts on this event every five years and feel quite fortunate to attend. AAALAC helps institutions demonstrate to the public a commitment to going beyond the regulations to ensure the best care and use of animals, so I look forward to hearing updates from them.
If you’ve read this far, I appreciate it and hope you will look for my future  posts. I will be sporting a PRIMR Blog Squad shirt throughout the conference, so I should be fairly easy to find. Please say hello and introduce yourself – I will be happy to know that you took your valuable time to read to the end of this post!