Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad: Amanda Plante

PRIM&R is pleased to introduce the members of the inaugural Blog Squad at this year’s 2011 Institutional Animal Care and use Committee (IACUC) Conference. The Blog Squad is composed of two PRIM&R members who are devoted to blogging live from the conference.

We are proud to introduce you to the first of our two Blog Squad members, Amanda Plante.

Hi there! My name is Amanda Plante and I am excited to be one of PRIM&R Blog Squad members for the 2011 IACUC Conference. This conference will be a fantastic opportunity to meet others in the field of research ethics administration and learn from their experiences. Travelling from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, I am looking forward to escaping from our snow and -20 Fahrenheit weather, visiting the Windy City and indulging in deep dish pizza.

When not enjoying the local food and weather, you will find me eagerly attending Essentials of IACUC Administration on March 29-30. During the 2009 IACUC Conference, I had the pleasure of attending IACUC 101, which I found the workshop very informative and relevant to my position, especially as a new IACUC coordinator.

I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Windsor in Windsor, ON in 1995 and a Master of Science degree in toxicology from the University of Saskatchewan in 1999. I have worked at the University of Saskatchewan since 1998, where I currently serve as the animal ethics research facilitator in the research ethics office. I support the implementation and administration of the university’s animal care and use program under the direction of the University Committee on Animal Care and Supply (UCACS), as well as maintaining compliance with the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines and policies. Prior to joining the research ethics office in November 2007, I worked as a research technician for the department of biology, as a lecturer for the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, and as a grants officer in research services.

Although I consider myself quite new (just three years) to research ethics administration, I’ve been ‘pushing paper’ in the office of the vice-president of research for a few years now. I try to maintain a good sense of humor about the bureaucracy and administrative burden that our office is charged with imposing. There is certainly a fine balance to be attained between striving to meet all regulatory requirements while also providing a good level of service to our researchers. How to strike this balance? I am hoping to find answers in the April 1 session titled Strategies for Ensuring Your IACUC is a Customer Service-Oriented Organization!

I am eager be a member of the PRIM&R Blog Squad and share my thoughts and experiences from the conference relating to specific workshops, speakers, and events. It is a great chance for me to become a truly active and engaged participant, reacting to the conference activities via Ampersand. I look forward to meeting you at the 2011 IACUC Conference at the end of the month. Be sure to keep an eye out for the individuals in the bright red Blog Squad shirts—we shouldn’t be hard to miss!