Meet the PRIM&R Blog Squad: Kathy Banks

PRIM&R is pleased to introduce the members of the Blog Squad for the 2015 Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) Conference. The Blog Squad is composed of PRIM&R members who blog live from the conference.

We are proud to introduce you to the first Blog Squad member, Kathy Banks, BSc, MSc, continuing review coordinator, animal ethics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Greetings from Vancouver, BC, Canada where the sun is (kind of) shining, it’s almost 10°C (~50°F), the flowers are blooming, and my allergies are already acting up! This is my first official blog as part of the PRIM&R Blog Squad for the 2015 IACUC Conference, which is also my first ever PRIM&R conference. I hope you join me on this journey both here and in-person at the conference.

I grew up in Kamloops, BC, a smaller city in the interior of the province, where I received my undergrad degree in general biology before moving to Vancouver and UBC in 1997 to complete my master of science in medical genetics. After graduating, I worked as a research technician/lab manager in a neurogenetics lab for 11 years, where I developed several unique strains of transgenic mice, derived several new lines of murine ESCs, and published nine peer-reviewed scientific articles. Working in the lab was also my introduction to the ethics of research, as I was responsible for submitting all of the lab’s ethics approval applications (including animals, biosafety, and human).
I made the switch to the compliance side in 2011, joining the UBC Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM) Program based out of the Office of Research Services, as the continuing review (PAM) coordinator, animal ethics. Having previous experience as a “lab rat (mouse)”, and previous interaction with the UBC IACUC, has certainly been beneficial to my current position, allowing me to relate to the principal investigators and their research issues while upholding UBC’s high level of animal welfare standards.
Please say “Hi” if you see me at the conference. I’ll proudly be wearing my PRIM&R Blog Squad ribbon and either a smile or a look of consternation (or is it concentration?). I’m sure the latter must be quite similar to the face I likely made when I started reviewing the 2015 PRIM&R IACUC conference schedule. Honestly, at first glance, the schedule was quite—overwhelming—given the huge number of topics in the Didactic and Workshop Series! However, I did choose, and I hope you’ll join me with the fish (A9), wildlife (B10), and discussions on breeding (D2) , as well as the entire session dedicated to PAM (C11; that was a no-brainer). I am hoping to make some connections with those of you who have been doing PAM a lot longer than me – get ready to have your brains picked!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it, and I look forward to making in-person connections with you. See you in Boston next week (think the snow will be gone by then?).
Check back and use this link to read more of Kathy’s posts throughout the conference.