Animal research is critical to advancing scientific knowledge biology and behavior and to informing clinical practice and public health policy.  Research with nonhuman animals is a highly regulated enterprise, with a system of laws, regulations and policies, at the federal, state, and local levels. The  Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) plays a central role in ensuring that animal research conducted at their institution is in compliance with pertinent regulations and policies. This blog post will discuss the IACUC's role in animal research and the importance of PRIM&R’s IACUC Core Training. 

What is an IACUC?  
IACUC is an independent committee responsible for reviewing and approving animal research protocols. The volunteer committee is comprised of scientists, veterinarians, and community members. By law, all animal research conducted at institutions that receive federal funding must have an IACUC approve the proposed research. 

The Role of an IACUC  
The primary role of an IACUC is to ensure that all animal research complies with relevant regulations and policies, such as the Animal Welfare Act Regulations and the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The committee reviews research proposals to ensure that the animals used are appropriate for the research conducted, that the research methodology is sound, and that all alternative research methods have been considered. Additionally, the IACUC monitors the care and treatment of animals at the facility and investigates any complaints or concerns related to animal welfare. 

Why is the IACUC Important?  
The IACUC's oversight plays a crucial role in ensuring responsible animal research. The committee ensures that animals used are treated humanely and that the research is necessary, scientifically valid, and conducted in a way that minimizes pain and distress to the animals. 

PRIM&R IACUC Core Training 
PRIM&R IACUC Core Training is an online training program that combines two of our most popular courses for those working in oversight of research with animals, IACUC Fundamentals and Essentials of IACUC Administration, presented live in a convenient format for remote learning. Participants are welcome to attend one or both courses. 
Course attendees will also have access to an exclusive platform on the PRIM&R Online Community for additional discussion and networking. 
Each course will be presented as two 3–hour sessions during consecutive weeks, and with one supplementary intersession to provide additional opportunities for attendees and speakers to discuss, interact, and network. 
Course 1: IACUC Fundamentals 
This introductory-level course is for anyone looking for a solid foundation in the oversight of animal research, including the history of animal welfare regulations and oversight and accrediting bodies; the roles and responsibilities of the IACUC and staff members; training IACUC staff, IACUC members, and research staff; protocol review; post-approval; and how to work with others outside of the IACUC. 

  • Jennifer A. Klahn, MA, CPIA 
    Director, Research Safety and Animal Welfare Administration; Institutional Contact for Dual Use Research, Office of Research Administration, University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA
  • Natalie L. Mays, BA, LATG, CPIA 
    Director, Division of IACUC and IBC Administration, Office of the IACUC and IBC, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Rachel A. Murray, MS, CPIA, RLATG 
    Senior Research Compliance Specialist, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center


  • Session 1: Wednesday, March 29, 1–4P M ET
  • Learning Lab: Friday, March 31, 12–1 PM ET
  • Session 2: Wednesday, April 5, 1–4 PM ET

Course 2: Essentials of IACUC Administration 
This program is ideal for animal care and use program personnel who are familiar with basic IACUC functions, as well as more experienced IACUC administrators and staff. Topics covered include the key components of an IACUC program; the responsibilities of IACUC administrators; strategies for creating and maintaining a culture of compliance; and best practices to ensure that IACUC administrators and their staff provide the support necessary to develop and continually strengthen both the IACUC and the broader animal care and use program. 

  • Jennifer Freeling Iwamoto, DVM, CPIA
    Co–Director (Interim), Review Scientist, Office of Animal Welfare, University of Washington 
  • Trina M. Smith, MS, BS, CPIA
    Animal Care and Use Program Officer, Office of Research Compliance, Mississippi State University


  • Session 1: Wednesday, April 19, 1–3 PM ET
  • Learning Lab: Friday, April 21, 12–1 PM ET
  • Session 2: Wednesday, April 26 1–3 PM ET

Continuing Education 
Course participants who hold the Certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA®) credential may apply 4 continuing education credits towards CPIA® recertification credit for each course in the IACUC Core Training. Learn More 


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