What's New @ ILAR e-Newsletter -- Winter 2013

A New Role for ILAR: World Animal Health Organization Collaborating Center on Laboratory Animal Welfare and Science

In May 2013, ILAR became a World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Animal Welfare and Science. OIE is a global organization with 178 member countries. It is responsible for improving animal health worldwide. A critical component of OIE’s outreach is its global network of Collaborating Centres, which extend and complement OIE’s sphere of competencies relating to the management of or general questions about animal health issues. ILAR shares a common goal with OIE of developing and disseminating information that enhances the training and expertise of researchers, veterinarians, and laboratory animal care professionals involved in animal-based research in laboratories around the world. ILAR’s reputation as an authoritative source of information and expertise on laboratory animal medicine, science, and welfare is enhanced by this international recognition.


Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use

ILAR has launched a new activity, the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use. The Roundtable membership includes representatives from the government, private corporations, professional societies, and academic institutions. The purpose of the Roundtable is to discuss science- and welfare-related issues dealing with the use of animals in research. The Roundtable will provide a new mechanism to foster communication and problem solving among the many constituencies with strong interests in the use of laboratory animals in research and testing. It will also provide a balanced and civil forum to stimulate dialogue and collaboration, help build trust and transparency among stakeholders, and provide a new medium in which to make the case for the responsible use of animals in science.

Please visit: http://nas-sites.org/ilar-roundtable/ in early 2014 for more information as the Roundtable’s activities unfold.


ILAR Celebrates Its 60th Anniversary

In 2013, ILAR celebrated its 60th anniversary.  Since 1953, ILAR has provided independent, objective advice through expert reports, the ILAR Journal, and other resources to help biomedical researchers, veterinarians, and institutional animal care and use committees fulfill the requirements of the Animal Welfare Act and the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, now in its eighth edition (2011), provided the first standards for evaluation of laboratory animal care facilities and programs and has, over time, become one of the most influential documents on laboratory animal care and use. ILAR is a source of expertise, information, outreach and guidance on the scientific, technological, and ethical use of animals and related biological resources serving the scientific, veterinary, and laboratory animal medicine and science communities of the United States and the world.

In recognition of its 60th Anniversary, ILAR and Oxford University Press have published a special 60th Anniversary Virtual edition of the ILAR Journal that is available at http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org. The papers selected for this special e-issue were chosen from issues of the ILAR Journal published in the last decade. They are meant to provide the reader with a taste of the depth and breadth of subjects covered by the journal. All back issues of the ILAR Journal can be found at the ILAR Journal homepage.


Also in celebration of the 60th Anniversary, ILAR held a symposium on September 11, 2013 at the main National Academy of sciences building in Washington, D.C. The program was as follows: 

The Institute for Laboratory Animal Research’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Symposium


Dr. Steve Niemi, DVM, Director, Office of Animal Resources, Harvard University, member of ILAR Council
Dr. Barbara Schaal, former Vice President, NAS, and Chair, NRC Division on Earth and Life Studies 


ILAR and Its Achievements: Dr. Patricia Brown, Director, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, National Institutes of Health


Panel on the Future of the Life Sciences and the Continuing Role of Animals in Research Moderator: Dr. Steve Niemi, ILAR Council Member

  • Dr. John Clifford, Deputy Administrator and Chief Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Services Program, APHIS/US Department of Agriculture


  • Dr. Carolyn Wilson, Associate Director for Research, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration


  • Dr. John Wingfield, Assistant Director for Biology, National Science Foundation


  • Dr. Margaret Landi, Chief of Animal Welfare, Ethics and Strategy, GlaxoSmithKline


Wrap-up: Dr. Steve Niemi


About the Speakers


Dr. Steve Niemi is Director, Office of Animal Resources for Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Niemi is a Diplomate and current President of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine as well as Chair of the Board of Directors, Massachusetts Society for Medical Research. He also co-chaired the NRC/ILAR Committee on Animal Models for Assessing Countermeasures to Bioterrorism Agents, and chairs the National Toxicology Program and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods. In addition, he has served on the boards of the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s Food and Agriculture Governing Body, Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization, Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, National Association for Biomedical Research, Public Responsibility in Research & Medicine, and the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare. Dr. Niemi earned an AB in biology from Harvard College and a DVM from Washington State University.


Dr. Barbara Schaal is the Mary Dell Chilton Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences and Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis.  She currently serves as chair of the Division on Earth and Life Studies at the National Research Council and is a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology.  Dr. Schaal graduated from the University of Illinois, Chicago with a degree in biology and received a Ph.D. from Yale University.  She was Vice President of the National Academy of Sciences from 2005 until 2013 and has been president of the Botanical Society of America and the Society for the Study of Evolution and is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  She has recently been appointed as a science ambassador by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


Dr. Patricia Brown currently serves as the Director, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). OLAW oversees the use of animals in NIH-supported biomedical and behavioral research. Dr. Brown received her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from the Pennsylvania State University and her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years and while on active duty earned a Master of Science degree in Laboratory Animal Medicine from the M.S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey, PA.  Dr. Brown joined the NIH in 1986 and served in clinical and management positions in the Veterinary Resources Branch, the National Cancer Institute and the Office of Animal Care and Use before joining OLAW in 2006 as the Director. 

Dr. John R. Clifford is the Deputy Administrator and Chief Veterinary Officer for APHIS’ Veterinary Services’ (VS) program. In this position, he provides leadership for safeguarding U.S. animal health. Before beginning his work with APHIS in 1985, Dr. Clifford was a private veterinarian in a mixed practice. He received his DVM and BS degrees in animal science from the University of Missouri. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Clifford currently resides in Virginia with his wife, Sara.


Dr. Carolyn A. Wilson currently serves as the Associate Director for Research at the Center for Biologic Evaluation and Research (CDER), FDA.  Dr. Wilson joined the Division of Cellular and Gene Therapies at CBER in 1993. As ADR, Dr. Wilson ensures that CBER’s research is relevant, high quality and provides CBER with the appropriate scientific expertise, tools, and data to support regulatory decision-making and policy development.  Dr. Wilson holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from The George Washington University.


Dr. John C. Wingfield is the Assistant Director for Biological Sciences (BIO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Dr. Wingfield joined NSF as Division Director for Integrative Organismal Systems in September 2010 from the University of California, Davis. He has received many honors from his peers and served as President of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. Prior to joining NSF in 2010, Dr. Wingfield was the chair for the department of Zoology at the University of Washington from 1999 to 2003, and has held an Endowed Chair in Physiology at UC-Davis since 2007. Dr. Wingfield received his Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Sheffield and a Ph.D. in zoology and comparative endocrinology from the University College of North Wales.


Dr. Margaret Landi is the Chief of Animal Welfare, Ethics and Strategy for GlaxoSmithKline.  Dr. Landi received an MS in Comparative Medicine after completing her veterinary training at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Landi is a Diplomate in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) and is a Past-President of the organization. Dr. Landi has served on the Council of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR), and was Editor-in-Chief of the ILAR Journal.  Dr. Landi has received Distinguish Alumni Awards from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and William Paterson University.  She has been awarded both the Charles River Prize and the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year Award. She is also a recipient of the Harry Rowsell Award from the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare. 



Recent Issues of the ILAR Journal

Volume 54, Issue 1

Ethical and IACUC Considerations for Field Biology Studies

Scientific Editors: Mark Wallace and Howard Curzer


Ecological research often involves studies of wild animals in the field  to explore ecosystem function, autecology, or options for the management and long term survival of wildlife species or populations under growing human pressures. Although modeling approaches are sometimes helpful, field studies of animals are typically the only way to test hypotheses and develop realistic management strategies in disciplines such as ecology, wildlife management, and conservation biology. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA 1990), Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH 2002), and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC 2011) determine what practices are acceptable in laboratory animal research, but are almost completely silent about field research. Regulations developed for laboratory environments and domesticated taxa are increasingly extrapolated to the field, even though this extrapolation is typically inappropriate because of significant differences between laboratory research and field research on animals (Gannon et al. 2007).


This special issue includes papers by field biologists, veterinarians, social scientists, and philosophers who help explore the variety of ethical issues involved in ecological field research. It brings together diverse views about the ethical and welfare concerns involved in ecological field research and aims to expand investigators’, IACUCs’, and granting agencies’ understanding of the additional ethical considerations required when studying wild animals.




  • Introduction: Moral Problems and Perspectives for Ecological Field Research
  • Fundamental Differences between Wildlife and Biomedical Research
  • Wildlife Researchers Running the Permit Maze
  • Ethical Issues in African Great Ape Field Studies
  • Falling through the Cracks: Shortcomings in the Collaboration between Biologists and Veterinarians and Their Consequences for Wildlife
  • Ecological Ethics in Captivity: Balancing Values and Responsibilities in Zoo and Aquarium Research under Rapid Global Change
  • The Ethics of Wildlife Research: A Nine R Theory
  • Setting Up an Ethics of Ecosystem Research Structure Based on the Precautionary Principle 



Volume 54, Issue 2

Progress in Genetics and Genomics of Nonhuman Primates

Scientific Editors: John D. Harding


The papers in this issue of the ILAR Journal discuss the current understanding of the genetics and genomics of apes (particularly the chimpanzee), and old world monkeys, such as macaques, baboons, and vervets. These species provide highly relevant models for many aspects of human physiology, behavior, and disease. They also enhance the understanding of evolutionary biology and have been used widely for many aspects of discovery science. As directly related to translational research, monkeys, in particular, are used extensively to test the efficacy of vaccines, therapies for human disease, and for examining the toxicity of drug candidates. Classic examples of the importance of nonhuman primates (NHPs) used for translational research are the development of vaccines for polio, hepatitis A, and hepatitis B. This issue looks into new technologies, particularly low-cost, high throughput sequencing of both genomic DNA and RNA that will provide vast amounts of new information on the genomes of many individual NHPs and gene expression patterns in multiple tissues from many animals. This information will provide new opportunities to make NHPs even more relevant to translational studies, but will also be a major challenge in terms of storage and interpretation. The field of NHP genetics and genomics is in a highly dynamic state, which is based on many past developments and the use of new high throughput technologies. In the next few years, the research community can expect further progress that should have a major impact on biomedical research.




  • Progress in Genetics and Genomics of Nonhuman Primates
  • Great Ape Genomics
  • The Value of Extended Pedigrees for Next-Generation Analysis of Complex Disease in the Rhesus Macaque
  • Baboons as a Model to Study Genetics and Epigenetics of Human Disease
  • Systems Biology of the Vervet Monkey
  • Improving Genome Assemblies and Annotations for Nonhuman Primates
  • Nonhuman Primate Models in the Genomic Era: A Paradigm Shift
  • Old World Monkeys and New Age Science: The Evolution of Nonhuman Primate Systems Virology
  • The Essential Detail: The Genetics and Genomics of the Primate Immune Response
  • Haplessly Hoping: Macaque Major Histocompatibility Complex Made Easy
  • Progress and Prospects for Genetic Modification of Nonhuman Primate Models in Biomedical Research
  • In Transition: Primate Genomics at a time of Rapid Change
  • IACUC Review of Nonhuman Primate Research



Future Issue Topics*

Vol 54(3): Animal Models of Peripheral Neuropathy

Vol 55(1): Naturally Occurring Diseases in Animals: Contributions to Translational Medicine

Vol 55(2): Behavioral Assessment in Animal Models: relevance for Human Psychopathology

Vol 55(3): Experimental design and statistics in laboratory animal research

* Topics and titles are subject to change



Subscription and Ordering Information


The ILAR Journal is now being published by the Oxford University Press. New subscriptions, renewals, and single issues and articles from past issues are all available at the Oxford University Press website at http://ilarjournal.oxfordjournals.org/.



Recently Published

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: Eighth Edition (2011)

This seventh update to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals integrates recently published data, scientific principles, and expert opinion to recommend practices for the humane care and use of animals in research, testing, and teaching. The Guide is an internationally accepted primary reference on animal care for the scientific community. Previous editions have served as the basis for accreditation of institutions worldwide by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. Also, use of previous editions has been required for researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health who adhere to the Public Health Service policy. Additions to this eighth edition of the Guide include expanded coverage of the ethics of laboratory animal use; components of effective Animal Care and Use Programs; new guidelines for the housing, environment, and enrichment of terrestrial and aquatic animals; updated information on veterinary and clinical care, and discussion of animal biosecurity.


Animal Research in a Global Environment (2011)

To identify and promote better understanding of the challenges of conducting animal research across country boundaries, the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) convened a workshop on Animal Research in a Global Environment: Meeting the Challenges, drawing on the expertise and perspectives of 200 participants from 17 countries. The public workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that focused on new information published since the last workshop in 2003, in part to inform the continuing development of guidelines (including an update of the 1996 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals).



Animal Models for Assessing Countermeasures to Bioterrorism Agents (2011)

In response to a request by the Department of Defense, this report addresses the challenges stemming from developing and testing medical countermeasures in animal models. The report makes the principal point that a comprehensive strategy to improve data gathering and data sharing from animal models (or their alternatives) would significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of research into countermeasures while improving the humane use of laboratory animals in accordance with the principles of the Three Rs.


Guidance for the Description of Animal Research in Scientific Publications (2011)

This a short report aimed at editors of Journals that publish animal studies. The report outlines the information that should be included in scientific papers regarding such studies to ensure that the studies can be replicated. Necessary information includes conditions of housing and husbandry, genetic nomenclature, microbial status, detailed experimental manipulations, and handling and use of pharmaceuticals.


International Animal Research Regulations: Impact on Neuroscience Research (2012)

Animals are widely use in neuroscience research to explore biological mechanisms of nervous system function, to identify the genetic basis of disease states, and to provide models of human disorders and diseases for the development of new treatments. To ensure the humane care and use of animals, numerous laws, policies, and regulations are in place governing the use of animals in research, and certain animal regulations have implications specific to neuroscience research. This report summarizes the workshop “U.S. and European Animal Research Regulations” convened by the Institute of Medicine Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders, in collaboration with the National Research Council Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, and the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, held in the UK on July 26-27, 2011.


Did you know that ILAR project information is available online?

The National Academies announces meetings that are open to the public via the Current Projects System (CPS) at least 10 days before the event.

To learn more, visit the Current Projects System FAQ.


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