AALAS Timeline

1946  Five Chicago-area veterinarians start meeting monthly to discuss laboratory animal care problems.

1950 The five Chicago-area veterinarians organize the first national meeting of the Animal Care Panel (now the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science). Seventy-five people attended. Dr. Nathan Brewer elected first president of the Animal Care Panel.

1951 Proceedings of the Animal Care Panel (1950 meeting) published.

1953 Animal Care Panel (ACP) incorporated. Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources (ILAR, now Institute for Laboratory Animal Research) established within the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences.

1954 National Institutes of Health (NIH) opens “modern” central service animal facilities.

1955 The ACP recognizes affiliate organizations. The ACP grows to 200 members. The ACP annual meeting held for the first time outside Chicago in New York City.

1956 Quarterly publication of the Proceedings of the Animal Care Panel authorized. Publication started in 1958. At the ACP annual meeting two commercial and one institutional lab animal rodent breeder present their methods of producing “specific pathogen free” animals.

1957 Animal Care Panel Research and Educational Foundation authorized.
American Board of Laboratory Animal Medicine (now American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine) incorporated.

1958 First branch of Animal Care Panel approved as the Metropolitan New York Branch.
Filtered cages first used by Dr. Lisbeth Kraft to control epizootic diarrhea of infant mice.

1959 First post-doctoral training program for veterinarians in laboratory animal medicine established at Bowman Gray School of Medicine under Dr. Thomas B. Clarkson. A second such program was started by Dr. Bennet Cohen at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1960.

1960 The ILAR sponsors workshop at the University of Notre Dame’s Lobund Institute for major suppliers of lab animals, teaching them how to derive their animal stocks into the “germfree” state thereby enabling them to produce animals free of interfering infectious disease agents.

1961 Animal Technician Certification Board of ACP established. First certification exam given with 70 technicians certified. Animal Care Panel office established in Argonne, IL, and Joseph Garvey hired as full-time business manager. First ACP newsletter published, the ACP Bulletin. 

1962 Joseph Garvey promoted to Executive Secretary and the ACP office moved to Joliet, IL. The Veterans Administration establishes its Laboratory Animal Medicine, Science and Technology program. The National Institutes of Health establishes extramural Animal Resources Branch (now Comparative Medicine Area) to support Primate Research Centers and Laboratory Animal Science projects.

1963 Animal Care Panel produces the first Guide for Laboratory Animal Facilities and Care. All subsequent editions of the Guide have been produced by Institute for Laboratory Animal Resources NRC/NAS. Name of publication Proceedings of the Animal Care Panel changed to Laboratory Animal Care and the number of issues increased to six per year. The ACP annual meeting expands to a four-day conference. The ACP appoints an Animal Facilities Accreditation Board. Index Medicus indexes the journal Laboratory Animal Care.

1964 The Animal Facilities Accreditation Board becomes a separate organization known as the American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC, now the Association of Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International).

1965 The AAALAC incorporated and Joseph Garvey serves as its Executive Secretary as well as for ACP. The ILAR holds Workshop on Graduate Education in Laboratory Animal Medicine.

1966 The ACP has 1,911 members and 21 branches. Laboratory Animal Welfare Act (now Animal Welfare Act) passed.

1967 The name of the ACP changed to the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The first training manual for technicians published, the Manual for Laboratory Animal Technicians. The American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners incorporated.

1969 AALAS Committee on Laboratory Animal Technicians (now Committee on Technician Awareness and Development) established.

1970 Regional Examination Boards established to assist the Animal Technician Certification Board. AALAS has 2,300 members. Animal Welfare Act amended, inter alia to apply standards throughout an animal’s stay in a research institution.

1971 Name of journal Laboratory Animal Care changed to Laboratory Animal Science. NIH issues its first “Policy on Care and Treatment of Laboratory Animals” requiring institutional assurances.

1973 Annual AALAS meeting is a five-day event with over 200 speakers. Use of nationwide standardized technician examinations implemented for Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT), and Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG) certification.

1974 American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine produces the first of 17 textbooks on laboratory animals published by Academic Press. NIH’s Dr. Joe Knapka develops “open formula” laboratory animal rations and helps raise the standards of animal feed for the laboratory animal science community.

1975 AALAS celebrates its 25th anniversary. AALAS establishes Technician Branch Representative system.

1977 AALAS’s Research and Educational Foundation Committee dissolved. New Awards and Educational Committee (now known as the AALAS Foundation Board) appointed.

1979 American Committee on Laboratory Animal Diseases established as an AALAS affiliate.

1980 Most commercially produced rodents raised in barrier facilities in “pathogen-free” status. First transgenic mouse strain reported.

1982 Cage level isolation filter-topped rodent cages become commercially available.

1983 AALAS office installs computer system.

1984 Laboratory Animal Management Association formed as an affiliate of AALAS.

1985 Animal Welfare Act amended among other things to require Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees to review animal care and use activities. Health Research Extension Act passed to establish statutory authority for the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Treatment of Laboratory Animals. The USDA (for the Animal Welfare Act) and the NIH (for the Public Health Service Policy) work to coordinate and make as consistent as possible the requirements of animal welfare compliance.

1986 AALAS purchases 7,000 square foot facility and relocates to Cordova, TN. Computerized animal technician examination grading service introduced. AAALAC office moved to Bethesda, Maryland.

1988 AALAS adopts its first long-range strategic plan.

1990 AALAS grows to 4452 members. Laboratory Animal Bulletin Board System developed at Washington University of St. Louis.

1991 National testing service employed to develop and administer technician examinations; begins giving exams in 1992.AALAS Bulletin expanded and a section for refereed papers included. Joint Annual Meeting with the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science in Buffalo.

1992 Laboratory Animal Bulletin Board System transferred to AALAS office. Name of AALAS Bulletin changed to Contemporary Topics in Laboratory Animal Science. CompMed list server developed at Washington University of St. Louis. AALAS holds first Institute for Laboratory Animal Management training course.

1993 Mike Sondag joins AALAS as Executive Director. First class graduates from the two-year continuing education program of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Management.

1995 Record attendance of 3,880 at National Meeting in Baltimore. AALAS publishes its first page on the world wide web.

1997 CompMed moves to AALAS office.

1998 AALAS has 8,994 members, 48 branches and 19 affiliate organizations.

1999 AALAS office moves to a new building in Memphis, TN. The AALAS Foundation became a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The 50th Anniversary Celebration begins at the 1999 National Meeting and culminates in the 50th Anniversary Gala at the San Diego National Meeting in 2000.