Thursday, October 17
MORNING

WORKSHOPS


W-20 Interviewing 101 for Veterinarians

8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 302
Leader: Carissa P Jones
Faculty: Thea L Brabb, Karuna Patil
Facilitator: TBN
Workshop Fee: $150 Workshop Limit: 50

This workshop for veterinary students, veterinary trainees, and veterinarians is intended to prepare attendees for in-person interviews for a laboratory animal veterinarian position. After a brief introduction to best practices and helpful tips, the bulk of workshop time will consist of mock interview practice and feedback. Attendees should come prepared as if for a real job interview (e.g. professional attire, knowledge of job requirements, questions for interviewers) and be ready to participate and interact with both workshop leaders and other attendees. The main objective for this workshop is to provide experience and build confidence for interviews. Individual attendees will have the opportunity to identify areas of excellence and areas for improvement through self-reflection, peer evaluation, and discussion.

W-21 Introduction to Acupuncture in Laboratory Animal Medicine
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 303
Leader: Harvey E Ramirez
Faculty: Alan G Brady, Stephanie J Buchl, Elizabeth R Magden, Hilda R Holcombe
Facilitator: TBD
Workshop Fee: $150 Workshop Limit: 25

Acupuncture is an ancient therapeutic technique which involves the insertion of sterile needles into defined sites on the body in order to stimulate physiologic balance through neural signaling. It is one of the most recognized and scientifically validated complementary modalities used in veterinary medicine, and its use has dramatically broadened the scope of what should be considered high standard veterinary care. The research supporting the use of acupuncture demands that laboratory animal veterinarians cultivate a progressive mindset regarding alternative and complementary treatment modalities and their implementation in laboratory animal care. In this workshop, participants will 1) receive a historical perspective of acupuncture and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine; 2) be provided with an in depth understanding of the neurobiological and neurophysiological mechanism of acupuncture treatment; 3) learn to locate the most commonly used acupuncture points in laboratory animal medicine, 4) learn basic techniques used when placing needles; and 5) learn indications and contraindications for dry needling and electro-acupuncture. The target audience includes veterinarians with an interest in learning acupuncture with the goal of integrating it into their clinical care of laboratory animals.

This Workshop is sponsored in part by Chi Institute of Traditional Veterinary Chinese Medicine


W-22 Mentoring 101: How to Support, Coach, and Motivate New Hire Animal Husbandry Technicians to Reach Their Full Potential
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 304
Leader: Sarah D Jordan, Jenna M Stauch, Kristin M Gajewski, Jennifer M Schmidt
Faculty: Carrie J Childs-Thor, Melissa C Dyson
Facilitator: Kiirsa A Pokryfke
Workshop Fee: $150 Workshop Limit: 50

This workshop will teach participants how to evaluate, design, and implement a mentorship program for new employees performing animal husbandry tasks. Specific areas cover include why a program is needed, how a mentor is chosen, how to train a mentor, different communication strategies to use with new employees, and the various mentor duties. Hands-on group activities will guide participants through exercises where they will be trained as a mentor, trained to perform thorough room inspections to evaluate the new employees daily/weekly progress, and how to mitigate common problems we’ve encountered with the mentor/trainer/new employee relationship. This workshop is designed for any member of the animal research community interested in improving husbandry technician training at their institution. It is suitable for trainers, teachers, managers, supervisors, and technicians, but open to all. Participants will understand the benefits of a mentor program and learn practical approaches to developing a mentoring program at their institution.


SEMINARS

Building the Perfect Beast: Refinements in Preclinical Models of Sepsis
8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Mile High Ballroom 2A
Leader/Moderator: Tanya L Herzog
Facilitator: TBN

Sepsis is a complex inflammatory response syndrome initiated by microbial infection in normally sterile parts of the body. The syndrome is now recognized as a continuum with “severe sepsis” defined as patients with evidence of acute organ dysfunction, and “septic shock” occurring in those patients with systemic arterial hypotension. Sepsis is one of the leading causes of death in human noncoronary induced intensive care cases, and represents a substantial proportion of critically ill veterinary patients. In the United States, more than 750,000 people are diagnosed with sepsis each year, and 20 to 30% of those die from severe sepsis. While advances in aggressive supportive care have resulted in a reduction in the number of human and veterinary patients who die of sepsis each year, the total number of cases of sepsis continues to increase. Despite decades of promising preclinical research using many different animal species and models, only one therapeutic agent, recombinant human activated protein C, has gained regulatory approval for the treatment of sepsis, and this drug was later withdrawn from the market when repeat studies failed to confirm efficacy. Given the complexity and severity of sepsis, it is not surprising that thousands of studies are conducted each year with animals to discover a cure. Unlike other conditions, the clinical manifestations of sepsis vary significantly with the dose, route, and causative organism; as a result, no model adequately or accurately predicts all the clinical aspects of the disease. This session will discuss the pathophysiology and incidence of sepsis in both human and veterinary medicine, the animal models that have been used to study the syndrome, and the welfare challenges associated with this type of research. Finally, the session will discuss refinements in the design of sepsis studies that can be employed to create an animal model that will more accurately predict the efficacy of different therapeutic interventions. This information will be useful for research staff, veterinarians, and members of the IACUC evaluating sepsis research protocols.

Speakers/Topics:

8:00Tanya HerzogWelcome and Introductions
8:10Andrea HansonPathophysiology and Incidence of Sepsis
8:35Tanya HerzogAnimal Models of Sepsis
9:00Leslie JenkinsWelfare Considerations in Models of Sepsis
9:25John N StalloneRefinements in Preclinical Models of Sepsis


Cephalopods in the Laboratory: An Overview of a Growing Class of Laboratory Animal
8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Mile High Ballroom 4A
Leader: Lisa A Abbo
Moderator: Joshua R Barber
Facilitator: TBN

Cephalopods are a class of aquatic animal that include the coleiods: octopuses, cuttlefish, squid, and the nautiloids. These fascinating invertebrates have become more prevalent in academic institutions over the past decade. Cephalopods have both unique and conserved aspects of their physiology and anatomy that make them an attractive research animal. While there are currently no federal regulations in the United States regarding laboratory care and use of cephalopods, the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand do regulate research done with these species. The unique anatomy and physiology of cephalopods require specific husbandry and veterinary care and can prove to be a challenge to researchers and animal care staff. We will introduce cephalopods in the laboratory followed by an overview of the welfare requirements and guidelines regarding cephalopod species in Europe. We will then discuss how to establish a colony of Sepia bandensis (the dwarf cuttlefish) and equip the audience with information regarding cuttlefish husbandry and veterinary care. Participants will learn about the use of various cephalopod species in the laboratory setting as well as the general welfare and regulations covering these species. Additionally, participants will learn about the basic husbandry requirements for the more common laboratory species as well as disease diagnosis and treatment, anesthesia, and euthanasia of these species. The target audience is researchers or study directors interested in using cephalopods in the lab, animal care staff responsible for the maintenance of aquatic animals, veterinarians, technicians, and enrichment specialists. Additionally, because research in cephalopods is gaining traction, this seminar will specifically touch on starting a new colony of cuttlefish from scratch which will be of interest to researchers, veterinarians, and institutions that might acquire cephalopod species in the future.

Speakers/Topics:

8:00Joshua R BarberWelcome and Introductions
8:05Rebecca OberA Brief Introduction to Cephalopods and Their Use as Research Models
8:30Emily NorthrupGeneral Welfare and Regulations of Cephalopods in the Laboratory Setting
8:55Joshua R BarberGeneral Health, Water Quality, and Husbandry of Cephalopods and Establishing a Colony of Sepia Bandensis
9:30Lisa AbboHealth, Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Euthanasia of Laboratory Cephalopods


Enhancing Research Reproducibility: Considering Extrinsic Factor
8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Mile High Ballroom 3A
Leader/Moderator: Cory F Brayton
Facilitator: Alicia Donnelly

There has been considerable recent discussion about improving characterization and reporting of animal models to improve scientific and translational relevance of animal research. Increasing focus on the optimization of animal models and study design provide opportunities to address confounding factors and sources of bias in animal research. One recent initiative is an upcoming ILAR Journal issue dedicated to the examination of the extrinsic factors that can impact animal models and influence study outcomes. In this session, panel members will present high-level overviews of common extrinsic factors, and how these can be addressed in study design and in reporting. The objective of the session is to promote discussion within the broader research community about research relevant extrinsic factors in animal-based research. Better understanding of these factors and how to address them should enhance preclinical research reproducibility, with benefits to laboratory animals, and to human and nonhuman patient populations. Participants will learn how common extrinsic environmental factors can impact animal models and influence experimental outcomes. Panelists will provide resources and approaches to enhance research rigor and reproducibility, and the panel discussion will elicit participant input. The session will have relevance for research biologists, lab animal scientists, laboratory animal medicine practitioners and veterinary pathologists.

Speakers/Topics:

8:00Cory F BraytonWelcome and Introductions
8:10William P FeeneyExtrinsic Factors: Potential Confounding Variables in Animal Research
8:30Michael QuaileTranslational Animal Modeling Principles
8:50Craig L FranklinMicrobiome Overview: Rodents
9:10David M KurtzFeed and Water: Nutrition, Variability, and Contaminants
9:30Cory F BraytonDiscussion

PLATFORM SESSIONS

8:00 AM-10:45 AM
Platform Session abstracts will be available on www.aalas.org in July. They will also be included in both the mobile app and the National Meeting Final Program.

SPECIAL TOPIC LECTURES


A One Health Experiment: Laboratory-reared Lake Sturgeon as Sentinels of Ecosystem Health 
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room:  Mile High Ballroom 1A
Speaker:  Jeff D Wyatt
Moderator:  Andrew N Winterborn
Facilitator:  Diane M Moorman-White

The target arget audience for this lecture includes animal care staff, managers, technicians, and veterinarians with an interest in learning how 6,000 laboratory-reared lake sturgeon are being used as long-term biomonitors for legacy and emerging aquatic, chemical contaminants in river and lake systems of New York. The audience will learn about the prevalence and health effects of persistent, bioaccumualtive, chemical contaminants (pollutants) in North American rivers. Our One Health proof of concept uses a laboratory-reared, wild-animal model to evaluate ecosystem (including human health) risks posed by the most common aquatic chemical contaminants including mercury, cadmium, nickel, silver, PCBs, dioxins/furans, and organochlorine pesticides. This novel and refined approach using nonlethal blood sampling of repatriated lake sturgeon may be used over the fish's 150-year life span to track environmental pollutant trends and assess animal and human health risks, as well as evaluate impact of remediation efforts.

Cleaning and Disinfection as Key Elements of Your Biosecurity Program: Theory and Practice 
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room:  Mile High Ballroom 2A
Speaker:  José A. Ramirez
Moderator:  Jori Leszczynski
Facilitator: TBN

Cleaning and disinfection are critical elements of any biosecurity program in laboratory animal research. We will start by considering the key principles of biosecurity for the prevention of disease transmission and review the key components of a biosecurity program with specific emphasis on the role of cleaning and disinfection. We review the seven steps of a thorough cleaning and disinfection program, and practical aspects within each step. We also discuss the critical aspects of the disinfection process, which in of itself is mission critical. Lastly, we will touch on the key decisionmaking criteria for disinfectant selection, referencing the scientific literature to examine some of the most widely used biocidal actives in LAR. Participants will understand the basic elements of a biosecurity program and the role cleaning and disinfection play; become aware of the theoretical concepts behind ideal cleaning and disinfection; lean the different types of cleaning and biocidal actives used in surface disinfection and why one may be preferred over others; and learn how cleaning and disinfection chemicals interact with application methods and protocols to affect efficacy, safety, effect on animals and other key performance characteristics. The target audience is laboratory animal scientists and staff, environmental health and safety staff, facilities management staff, clinical veterinarians, and animal attendants.
This Special Topic Lecture is sponsored in part by Lighthouse Life Sciences. 

Evaluating Cannabis Products for Clinical Applications 
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room:  Mile High Ballroom 4A
Speaker:  Casara Andre
Moderator:  Sarah Hansen
Facilitator:  TBN

The evaluation of a cannabis product is a critical step in ensuring that only animal-safe and clinically relevant products are used by the veterinary community. However, deciphering the sea of acronyms and industry-specific jargon is enough to give any practitioner a headache! Additionally, not every laboratory and lab test is created equal. Every practitioner, regardless of their specialty or type of practice, should be comfortable interpreting the laboratory tests for individual cannabis products in order to pair the right product with the patient and their condition. This discussion is intended to equip attendees with clinically relevant cannabis terminology, product evaluation skills, and a familiarity with interpreting cannabis product lab tests. Additionally, this discussion will introduce participants to potential clinical applications within veterinary medicine along with dosing and monitoring guidance. The lecture is appropriate for all attendees.

Sustainable Concepts in Unique Vivaria 
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room:  Mile High Ballroom 3A
Speaker:  Kay Townsend & James Hill
Moderator:  Karen Lencioni
Facilitator:  TBN

This presentation will focus on sustainable and energy conservation planning and design concepts for animal research facilities. The high cost to construct, operate, and maintain these highly sophisticated and technically challenging building types demand a new innovative approach to minimizing the energy requirements they require to operate safely, effectively, and efficiently. Practical approaches with proven results will be shared in detail. One example is the Indiana University School of Medicine's Stark Neurosciences Research Building and its inclusion of the unique vertical vivarium. Ways to evaluate time and energy saving operational concepts will be identified for optimal application. The latest in laboratory research and animal husbandry equipment will be described based upon life cycle costs and return on investment. Such technology includes advancements in thermoelectric and compressor technology, high performance exhaust systems, LED lighting, and energy conserving individually ventilated caging systems. Sustainable planning and design solutions within this vertical vivarium concentrate on forward-thinking workflow and standard operating procedures that reduce animal and personnel movement and natural resources, while maximizing research results and efficacy. Statistics will be shared with attendees that prove success in some areas and inform opportunities for improvement in others. Participants will learn advancements in life science lab equipment and technology and how it impacts sustainability; sustainable planning and design aspects and benefits of the vertical vivarium; the importance of detailed analysis of workflow, standard operating procedure, and innovative engineering approaches to optimize energy conservations; and the unique design concepts associated with planning animal research facility in an extremely harsh climate.

THURSDAY AFTERNOON

PANEL DISCUSSIONS


Care and Husbandry for Immunodeficient Rodents and How It Can Affect Your Research 

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room:  403
Leader/Moderator:  Jamie Naden
Facilitator: Elizabeth Green
Panelists:  Jamie Naden, Barbara D Mickelson, Michelle Melton, Brooke A Sword

This panel will focus on housing and husbandry best practices for immunodeficient rodents to protect animal health and wellbeing and support research. Immunodeficient rodents have been increasingly used in research studies over the last 30+ years. These models require more stringent care to protect their delicate immune systems, enabling them to be suitable for several areas of research and allowing for proper research to be completed. Over the years we have continued to develop best methods to care for these animals and maintain their health status required for quality research. We will discuss breeding and husbandry techniques used at our institution as a commercial vendor, including our custom flexible film isolators, health and genetic monitoring programs, and packing animals for shipment. We will continue the discussion with a review of animal receipt and housing at an academic institution. Husbandry techniques specific to immunodeficient models will be reviewed as well as management of a health monitoring program to maintain high quality animals. Further, we will discuss some tips and tricks that may be helpful to the audience when performing experimental procedures with immunodeficient rodents to ensure the animals remain healthy. Another critical factor to study success is diet consideration for immunodeficient rodents (both nutrient and non-nutrient components) as well as the difference between autoclavable and irradiated diets. Finally, we will discuss the importance of animal welfare in research specific to immunodeficient rodents and the effects of animal health on experimental outcomes and tumor growth. This discussion will be pertinent to any technicians or scientists that care for or study immunodeficient rodents in an industry or academic setting.

Full House: Managing Breeding Mouse Cage Density 
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room:  501
Leader/Moderator:  Elizabeth Dodemaide
Facilitator:  Leslie Bird
Panelists:  Gillian C Braden, Gregory R Reinhard, Kendra L Morris

The Guide provides recommendations for space requirements for housing female mice with a litter, with the caveat that other breeding considerations may require more space, depending on the number of adults and litters and the size and age of litters. It is up to institutions to determine policy and methods to ensure compliance while optimizing researchers needs. Institutional involvement is multifactorial with oversight by the IACUC ensuring health and well-being of all mice and management of individual cages. IACUCs are required to review housing and husbandry standards that deviate from the Guide. Veterinarians are responsible for maintaining mouse health—physical and behavioral while facility personnel are responsible for managing cages to minimize overcrowding. The use of different breeding schemes can drastically affect cage management and animal health and provide challenges for all. The balance of producing research mice in an efficient manner while still meeting the regulatory guidelines can be challenging and many institutions struggle to do this. Do we allow our investigators to do all their own breeding, or should we manage their breeding colonies for them? Participants in this panel discussion represent various institutional programs and individuals will cover the following areas with short presentations: setting IACUC policy and oversight, mouse health and behavior in different cage environments, facility management of cage density, and options for breeding mice for investigators. This will be followed by discussion and input from the audience on how each area is managed in our various home institutions. The target audience is veterinarians, facility managers, and IACUC staff.


Harm/Benefit and Bioethics in Animal Research in the Era of One Health 
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room:  401
Leader:  Margaret S Landi
Moderator:  Lida Anestidou
Facilitator:  Teresa J Sylvina
Panelists: Adam Shriver, Joseph Garner, Eric K Hutchinson, Margaret Foster-Riley

It is important to use consistent analysis and ethical review across the different domains covered by the One Health framework. Whether at the U.S. IACUC meetings, the U.K. Animal Welfare Ethical Review Body (AWERB) meetings or at comparable meetings around the world, most ethic discussions/review are based on harm-benefit analysis (HBA). The HBA is a means to weigh potential harm inflicted to the study animals, against the objectives and benefits of the proposed study to humankind. As part of the HBA, Russell and Burch’s 3Rs are applied as a means to modify harm to the study animals; either by full replacement of study animals with less nonsentient alternatives, reduction in the number of animals being used, while maintaining a robust study) and/or refinement of techniques leading to a decrease in the pain and distress study animals may experience. This paradigm of HBA and the 3Rs may not be enough for a solid bioethical discussion, particularly considering One Health Initiatives.
This Panel Discussion is sponsored in part by Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR). 

Veterinary Verification and Consultation: Where Are We Now? 
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room:  503
Leader/Moderator:  Jessica D Ayers
Facilitator:  Elizabeth Houston
Panelists:  Elaine K Kim, Jane J Na, Christina Nascimento, Derek L Fong

This panel discussion will provide an overview of the development and implementation of Veterinary Verification and Consultation (VVC) procedures at multiple facilities, including the creation of any associated IACUC documents or policies. We will assess the functionality of the process at the different facilities with statistics on the number of significant change events approved using this method and estimates of time saved versus the regular DR process. A panelist from OLAW will also discuss the regulatory oversight of this review method, provide guidance on appropriate implementation and use including what information you need to submit to OLAW and when, and highlight resources for additional guidance. Audience members will be presented with case studies based on real-life and hypothetical examples, and audience polling may be implemented to facilitate participation and discussion. The target audience is all IACUC members and administrators, as well as attending veterinarians and researchers who are interested in using, or are already using, this process and have questions about how VVC is used at other institutions.