Thursday Morning


W-20 Emotional Intelligence—Discover Your Natural Genius
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 202B
Leader/Faculty: Camellia M Symonowicz, Stephen T Baker
Facilitator: TBN
Workshop Fee: $140 Workshop Limit: 50

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the dimension of intelligence responsible for our ability to manage ourselves and our relationships with others. EI is an important part of an individual’s ability to successfully cope with environmental demands. Because of a constantly changing environment, we often require more than just competencies or technical know-how to be successful. Individuals with a blend of skills, competencies, and interpersonal abilities have a better chance of succeeding when faced with challenges. In this workshop, we will explore the four areas of EI: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. We will explore opportunities for you to increase your EI in the workplace in order to succeed in any position.

This Workshop is sponsored in part by Pfizer, Inc.

W-21 IACUC Protocol Review Challenges
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 209A
Leader: Mary Jo Shepherd
Faculty: Eileen Morgan, Carol Clarke, John Bradfield, Marcy Brown 
Facilitator: TBN
Workshop Fee: $140 Workshop Limit: 50

Workshop participants will be asked to submit at least one protocol review challenge that has either occurred at their institution or that they wish to discuss. Panelists will consist of representatives from OLAW, USDA, and AAALAC International. Participants will be divided into small groups to discuss certain challenges and will be asked to share their recommendations with the whole group. The comments from each group will then be put up for discussion. Panelists will interact with each group on an individual basis to assist them in developing methods to deal with difficult situations involving the IACUC. Situations likely to be discussed include pain/distress categories, humane endpoints, rationale for species and numbers of animals, noncompliance, difficult investigators, high risk animal models, and training issues. Participants will learn new ways to deal with difficult protocol review issues with the help of representatives from USDA, OLAW, and AAALAC. Participants should leave with a more thorough knowledge of IACUC issues. Targeted audience includes veterinarians, IACUC members (including nonaffiliated members), animal technicians, investigators, and investigative staff members.

W-22 Management Coaching in Laboratory Animal Science: The Why, the When, and the How
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 201B
Leader: Krishnan Kolappaswamy
Faculty: Joel A Goldberg
Facilitator: Sheryl J Wildt
Workshop Fee: $140 Workshop Limit: 50

Developing effective managers and leaders is as important to animal care and use organizations as it is to any other business organization. Management coaching has proven to be an effective tool for management and leadership development but, this tool is seldom used to help and guide those responsible for animal care and use programs. These programs exist within diverse and dynamic environments that range from the mundane function of waste disposal to the burnishing of the institution’s reputation for a sensitive activity such as animal research. Leadership and management are difficult in this complex environment and sometimes involve responsibility without authority. Training, knowledge, and experience are given in a quality program, but the management of the staff and interaction with scientists, administrators, regulators, and the public involve interpersonal relationships and the art of communication. Management coaching can help to ensure that animal care and use managers can effectively apply those and other critical skills. As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to 1) identify the benefits of management coaching; 2) describe the roles and responsibilities of a management coach; 3) define the circumstances in which coaches can and should be used; 4) explain the pros and cons of internal versus external coach; 5) identify the characteristics of an effective coach; 6) identify the characteristics of an effective coaching program; 7) describe the ways to follow up on coaching to ensure ongoing application; and 8) assess the impact of coaching. Participants will be involved in an interactive discussion regarding relevant successful coaching situations and their personal experiences with coaches and coaching programs. The target audience includes all that have significant responsibility for animal care and use program.

This Workshop is sponsored in part by American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners (ACLAM/ASLAP).

W-23 Managing the Insider Threat: How Effective Hiring, Welfare Practices, and Security Awareness Improve Research Resilience
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 210A
Leader/Faculty: Norman Mortell
Facilitator: TBN
Workshop Fee: $140 Workshop Limit: 50

This is an essential workshop for anybody concerned about threats to research organizations from animal rights groups. It has been specifically designed to improve risk prevention, research resilience and to raise overall security awareness. The outcomes from this interactive workshop include the following key elements: 1) proactively reviewing the animal rights threats, putting them into context, and introducing simple risk management processes; 2) reviewing the people security issues, hiring processes and discussing red flag analysis of CVs and application forms, how we use social media, and effective pre and post-employment reviews; 3) developing security awareness to reduce or prevent the impact of animal rights targeting and/or infiltration and reviewing insider behavior characteristics; 4) Welfare First, linking best practice welfare processes with security awareness to improve research resilience and making animal care and welfare more tangible and reviewing more openness opportunities. This is an updated version of workshops previously presented at AALAS National meetings that all received excellent attendee feedback. It is intended for anybody working within the research facilities, but specifically those that may have animal rights concerns, those that have an interest in research resilience and security, and those involved in hiring people into research facility roles. The overriding message of this workshop is that we should be proud of what we do, but that having a sensible understanding of security awareness and how a tangible commitment to animal welfare supports research resilience. This workshop delivers best practice resilience in the face of animal rights groups that are determined to undermine the reputation of biomedical research facilities and individual researchers. Attendees with direct involvement with a research security or research facility employment background or job assignment are encouraged to attend this workshop.

This Workshop is sponsored in part by Agenda Resource Management.


Home Cage Monitoring—Where the Mice Play

8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Ballroom B
Leader/Moderator: John J Hasenau
Facilitator: TBN

The ability to collect study data without causing disruptions to the animals has been a long-term goal. If we can minimally interfere with the animal, allowing less background noise in the data then we are truly practicing the 3Rs, especially refinement. Initial discussion will review the history and explain types of rodent home cage monitoring systems that are in use or being developed. Then we will evaluate the needs, the realized benefits, and the practical outcomes of home cage monitoring in the research community. Focused presentations on automated continuous monitoring, starting with telemetry and advancing to multiple modalities, including activity sensors and video and electromagnetic field monitoring in the rodent home cage, will give the audience an awareness of the degree of improvement in animal welfare. This focus on the animal and on the welfare will be a common theme in this seminar relating them to the 3Rs. In addition, the quality of the scientific data generated when using some of these systems will be compared. A facility manager will address what automated home cage monitoring means to the care staff in regards to augmentation of their welfare responsibilities, as well as the potential for improved operational efficiencies. A scientist will address the benefits of home cage monitoring and the data collection compared to other collection methods. The larger picture of what this means in study time, variabilities, and overall resource impacts from the lab management perspective will be evaluated. The last speaker will address the home cage monitoring from an upper administrative and leadership perspective. How can these systems affect the directions and the future of the research institutions initiatives? What could be the overall impact at the institutional level? This seminar is for technicians, managers, veterinarians, and administration who wish to understand home cage monitoring and the benefits of automated home cage monitoring for the animals, the science, and the care staff.


8:00 John HasenauWelcome and Introductions
8:05 John HasenauHome Cage Monitoring, Where Do the Mice Live?
8:25 Claire GrantUsing the Power of Continuous Automated Home Cage Monitoring of Rodents for Science and the 3Rs
8:55 Neil GroveHome Cage Monitoring Management Concerns and Opportunities
9:20 Amanda J KiliaanLab Management of Home Cage Monitoring, the Scientist’s Perspective
9:50 Jan-Bas PrinsPerspectives from the Institutional Leadership
10:10 AllQuestions and Answers

Managing Complex and Chaotic Vivarium Operations

8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Ballroom C
Leader: Sai Tummala
Moderator: Gerard M Cronin
Facilitator: TBN

In recent years, the topic of leadership and management has been the subject of increased attention in vivarium operations. Management and technical staff have regularly expressed concern over the quality of operational leadership and the effects that it has on efficiency, orderly operations, and quality of work life for vivarium staff. Vivarium operations by nature are chaotic due to several facets of operations happening all at same time, including service requests from researchers, equipment failures, staff call-offs, compliance incidents, supply chain management, and HVAC issues. Management are challenged as never before not just to adapt but to adapt at speed in the face of relentless changes and innovation. In this seminar we discuss strategies to reduce chaos in vivarium operations and to rapidly implement ideas to foster an agile operational unit. Topics examined include: where are managers spending time and why; reacting to chaos; how to develop a nimble and sustainable problem solving culture. The concept of accomplishing core tasks through a process driven approach and using a countermeasure system to address process failures will be discussed. Leadership traits such as emotional intelligence, mentoring, and empowering from concepts to practice will be presented. No single solution solves the problems at different facilities; however there is a methodical and conceptual approach in understanding the problems. This session will be presented for program managers, front-line supervisors, veterinarians, and program directors. The participants will learn to understand complex vivarium operations, how to address root cause of problems, how to establish a reward structure to foster desired outcomes, what leadership really means, and how it should work.


8:00 Gerard M CroninWelcome and Introductions
8:10 Sai TummalaA Leadership Approach towards Operational Chaos
8:50 Morgan A Holmes

Streamlined Operational Processes: Sharing Ideas and Examples

9:20 David W BrammerCultural Dynamics in Implementing Operational Changes
9:50 Donna M JarrellAchieving a Sustainable Problem Solving Culture

The Guinea Pig: Care of the Cavy in the Research Environment

8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: 217C
Leader: Samantha R Bozan
Moderator: Jori K Leszczynski
Facilitator: TBN

It is no coincidence that the term “guinea pig” is synonymous with an experimental subject, as the guinea pig has been a model for research for centuries. Guinea pigs have provided essential information on studies ranging from nutritional research to respiratory diseases. Understanding the biology and husbandry of a species is imperative to the overall wellbeing of the animal, as well as a major contribution to the quality of research. This seminar will provide examples of how you can meet the regulations and adapt the Guide recommendation to produce an environment that works for the animals and staff caring for them. Keeping animals housed properly is not the end of the road when it comes to cavy care. Providing them with stimulating environments and proper socialization, as well as the opportunity to express species-specific behaviors is just as crucial as their housing needs. In addition to husbandry and enrichment, this seminar will look at the many benefits to starting an in-house breeding program. We will discuss the processes of breeding, pregnancy, and pup care. While working with guinea pigs in a standard research environment can have its challenges, how do you meet all the needs and requirements for this animal when working at the ABSL3 level? We will discuss the specific challenges of guinea pig husbandry in an ABSL-3 setting, specifically in a tuberculosis model. This seminar is directed at all animal husbandry staff, enrichment coordinators, facility managers, or any labs that are considering the cavy as a research model. We hope to have our audience coming away with a greater understanding of the guinea pig and the care they require to stay physically and mentally healthy.


8:00 Jori LeszczynskiWelcome and Introduction
8:05 Samantha Bozan The Cozy Cavy: Husbandry of the Research Guinea Pig
8:30 Dawn Olso“Wheekly” Fun: Enrichment of the Research Guinea Pig
8:55 Justin LaineSingled Out: The Guinea Pig Dating Game
9:20 Erin S LeeCavy Out of the Box: Adaptations of Guinea Pig Care in an ABSL-3 Study
9:45 Jori LeszczynskiQuestions and Discussion

The Past, Present, and Future of Pain Assessment: How Are We Doing?

8:00 AM - 10:15 AM/Room: Ballroom A
Leaders: Len E Murray, Ida M Washington
Moderator: Ida M Washington
Facilitator: John R DeLeonardis

The recognition of pain following research procedures is important for animal welfare to satisfy regulatory requirements and to ensure research integrity. Over the past 4 to 5 decades the debate on whether animals can feel pain has been a controversial issue. Current evidence-based knowledge of animal behavior has now concluded that all species of research animals do in fact experience pain. We now know that animals and humans share similar mechanisms of pain detection, have similar areas of the brain involved in processing pain, and many species of research animals do indeed show similar pain behaviors. In some species of research animals it can be difficult to assess the level of pain they may be experiencing because of a higher tolerance. In the past, subjective measures, such as food intake, water consumption, and behavior were used to assess the level of pain an animal was experiencing. However, there were no objective measures developed to truly assess this level of pain. Present methods of assessing pain include observations of heart and respiratory rates where these can be measured. Many of the subjective measurements of pain can be combined to form a pain scoring system. However, these systems must be well constructed and properly applied to be successful. We will discuss the past, present, and future of pain assessment and how we evaluate species-specific pain of animals primarily used in research. We will visit pain scoring systems and their applications for assessing pain, along with a brief overview on pain management. We will also hear viewpoints from regulatory officials on regulatory requirements for assessing pain in animals. Target audience includes attending veterinarians, researchers, research program directors, animal care staff, IACUC members, and institutional officials.


8:00 Ida M WashingtonWelcome and Introductions
8:20 Leslie JarrellPain and Pain Recognition in Rodents: Pain Scoring Sheets for Rodents
8:40 Mario C RodriguezPain and Pain Recognition in Large Animals and Nonhuman Primates
9:00 Andrew ClaudeNeuro Physiology of Pain in Comparison to Humans: Objective Pain Assessment in Animals
9:35 Patricia A BrownPHS Policy on Pain in Research Animals Present and Future
9:55 Carol L ClarkeCurrent and Future USDA Regulations on Pain in USDA Covered Species

This Seminar is sponsored in part by SoBran, Inc.

Platform Sessions

8:00 AM–10:45 AM

Platform Session abstracts will be available on in July and will be included in the National Meeting Final Program.

Special Topic Lectures

MUC1: A Multifaceted Oncoprotein with a Key Role in Cancer Progression

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: 217C
Speaker: Pinku Mukherjee
Moderator: Chandra D Williams
Facilitator: TBN

The transmembrane glycoprotein Mucin 1 (MUC1) is present on epithelial cells of all major glandular organs, such as the breast, pancreas, colon, stomach, lung, liver, ovaries, and esophagus. As normal cells become transformed into cancer cells, MUC1 also undergoes molecular transformation. The transformed MUC1 (tMUC1) on cancer cells differs significantly from the normal MUC1 and therefore has become a novel target for therapeutic intervention. For this presentation we will focus on pancreatic cancer, a fatal disease. To understand this disease, we have generated a triple transgenic mouse model that develops spontaneous pancreatic cancer and expresses the human MUC1 transgene. These mice spontaneously develop pre-neoplastic lesions in the pancreas that progress to carcinoma-in-situ and adenocarcinoma, mimicking the human disease. Some of these mice also develop spontaneous metastasis to the liver and peritoneum. We will discuss how we use this mouse model to test state-of-the-art therapies and generate antibodies that have diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In particular, we will present a novel strategy to deliver drugs directly to the pancreatic tumor sparing normal tissues to combat chemo-resistance and toxicity associated with systemic delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs. Further, we will report the development of an accurate diagnostic/imaging test for pancreatic cancer in transgenic mouse models. Globally, this year, it is estimated that ~400,000 patients will die of pancreatic cancer. Development of a biomarker for accurate diagnosis and targeted therapy to improve patient outcome are of paramount importance. Using the triple transgenic mouse model, we were able to generate a novel monoclonal antibody (designated TAB004) that recognizes tMUC1 but does not recognize normal MUC1. We hypothesize that drugs bound to TAB004 will enable the use of highly cytotoxic anti-cancer treatments at localized concentrations making the treatment more effective at lower doses, increasing its therapeutic index and limit toxicity. Further, the engineered immune cells might work as a therapeutic vaccine against pancreatic cancer. These will be breakthrough therapies for a fatal disease. Finally, we will present clinical data on the diagnostic application of TAB004 and the commercial development of a diagnostic test for cancer. This presentation will appeal to veterinarians, animal care technicians, researchers, and those in translational research.

Ophthalmology for Laboratory Animal Veterinarians and Scientists
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: Ballroom B
Speaker: William Greentree
Moderator: Rhonda S Oates 
Facilitator: TBN

The objective of this lecture is to assist clinical laboratory animal veterinarians develop their ophthalmology skills in order for them to perform routine ophthalmic examinations on the common laboratory animal species (rodent, canine, minipig, rabbit, and nonhuman primate). It will also serve as an introduction for scientists and veterinary technicians whose work involves laboratory animal ophthalmology. The lecture will discuss the importance of ocular health as it pertains to laboratory animals and cover the basic ocular anatomy, embryology, and physiology of these species. Ophthalmic examination and diagnostic techniques, including slit lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy, will be reviewed. The lecture will highlight the normal ocular appearance of each species, demonstrate their common spontaneous ocular disorders, and distinguish these findings from toxicological abnormalities. Advanced examination techniques such as tonometry, pachymetry, electroretinography, and optical coherence tomography will also be discussed. Upon completion of the lecture, the attendees will have a firm foundation from which they can perform routine ophthalmic examinations on the common laboratory animal species.

Partial versus Integral Cage Changing: Macro Scenarios and the Impact in Vivarium Opera- tions at Multiple Levels
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM/Room: Ballroom C
Speaker: Richard S Cluck
Moderator: Bruce W Kennedy
Facilitator: TBN

Lab animal facilities change their rodent individual ventilated caging (IVC) caging on either a weekly or bi-weekly basis and must decide whether to do it partially (just the bottoms) or integrally (full cage). Each process requires different SOPs and procedures. Whether it is positive or negative, each process will impact the facility’s operation at different levels. We will study specific case scenarios, present pros and cons in each situation, and analyze their impact at a macro level from multiple angles, such as labor costs, operational efficiency, risk of cross contamination, staff’s exposure to allergens, and usage of footprint. Additionally, the many solutions available for partial and integral cage changes that impact the flow in operations, from the changing stations, logistics utilized types of washers to the type of flow through the facility will be covered.

Panel Discussions 

Animal Use-Associated Challenges, Burdens and Resulting Tensions: Do IACUCs, Animal Resource Centers, and Investigators Have Different Perspectives?”
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room: 207D
Leader/Moderator: Patricia Preisig
Facilitator: TBN
Panelists: Jim D Macy, Jerry Silverman

Animal-based research is indispensable for the advancement of knowledge in the biomedical, sociological, ecological, and environmental fields. Nevertheless, it is facing a trifecta of issues central to its sustainability. Federal funding is not keeping pace with inflation. There is increasing regulatory stringency. And public support is lessening. Collectively, these issues impose challenges that can create an environment of burden and tension. Ultimately, the resultant triad of challenges, burdens, and tensions, either individually or collectively, can negatively impact the stability of the relationship between the three entities that are directly accountable for animal-based research activities: the investigators, the IACUCs, and the attending veterinarians (AVs) and animal resource centers. Discordance among the three entities appears to be increasing during a time in which programmatic alignment is critical to the sustainability of animal-based research. To better understand the discordance the panel will provide perceptions of challenges, burdens, and tensions from the perspective of the investigators, IACUCs, AVs, and animal resource centers. Audience members will be presented with a list of activities/tasks associated with animal-based research and, using a Likert scale approach asked from their role in animal-based research, how each activity/task is viewed in terms of being a challenge, increasing burden, and fostering tensions, and whether the activity/task is considered value-added for animal care and use. The outcome will identify items that are considered a challenge, a burden, or cause for tension, and will determine if the perceived value of the items influences the categorization of the activities. The results will be used to frame a discussion centering on alternative approaches to the difficult and/or contentious aspects of an essential activity/task and the necessity for continuing a low value activity/task. The overall goal of the session will be to determine if there are overarching themes that emerge from each of the three program perspectives and explore how these themes might be addressed globally and locally. The session is directed toward investigators that use live animals in their research programs, IACUC participants, AVs, and animal resource center staff.

Come See Our World: Advocacy and Authenticity
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room: 213C
Leader: Paula A Clifford
Moderator: Lynn C Anderson
Facilitator: Jacquie Calnan
Panelists: Cindy A Buckmaster, Paula A Clifford, Wendy Jarrett, Kirk Leech, Letty V Medina

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words. Yet images that authentically represent animal-based research are vastly outnumbered in the press, curriculum materials, and social media by distorted and falsified images put forth by animal rights activists. Perhaps the worst image the activists have is of a locked laboratory door, which invites the viewer to go to his or her darkest thoughts about what could be going on behind that door. All too often, research institutions are unwittingly complicit in helping activists make their point by prohibiting or severely restricting the release of images of laboratory animals, their housing, and their care. For us to sustain and bolster public appreciation for the necessity and humane nature of animal-based research, we as a community must be more forthcoming and offer a more focused and transparent view of our world. It is crucial that up-to-date and accurate images of animal-based research be made available if we wish to break the chokehold animal rights activists have on public opinion. In the UK, this has been addressed by encouraging greater transparency through the Concordat on Openness in Animal Research, and by online images of research animals freely offered to the public and the media by Understanding Animal Research and Speaking of Research. The European Animal Research Association, which operates in over 20 European countries, has a similar approach of encouraging public and private research institutions to adopt polices of greater openness with the public and political decision makers. The panel will take a look at these European models, and discuss what research institutions and advocates in the US, Canada, and elsewhere can do individually and/or collectively to ensure that their study and care of research animals is appropriately represented to the public.

This Panel Discussion is sponsored in part by Americans for Medical Progress (AMP), Understanding Animal Research and European Animal Research Association, Covance, and AbbVie.

Reaching In to Reach Out: The Value of Establishing An AVMA-Approved Veterinary Technician Externship At Your Facility
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room: 213B
Leader: Summer M Boyd
Moderator: Ann L Murray
Facilitator: Mark T Sharpless
Panelists: Summer M Boyd, Shanna McAlarnen, Phillip N Sullivan, Kristy Weed

Skilled veterinary technicians are a vital part of any veterinary care team in the biomedical research setting. Unfortunately, many veterinary technical training programs do not promote biomedical research as a career option nor is it a large part of the required curriculum. The result is that many talented veterinary technicians are not seeking jobs in the biomedical field upon completion of their training, creating a lose-lose situation for both the technician who doesn’t consider this rewarding career path and the animal care program in need of well-trained, knowledgeable technicians. To address this problem, some research institutions have created externships and other outreach programs in cooperation with local technical colleges to introduce veterinary technical students to biomedical research and the role that a veterinary technician plays in it. This panel will inform participants how four major research institutions have taken an active role in educating students at local veterinary technology programs about biomedical research and the benefits all parties have experienced. Participants will have ample opportunity to engage panelists in discussions about the programs at their institutions and share ideas through open dialogue. The target audience is veterinary technicians/students, veterinary technician educators, veterinarians, institutional leadership, and hiring managers.

Strategies for Committee Approach to the Oversight of Research Animals and Procedures
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM/Room: 207A
Leader/Moderator: Margaret S Landi
Facilitator: Mary Ann Vasbinder
Panelists: Eric K Hutchinson, Kathy Laber, John N Norton

This panel will discuss tactics for ensuring that IACUC discussions on the 3Rs is not lessened by use of templates often put in place to optimize IACUC processes. It is important to ensure that any templates or checkboxes do not short change the debate needed for discussions requiring careful attention to ethical and scientific assumptions used for approval, or not. The panel will propose different solutions and concepts to ensure adequate debate and not increase any burden for the IACUC. The audience for this panel would include, but not be limited to, any member of an IACUC, investigators, laboratory animal technicians, veterinarians, and members of governing bodies. After attending the panel discussion, attendees should leave with new ideas on ways to approach 3Rs and harm/benefit discussions before and during IACUC meeting; for example, application of “moral considerability” as a tactic to discuss improvement in animal studies within the constraints of the proposed scientific investigations.