Wallace P. Rowe Lecture

This lecture, named after the first scientist to undertake systemic studies of many viral infections of laboratory animal mice, focuses on a current, innovative concept with implications for laboratory animal diseases.

Charles C. Hunter Lecture

This lecture pays tribute to the late Dr. Hunter, a former AALAS president and an enduring leader in the field of laboratory animal science. Dr. Hunter was known for his dedication to continuing education for laboratory animal technicians.

Living among Bats: This lecture will cover the many benefits of bats to our environment, as well as the threats that bats face, both old and new. This is a topic that bat conservationists and scientists are working hard to address. Bats are vital to our ecosystems. Seventy percent of bat species worldwide eat insects, providing beneficial insect pest control services. Many species can eat 75% of their body weight in insects every night. Research in recent years has shown that bats save the agriculture industry across the U.S. a minimum of $3.7 billion every year, both in crop damage averted and the need for fewer pesticides. The targeted audience is anyone attending the conference. This Special Topic Lecture is sponsored in part by Committee for Technician Awareness and Development (CTAD).  Monday, October 16, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Ballroom D.

Presenter: Dianne Odegard

Dianne Odegard, Education & Public Outreach Manager for Bat Conservation International in Austin, Texas, studied graphic art in college, but has always been fascinated by bats, and by the various ways humans respond to them. Since being hired by BCI in 2005 she has immersed herself in bat biology, bats and public health, bats in buildings, and in conservation education for children and adults. She has shared her knowledge with a wide range of audiences in Texas and beyond and is BCI’s urban bats specialist. She has coauthored a handbook on bat control in schools and is currently working on a series of publications addressing aspects of bats in human structures. She and her husband share their home with Zoey and ZuZu, BCI’s two Ambassador Bats (African straw-colored fruit bats) and, as a state permitted wildlife rehabilitator, with as many as 50 native Texas bats of nine different species.

Charles River Lecture 

This Special Topic Lecture is sponsored in part by Charles River Commitment to Humane Animal Research Through Excellence and Responsibility Program.

Risks of Bias in Animal Research and What to Do About Them:  The potential rewards from a successful in vivo research project – to the scientist, the institution, or the company – are huge. For most involved in such activity, success is determined by surrogate measures such as publications, grants received, or progression of the research idea to clinical trial. Few have their success measured against the public health impact of any resulting treatment. In seeking to understand the reasons for observed translational failures, we have established that many reports of in vivo research do not describe measures which, if taken, would substantially reduce risks of bias; and, that studies which do report such measures give significantly smaller estimates of treatment effects. This holds for research regardless of disease area, academic setting, or journal of publication. Further, the approach to study design and analysis is often less than optimal, with no prior specification of primary outcome or statistical analysis plan and misinterpretation of the meaning of p values. While there is some evidence for improvement in recent years, I will argue that there is a pressing need – on the grounds of both ethics and efficiency – to adopt a more systematic approach to research improvement. Attendees will learn the pivotal importance of experimental design and conduct in maximizing the benefit/harm balance for research using animals and will be introduced to strategies to improve research value which they may deploy in their own working environment. Tuesday, October 17, 11:00 AM-12:00 PM, Ballroom D.

Presenter: Malcolm Macleod

Malcolm Macleod is Professor in Neurology and Translational Neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh, and Head of Neurological Diseases and Stroke at NHS Forth Valley. After undergraduate work in medicine and pharmacology, he trained in internal medicine before completing a PhD in the Butcher lab investigating the neuroprotective actions of FK506. His post-doctoral work in the Seckl lab defined a neuroprotective role for increased expression of the mineralocorticoid receptor. He completed his training in Neurology, including a sabbatical year with Donnan, at the National Stroke Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. His involvement with stroke clinical trials included an effort to identify suitable drugs for such clinical trials that he started to develop techniques to allow the systematic review and meta-analysis of data from animal studies. This led to the founding of the Collaborative Approach to Meta-analysis and Review of Animal Data from Experimental Studies (CAMARADES) in 2005. Since then these approaches have found application in a diversity of models, and the CAMARADES group, under his leadership, have built expertise in this area. He participated in writing the Landis guidelines, contributed to the Lancet “Waste in Research” series, and is an investigator on the MultiPART program developing structures for multicenter animal studies. He is a member of the UK MHRA Commission for Human Medicines and the UK Home Office Animals in Science Committee, and is co-Chief Investigator of EuroHYP-1, a European RCT of brain cooling for stroke.

Nathan R. Brewer Lecture

This lecture pays tribute to the late Dr. Brewer, one of the founding fathers of AALAS and an enduring leader in the field of laboratory animal science. Typically, the recipient of the Nathan R. Brewer Award gives this lecture.