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Frequently Asked Questions

“[Principal Investigators] must ensure compliance with Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals when using live vertebrate animals...Animal use encompasses research, teaching, or testing.” –National Institute of Health

What is the IACUC?

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is a federally mandated committee that oversees the proposed and implemented use of all live vertebrate animals. We are charged with the protection of animals and the University from legal repercussions due to unethical practices.

The IACUC assures animal use is scientifically justified and that all animals involved receive humane care, treatment, and that the procedures are justified.

  • We oversee:
    • Vertebrate animal care and use
    • Animal housing and facilities
    • Animal procedures
  • We review and approve prior to animal use:
    • Laboratory research
    • Field research
    • Use in teaching
    • Use in testing/other
  • We also:
    • Review significant changes to approved protocols
    • Evaluate compliance with PHS Policy, USDA Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, and institutional policies
    • Review concerns of animal use/abuse
    • Inspect animal facilities
    • Report noncompliance and suspensions to OLAW (Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, NIH).

Who needs an IACUC protocol review?

Federal animal welfare regulations, U.S. PHS policy, and MSSU policy require that all activities involving the use of any live vertebrate animals be reviewed and approved by the IACUC prior to implementation.

When should I submit a protocol for review?

According to federal regulations, any activity proposing the use of vertebrate animals for research, teaching, or testing on campus must be reviewed and approved prior to collecting or purchasing animals, performing any procedures, or collecting data.  Approval is required prior to the onset of animals arriving on campus and/or active use.  Expect several weeks between your submission and a completed IACUC review.  A review does not guarantee approval.

Who can apply for an IACUC protocol review?

Principal Investigators (MSSU faculty) can submit IACUC protocols for review. Students may work alongside principal investigators but the protocol, approval, and legal responsibility of the protocol falls on the principal investigator.  All participants (including the principal investigator) must be up to date on course trainings associated with the proposed research.