Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Research funding proposals for projects involving the use of animals must have the prior review of UAH's Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC.) Information about the committee, its purpose and procedures follows. The forms used to provide proper documentation and to request project review can be obtained at the appropriate link in the text. The new assurance number is A3881-01, which expires January 31, 2011.

What is the purpose of the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC)? The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee is charged with the regulation of all research at the University involving animal subjects according to the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research and Training. The IACUC provides regulatory oversight and assures animal welfare for all animals used in experiments at UAH. Included in our policy is regulation of all research conducted by UAH investigators, even if this research is performed off campus.

What are the duties of the IACUC? The UAH IACUC provides regulatory oversight and assures animal welfare for all animals used in experiments by UAH researchers. The following excerpt is taken from UAH's Animal Welfare Assurance, which is on file with the U.S. Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), a division of the National Institutes of Health.

"The IACUC will:

  • Review at lease once every six months the institution's program for humane care and use of animals, using the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals ("Guide") as a basis for evaluation.
  • Inspect at lease once every six months all of the insitution's animal facilities (including satellite facilities) using the Guide as a basis for evaluation.
  • Prepare reports of the IACUC evaluations as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.B.3. and submit the reports to the Vice President for Research.
  • Review concerns involving the care and use of animals at the institution.
  • Make written recommendations to the Vice President for Research regarding any aspect of the institution's animal program, facilities or personnel training.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval) or withhold approval of those activities reltated to the care and use of animals as set forth in PHS Policy at IV.C.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval) or withhold approval of proposed significant changes regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities as set forth in the PHS Policy at IV.C.
  • Notify investigators and instituion in writing of its decision to approve or withhold approval of those activities related to the care and use of animals, or of modifications required to secure IACUC approval as set forth in PHS Policy at IV.C.4.
  • The IACUC will be authorized to suspend any activity that it previously approved if it determines that the activity is not being conducted in accordance with applications of the Animal Welfare Act, the Guide, the institution's Assurance or the PHS Policy. The IACUC may suspend an activity only after review of the matter at a convened meeting of a quorum of the IACUC and with the suspension vote of a majority of the quorum present.

What is the composition of the UAH IACUC? Information about the IACUC can be found at this link.

What type of research is subject to IACUC review?Any research, teaching or training project involving vertebrate animals must receive IACUC review and approval.

When do I obtain the review? Obtain review PRIOR to beginning the project. If you are submitting a proposal for funding to support the project, you must obtain the review and approval prior to submitting the proposal and the approval certificate must be part of your proposal file. It is recommended that you submit your forms a minimum of one month prior to the date you will need the approval certificate.

What form do I need to submit? The IACUC has two forms to be used as appropriate for the animal use situation, teaching or research. Use of animals for teaching does not require action by the Office of Sponsored Programs unless the activity is related to sponsored project funding. The form for teaching, Request for Use of Live Vertebrate Animals for Teaching, can be obtained at this link. The form for research, Request for Review of Proposed Use of Vertebrate Animals for Research, can be obtained at this link.

Who do I contact if I need assistance filling out the form? Dr. Roy Magnuson (roy.magnuson@email.uah.edu), Chair of the UAH IACUC, can be contacted for assistance with the review request process.

What other information should accompany the form?A brief protocol for the research project should be included with the proposal form. This protocol should describe the methods to be employed in the research, as well as a summary of the specific aims and significance of the proposed research. The number of animals and use of rare species must be justified.

Are there different levels of review?Yes. Prior to formal review, the Committee reviews each proposal individually. If no member of the committee requests a full Committee review, the IACUC chairperson designates reviewers for the proposal. Some proposals require full Committee review, depending on the specific procedures to be used in the project.

How long does a review take? How often does the Committee meet? The review usually takes 2-4 weeks [PLAN ACCORDINGLY!] The Committee meets in April and October every year, during which time proposals may be reviewed. Proposals may also be submitted during other times throughout the year, when they will be reviewed either by designated reviewers of by the full Committee.

How can I remedy a denied application? Investigators whose applications have been denied may consult with the IACUC Chairperson for feedback regarding the reasons for denial. Revised proposals that address Chair and Committee comments may be resubmitted for further review.

To whom do I report problems with animal care or knowledge of misuse of animals? Report problems with animals or knowledge of misuse of animals to any of the following individuals:

Dr. Roy Magnuson, Chair, UAH IACUC

Dr. Ray Vaughn, Vice President for Research

Ms. Gloria Greene, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs

How can I obtain more information about the care and use of laboratory animals? The National Institutes of Health has a tutorial based on the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.