Binders in a row1

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

What is an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee?
The IACUC is the committee charged with overseeing the care and use of laboratory animals for research, testing, and teaching, and for evaluating all aspects of the care and use program.

What laws govern animal care in research?
OHSU is bound by two federal mandates, namely the Animal Welfare Act and the Health Research Extension Act in implementing its animal care and use program.

What standards are applied to the OHSU animal care and use program?
Animal care and use program standards at OHSU are defined by the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Animal Welfare Act regulations.

What does AAALAC accreditation mean? 

The AAALAC International accreditation program evaluates organizations that use animals in research, teaching or testing. Those that meet or exceed AAALAC standards are awarded accreditation.

The accreditation process includes an extensive internal review conducted by the institution applying for accreditation. During this review, the institution creates a comprehensive document called a "Program Description" which describes all aspects of the animal care and use program (policies, animal housing and management, veterinary care, and facilities). The Program Description is then submitted to AAALAC.

Next, AAALAC evaluators (members of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation) review the Program Description and conduct their own comprehensive on-site assessment. The site visitors' report is then reviewed by the entire Council on Accreditation and accreditation status is determined. If deficiencies are found, they are outlined in a letter and the institution is given a period of time to correct them. Once the deficiencies are corrected, accreditation is awarded. The entire process is completely confidential.

After an institution earns accreditation, it must be re-evaluated every three years in order to maintain its accredited status. Currently more than 900 organizations in 37 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation.

Accreditation benefits an institution and the animals in its care in many ways. And each time a new organization becomes accredited, it helps to raise the global benchmark for animal well-being in science.

How often does the IACUC perform inspections?

The IACUC evaluates OHSU's animal research program and inspects animal housing and use areas at least semi-annually.

What do I need to do to start animal research at OHSU?
The following must be completed in order to start using animals in research.

  • Protocol Approval - contact the IACUC office for information and support (CWC): 503-494-8408 or email us at the  office.
  • Training - complete the relevant training modules in Big Brain    in the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM-C) or Division of Comparative Medicine-West campus for any other additional training to gain access to the animal facilities.
  • Occupational Health - everyone working with animals must enroll by filling out DCM's (Occupational Health Questionnaire) and returning it to Employee Health, Mail code UHN89.

I have completed training but still cannot log into the eIACUC system.  What should I do? 
Contact the office or call us at (503) 494-8408. On the West campus, send us an or call (503) 466-3800.

How do I create a study in the eIACUC system?
Please view our list of How-to Helpsheets that will get you started. Also, you are encouraged to contact the IACUC office (503) 494-8408 or (503) 466-3800 and we will be able to provide considerable help and support.

What about using radiation, hazardous chemicals, and/or infectious agents/toxins, recombinant DNA or synthetic nucleic acid molecules with animals?
You will need approval for use of these agents before your IACUC protocol can be approved.

How long will the IACUC review process take?
The length of time needed for review will vary depending upon the complexity of the protocol or modification that is under consideration. However, on average, new protocols and 3-year renewals require approximately 6 weeks for approval while significant protocol modifications may take about 3 weeks. Minor protocol modifications which can be approved administratively sometimes take as little as 2-3 days. Please see the Review Process Flowchart for an approximation of the time that will be needed.

What do all the acronyms mean?
Please see our acronyms page for reference. 

What resources are there for IACUC education?
The OHSU IACUC offers educaiton courses on animal research from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science Learning Library.

Questions?  Contact the IACUC staff.

Central and Waterfront Campus (CWC): call (503) 494-8408 or
West Campus (WC): call (503) 466-3800 or