Internal Oversight

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

All institutions conducting research or teaching with animals regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and Title 9 of the Federal Code of Regulations or funded by the Public Health Service, which includes the National Institutes of Health (NIH), must have a properly constituted Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. The IACUC is responsible for ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations that apply to animal research and comprises veterinarians, scientists, nonscientists, animal care staff, and community members not affiliated with OHSU. The committee members review, require modifications to gain approval, and approve or disapprove of all proposed research projects involving live vertebrate animals.   The IACUC conducts inspections of all animal facilities and evaluates the entire animal care and use program every six months.  The OHSU West Campus IACUC is administrated by the OHSU Research Integrity Office, which provides advice to the research community on maintaining regulatory compliance.   The IACUC meets monthly to review animal protocols for the West Campus and collaborates closely with the Central and Waterfront Campus IACUC.  No live animal research may be conducted without the approval of the IACUC. There are five critical elements to the process by which the IACUC reviews proposed activities with animals:

  1. The scientist must describe in detail the specific procedures planned with the animals, such as behavioral testing, surgical procedures, or the administration of experimental substances like drugs or vaccines.
  2. There must be scientific justification for conducting any procedures that may cause pain or distress. If so, the scientist must describe all steps they will take to minimize pain or distress.
  3. The scientist must justify why the proposed research must be conducted with monkeys rather than a less sentient animal, whether there are any alternative methods the scientist can use to answer the question (for example, by studying cells rather than whole animals), and why the specific number of animals requested for the research project is needed to ensure statistical rigor of the findings and experimental reproducibility.
  4. The scientist must indicate that the proposed research does not unnecessarily duplicate existing research and must describe the sources of information used to determine there are no available alternatives to procedures that may cause pain or distress. 
  5. The scientist must list all personnel involved in the project and document that the staff performing procedures with the animals have been appropriately trained for their work.

Animal Utilization Advisory Committee (AUC)

The Animal Utilization Committee meets monthly to review anticipated funding proposals from investigators, discuss anticipated long- and short-term plans and the requirements for animal models,  and review the allocation of limited animal resources to active research protocols. The AUC also serves as an educational forum for policy decisions related to the use of nonhuman primates (NHPs) in research protocols.  The committee is broadly experienced and includes representation from the following areas: scientists in all research divisions, animal care and colony management staff, and administrative staff.

OHSU Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

The OHSU Institutional Biosafety Committee evaluates all research conducted with recombinant DNA (rDNA), synthetic nucleic acid molecules, infectious agents, and biologically derived toxins to ensure compliance with NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules (NIH Guidelines). The IBC routinely reviews and makes recommendations for all such research projects performed on the OHSU West Campus.

Campus Safety Committee

The Campus Safety Committee educates and trains personnel to reduce the potential for injuries and illness due to hazards in the workplace and protect the safety and health of employees.  The committee evaluates incidents,  makes recommendations for corrective action, and oversees the adherence to local, state, and federal workplace health and safety guidelines. More specifically, the committee defines actual or potential occupational risks, promotes accident prevention, and helps identify and define employee safety training needs, and utilizes accident investigation additional resources in the event of an incident.

West Campus Operations Committee

All division and unit heads meet to discuss issues regarding the planning of scientific programs, facilities/property, animal resources, information technology, environmental health and safety, administrative services, and the accurate and transparent release of information to the public.

Research Integrity Office

The Research Integrity Office is responsible for ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines related to animal research on all OHSU campuses.   The Research Integrity Office works closely with the IACUC and IACUC chair, the IBC, the West Campus attending veterinarian,  the biosafety officer, and the occupational health nurse. The Research Integrity Office also works closely with Animal Resources and Research Support to ensure proper training of animal technicians and research staff.