Date:  March 18, 2014




National Academies Launches New Roundtable on Laboratory Animal Science and Welfare


WASHINGTON -- The National Academies’ Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) has established the Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use to foster communication among the many constituencies with strong interests in the use of laboratory animals in research.


Even as advances in science are helping reduce the use of animals in biomedical and other research, some animal testing will still be necessary for the foreseeable future.  For more than 60 years, ILAR has provided science-based information to guide the responsible care and use of laboratory animals.  In addition to being ethically sound, better care for laboratory animals is directly linked to reliable, high-quality scientific results, research shows.


“ILAR has a long and distinguished history of assembling leaders in laboratory animal care and use and identifying opportunities for continued progress in this ever-evolving field,” said roundtable co-chair Steven Niemi, director of the Office of Animal Resources at Harvard University.  “Adding the roundtable to ILAR’s repertoire of services to the public and the research community provides a timely and interactive platform to all stakeholders.”


By convening representatives from government agencies, pharmaceutical and consumer product corporations, animal advocacy groups, professional societies, academic institutions, scientists, and veterinarians, the roundtable aims to stimulate dialogue and collaboration, help build trust and transparency, and provide a new pathway to promote the responsible use of animals in science.


Among the topics that the roundtable intends to explore:

           transportation of laboratory animals, a critical international policy issue;

           the value of animal models and their appropriate application;

           improvement of data sharing, along with negative results, failed models, and best practices;

           design, implementation, monitoring, and sharing of performance standards with regulatory and accreditation support;

           navigating increased regulatory complexities; and

           understanding Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) responsibilities.


On June 4-5 in Washington, D.C., the roundtable will conduct a public workshop on reproducibility to discuss fundamental aspects of experimental design for research using animals and animal models.  A second public workshop, to be held Sept. 3-4, will examine critical issues relating to the transportation of research animals and address the challenges of transporting laboratory animals humanely and safely.


The roundtable is sponsored by Covance Laboratories, Inc., University of Washington, University of Michigan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Novartis Corporation, American Veterinary Medical Association, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, GlaxoSmithKline, University of California-Davis, University of Illinois, Charles River Laboratories, and the National Academies.  ILAR is a nationally and internationally recognized leader in developing science-based guidelines for responsible animal care and use. ILAR provides independent, objective advice to the federal government, the biomedical research and lab animal medicine and science communities, and the public.  For more information, visit  


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are private, independent nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter granted to NAS in 1863.  The National Research Council is the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering.  For more information, visit  A roundtable roster follows.



Lauren Rugani, Media Relations Officer

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail

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Division on Earth and Life Studies

Institute for Laboratory Animal Research


Roundtable on Science and Welfare in Laboratory Animal Use


Lynn C. Anderson (co-chair)

Covance Laboratories Inc.


Steven M. Niemi (co-chair)

Harvard University


David Anderson
University of Washington


Bonnie V. Beaver
Texas A&M University


Pamela Chamberlain
Food and Drug Administration


Carol L. Clarke
APHIS Animal Care - U.S. Department of Agriculture


Robert C. Dysko
University of Michigan Medical School


James G. Fox1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dianne Garnes

Novartis Corp.


Gail C. Golab
American Veterinary Medical Association


Donna M. Jarrell

Massachusetts General Hospital


Bruce W. Kennedy

California Polytechnic State University


David M. Kurtz
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences


Margaret S. Landi


Kent C. Lloyd
University of California - Davis


Paul A. Locke (Liaison to ILAR Council)

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


Lawrence B. Schook
University of Illinois


Susan Brust Silk
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare - National Institutes of Health


William J. White
Charles River Laboratories


John C. Wingfield

National Science Foundation


Robert H. Wurtz1,2

National Eye Institute



Lida Anestidou

Roundtable Director



1 Member, Institute of Medicine  

2 Member, National Academy of Sciences