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Project Information

Project Information

Assessment of the Care and Use of Dogs in Research Funded by or Conducted at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Project Scope:

In response to a request from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will appoint an ad hoc committee to develop two reports to review the care and use of dogs in research funded by the VA or carried out in VA facilities regardless of funding source, for the purpose of advancing science and the understanding of how diseases affect the health of veterans. Specifically, the committee will:

1.    Explore current and anticipated research questions directly related to the VA’s mission to determine if dogs [rather than non-rodent (excluding nonhuman primates) or rodent species or non-animal alternatives] are or will continue to be necessary for relevant basic and translational research. The committee will:

a.    Make a determination as to whether dogs are or will continue to be necessary for any type of research directly related to the VA’s mission. If it is determined that they are necessary, describe the unique biological/immunological characteristics of dogs that currently make it the necessary animal model for use in these types of research;

b.    Provide recommendations for any new or revised scientific parameters to guide how and when to use dogs for research rather than non-rodent (excluding nonhuman primates) or rodent species or non-animal alternatives;

c.     Explore contemporary and anticipated future alternatives to the use of dogs in this research and determine how these could be part of a strategy to develop and/or use alternatives in support of the agency’s mission.

2.    Identify ethical standards and state-of-the-art practices supporting the care, use and welfare of dogs in research;

3.    Evaluate VA’s current review and oversight practices for the extent to which they meet the recommendations, standards and practices identified above, and make a separate determination as to whether changes in VA practices are recommended.

The first report will include conclusions and recommendations in response to the first two components of the Statement of Task while the second report will be informed by the first report in providing conclusions and recommendations that address the third component of the Statement of Task.

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 21 month(s)

RSO: Anestidou, Lida


Biology and Life Sciences
Health and Medicine

Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 11/16/2018

Rhonda L. Cornum - (Chair)
Brigadier General (retired) Rhonda L. Cornum serves as the Director of Health Strategy for Techwerks. She has a unique perspective, having served as the first Director of the U.S. Army’s novel Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness (CSF2) initiative, the model for universal implementation of physical and psychological health promotion. She previously served as the Assistant Surgeon General, responsible for policies and procedures to prepare soldiers and units for deployment, and commanded the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the evacuation hub for Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa, and Europe. During this assignment, she commissioned the development of the Joint Patient Tracking Application and pioneered use of the Nova Lung during critical care air transport. Dr. Cornum has written or co-authored one book, five book chapters, and numerous scientific articles. She has served on numerous committees and advisory boards, including the Secretary’s POW Advisory Committee for the VA, the External Advisory Board for the Millennium Cohort Study, and is a Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr Cornum is Board certified in Urology, a Fellow in both the American College of Surgeons and the Aerospace Medical Association, and is a member of the American Society of Nutrition. She holds a PhD in biochemistry and nutrition from Cornell University and an MD from the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, Maryland.
W. Ron DeHaven - (Vice Chair)
W. Ron DeHaven has a rich background in the veterinary profession, including nine years as the American Veterinary Medicine Association’s (AVMA) CEO. At AVMA, he served over 88,000 members and worked to meet the challenges of improving human and animal health. DeHaven also worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) for nearly 3 decades, finishing his career there as the administrator, the agency's top position. At APHIS, he focused on protecting U.S. agriculture and natural resources from exotic pests and diseases, handling wildlife management activities, and overseeing the Animal Welfare Act. DeHaven's work with APHIS, where he also served as the Chief Veterinary Officer for animal health for the United States, gained him national prominence in 2003 and 2004 when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and H5N1 avian influenza were making national headlines. His public service earned him many awards, including two Presidential Rank Awards for his leadership in government, two USDA Secretary's Honor Awards, and the AVMA's Meritorious Service Award. He received his DVM degree in 1975 from Purdue University and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Purdue University in 2005. After leaving AVMA, DeHaven joined the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine (CPCVM), part of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, on a part-time basis to work on developing standardized public and corporate clerkships.
Donna K. Arnett
Donna K. Arnett is Dean of the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Public Health and a professor in the Department of Epidemiology. Prior to her appointment at UK in 2016, Dr. Arnett was Associate Dean and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. With 24 years of continuous NIH funding, Dr. Arnett studies genes related to hypertensive disorders and organ damage that results from hypertension -- an interest she developed early in her career while working as a clinical research nurse. A past president of the American Heart Association (AHA), she has led the AHA's Research Committee and Scientific Publishing Committee. Dr. Arnett is also an elected fellow of the AHA, the American College of Epidemiology, and the American Epidemiological Society. She has more than 20 years of experience leading the recruitment and oversight of large, multi-site cohort studies, including the Minnesota Heart Survey and the NIH-sponsored clinical study "The Genetics of Lipid Lowering and Diet Network" (GOLDN). Dr. Arnett has published more than 600 peer-reviewed papers and two books. In 2017 she received the Population Research Prize from the American Heart Association. She holds a BS degree in nursing and an MPH degree in biostatistics and epidemiology from the University of South Florida and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Warren Casey
Warren Casey is the director of the U.S. National Toxicology Program's Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). He also serves as the director of The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). The mission of ICCVAM, which is composed of representatives from 16 U.S. federal regulatory and research agencies, is to promote the regulatory acceptance of test methods that protect human and animal health and the environment while reducing, refining, or replacing the use of animal tests. Dr. Casey also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at NCSU and is Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. Prior to joining NICEATM, Dr. Casey was the Manager of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Glaxo Inc. from 1994 to 1999; Head, Biomarker Development, at GlaxoWellcome, Inc., from 1999 to 2002; and a Senior Scientist, Discovery and Investigative Toxicology, at GlaxoSmithKline, Inc., from 2002 to 2009. He is the author or co-author of over 28 publications in peer-reviewed journals, holds three patents, and has made presentations at scientific meetings. Dr. Casey received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry and his PhD in microbiology from North Carolina State University.
Chris Green
Chris Green is the first Executive Director of the Animal Law and Policy Program of the Harvard Law School (HLS). He is an alumnus of Harvard Law School and as a student won First Prize at the inaugural National Animal Law Competition, an event he now regularly judges. Chris took Harvard’s first ever class in Animal Rights Law, and in conjunction with that course, spent two years developing his own scholarship––writing The Future of Veterinary Malpractice Liability in the Care of Companion Animals, which was published in the 10th Anniversary Issue of the Animal Law Review. Chris then worked closely with his HLS instructor Steven Wise on the pioneering law review article about applying habeas corpus to chimpanzees that helped establish the theoretical underpinnings for the current work of the Nonhuman Rights Project. Most recently, Chris spent two years as the first Director of Legislative Affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and 2014-15 as the Chair of the American Bar Association’s TIPS Animal Law Committee. Chris serves on the Executive Board of the National Sheriffs Association’s Coalition on Violence against Animals, has served on the Board of the National Center for Animal Law, was an adviser to the National Canine Research Council, and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Law Association, and the Illinois Farm Bureau. He has consulted on animal legal issues for CNN, CBS, NBC, NPR, Headline News, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Huffington Post, Politico, Bloomberg, Fortune, Smart Money Magazine, Science Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune & San Francisco Chronicle. Chris served on the National Academies committee that organized the Workshop on Future Directions for Laboratory Animal Law in the United States (2017-2018).
Joan C. Hendricks
Joan C. Hendricks served on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine for more than 20 years. From 2006 to 2016, Dr. Hendricks was the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2001 she was named the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Small Animal Medicine, the first woman to be named to an endowed professorship at the school. Dr. Hendricks also served as chief of critical care in the Department of Clinical Studies at Philadelphia, she was the founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center (VCIC) at the school, and she held a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Medicine at Penn Medicine. She is a recognized expert in the field of sleep and sleep disorders and has, for decades, studied the physiology and anatomy of sleep and an animal model of sleep apnea (the English bulldog). She later on switched to using Drosophila as a model to study sleep and sleep disorders. Dr. Hendricks has a BS in biology and psychology from Yale University and a VMD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hendricks currently is on terminal sabbatical and will retire effective August 1, 2019.
Kathrin Herrmann
Kathrin Herrmann is a veterinarian and assistant scientist at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. At CAAT-US as well as CAAT-Europe (based at the University of Konstanz, Germany), she coordinates the Refinement Program. During her veterinary training, which involved studies in Berlin, Germany and Zürich, Switzerland, and clinical trainings at Cornell University, USA, Massey University, NZ, and University of Pretoria, SA, Kathrin was engaged in many animal protection issues. Animal experimentation and the 3Rs have been her primary focus since she became a research fellow at the Animals Scientific Procedures Inspectorate in Berlin (2007-2017). After a 4-year residency program, Kathrin became a veterinary specialist of animal welfare and ethics in Germany in 2014. Since 2016, she is an accredited European Specialist in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law with the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. For her PhD studies (2012-2018), supervised by Professor Paul Flecknell, she reviewed German animal research applications to determine whether all existing refinement measures were being proposed as a means of reducing animal suffering to the absolute minimum. Her other interests relate to advocating for openness and public engagement in animal experimentation and for humane education. Kathrin also raises awareness of the important role veterinarians should play in animal protection. She is the initiator and co-editor of the forthcoming book “Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change” (Brill, Vol. 22), which features 51 authors who review current animal use in science, present new and innovative non-animal approaches to address urgent scientific questions, and offer a roadmap towards replacement. "Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change" will be available through open access in early 2019.
Jonathan Kimmelman
Jonathan Kimmelman is the James McGill Professor in the Biomedical Ethics Unit/Social Studies of Medicine of McGill University. He has cross appointments in Experimental Medicine, Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, and Human Genetics. Kimmelman holds a PhD in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, and joined McGill in 2005. His research revolves around the ethical, social and policy dimensions of translational research. He received the Institute of Genetics Maud Menten New Investigator Prize, a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award (2008) and a Friedrich Bessel-Humboldt Award (2014). Kimmelman chaired the ethics committee of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, 2008-2010, and International Society of Stem Cell Research (2014-2016). He also served on the CIHR Stem Cell Oversight Committee, serves on several DSMBs of the U.S. NIH, and has been a member of three National Academies committee reports. His book, Gene Transfer and the Ethics of First-in-Human Trials: Lost in Translation, was published by Cambridge University Press. In 2018, he was named as a Hastings Center Fellow. Kimmelman's research centers on the ethical, social, and policy challenges in testing novel medical technologies in human beings ("translational clinical research"). Current projects are investigating risk, prediction, validity, and knowledge value across the trajectory of drug development. Another set of projects is pursuing alternative frameworks and understandings concerning the role and content of clinical research ethics. Kimmelman directs the Studies of Translation, Ethics, and Medicine (STREAM) research group.
Lewis B. Kinter
Lewis B. Kinter is currently President and Principal Scientist at GLP Scientific Consulting, Unionville, Pennsylvania. He has been engaged in pharmaceutical, biological, and medical device research and development for over 30 years and is an internationally recognized expert in nonclinical R&D. Dr. Kinter received his BS in biology at Union College (1973) and his doctorate in medical physiology from Harvard University (1978). From 1981 to 2014 he held positions of increasing responsibility in biomedical R&D with Smith Kline & French, SmithKline Beecham, Sterling Winthrop, Nycomed Amersham, Astra Merck, and AstraZeneca. Dr. Kinter is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences, Professor of Pharmacology & Toxicology (Adjunct) at Michigan State University, and has authored over 100 research manuscripts and book chapters in basic and applied physiology, pharmacology, and toxicology. Dr. Kinter serves in leadership capacities on several boards of professional scientific and charitable organizations.
Sarah L. Lathrop
Sarah L. Lathrop, Professor of Pathology and Office of the Medical Investigator (OMI) Epidemiologist, received her undergraduate education at Colorado State University and earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. She practiced veterinary medicine in Cortez, Colorado, and then completed a PhD in veterinary preventive medicine at Ohio State University. Dr. Lathrop served a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, studying vector-borne infectious diseases such as plague, tularemia, and dengue. After a brief stint in industry overseeing clinical vaccine trials, Dr. Lathrop joined OMI in 2003 to conduct epidemiological studies using medical examiner data. She also serves as the Principal Investigator for the FoodNet portion of New Mexico's Emerging Infections Program. Her research interests include the intersection of forensic pathology and epidemiology, public health topics such as trends in violent deaths and sudden unexpected infant death investigation, as well as investigation of foodborne infections.
Vince Mendenhall
Vince Mendenhall, an internationally renowned experimental surgeon, is known for his innovative surgical techniques, rigorous protocols, and deep expertise in medical device development. He is a world leader in translating scientific discovery to clinical application. Dr. Mendenhall received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree and his doctorate in experimental surgery from Colorado State University. After receiving his degrees, he was employed at 3M Company, where he developed their department of surgical research with an emphasis on medical device development. He then worked at Primedica/Charles River Laboratories from 1992 to 2008 where he averaged over 50 surgical studies a year. Dr. Mendenhall joined Wake Forest Innovations in 2008. The results of his development work throughout the years have been presented at 146 national and international peer-reviewed meetings, published in 10 book chapters and 21 referred publications. In his career, he has developed many new surgical models for experimental medicine, medical device development, safety pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and specialized toxicology. As a preclinical surgeon, Dr. Mendenhall strictly replicates the clinical experience using surgical techniques and innovative procedures to reduce inflammation, prevent infection, and promote wound healing. By attending to animal models with the same care used in clinical trials, his work significantly enhances the validity of preclinical research results. He is currently a private consultant.
David M. Powell
David M. Powell joined the Saint Louis Zoo as Director of Research in August 2016. He is responsible for oversight of behavioral, reproductive, and endocrine research, as well as some visitor studies research. Prior to coming to Saint Louis, David was Associate Curator of Mammals at the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo in New York for 12 years, where he developed a strong background in captive mammal management and husbandry. David received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland for his studies of behavior and reproductive biology in the feral horses on Assateague Island. David did his post doctoral studies at the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park in the Department of Conservation Biology studying giant panda behavior in U.S. and Chinese zoos for four years. David also worked at Zoo Atlanta from 1988-1993 in various roles, including animal keeper, animal diet technician, and research intern. He is actively involved in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) professional activities including serving on Taxon Advisory Group steering committees, managing breeding programs and serving on the AZA Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation & Management Committee. He currently serves on the Research Review Committee of the Saint Louis Zoo. Previously, he served on the IACUC of Lehman College (2008-2014) and the National Zoo, Rock Creek Campus (2004). David's research has focused on a number of species and topics over the years in zoos and in the field. Topics of study have included dominance in animal societies, reproductive competition, maternal behavior, impacts of environmental enrichment and other husbandry practices on behavior, animal welfare, characterization of animal personality and personality measurement methods, affective impact of zoo exhibits on visitors, and studies of animal care staff attitudes about population management practices.



National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  

Description :   

The first meeting open session was held on Sunday, December 9, 2018 from 1:00 pm – 3:25 pm Eastern Time at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, DC. During the public session the committee heard from representatives of the study sponsor, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The public session included time for interested parties to give short public statements for the committee’s consideration in person (a sign-up sheet will be available in person). Input can also be submitted in writing through the study website. All written materials submitted to the committee will be included in the Public Access File created for the Committee and may be quoted in whole or in part in the Committee’s report with attribution.

December 9, 2018: 1:00 pm – 3:35 pm Eastern Time
National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418 | Room 120

1:00 pm Welcome, Introductions, Process for Open Session

- Rhonda Cornum, Committee Chair

1:20 pm Study Context and Expectations for the Study

- Michael Fallon, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Alice Huang, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Joan Richerson, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

3:00 pm Public Comment Session

3:20 pm Closing Remarks and Adjournment of Open Session

3:25 pm Break

Registration for Online Attendance :

Registration for in Person Attendance :

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Jenna Briscoe
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  -

Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Publication(s) resulting from the event:



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