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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

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The Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC), appointed by the Institutional Official (Vice Provost for Research), is responsible for making sure that all federal laws, regulations, and policies are followed by those who are using animals for research, teaching, or testing. Thus, to assure the safety, maintenance, care, and use of vertebrate animals, and to comply with these laws, Penn requires that, prior to initiation, all course work and research projects involving vertebrate animals be reviewed and approved by the IACUC. This policy applies, regardless of the source of funding, to all biomedical, behavioral, teaching, training, and clinical research involving vertebrate animals performed by faculty, staff, and students of the University. This ensures that animals are not subjected to unnecessary pain and distress, and also protects both the investigator and the institution.

The important functions of the IACUC for performing this responsibility are:

  • Reviewing and approving animal use protocols submitted by principal investigators prior to work being conducted. Protocols are valid for three years from the date of approval, at which time they must be updated by the PI and re-reviewed by the IACUC if the animal work will continue.
  • Monitoring the animal care and use program by conducting thorough program reviews and performing site visits of animal care and use areas, including animal housing facilities, satellite, and research laboratories.
  • Suspending activities not in accordance with the regulations.
  • Making recommendations to the Institutional Official regarding the animal program.

Related FAQs

My research involves the use of animals, how do I get approval?

The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee and the Office of Animal Welfare answer frequently asked questions, including the requirements for submitting a protocol to conduct animal research.

View All FAQ's