I attended last week’s Conference Beyond the Mouse Cage: Human Health in Motion at Bell Harbor and enjoyed many things about each of the topics, but considered sharing with those who missed the fun a summary of favorite highlights.
In morning basic session, Cindy Pekow was perfection during her introduction to Regulatory Basics. While the content is not all new, it’s still worth getting up at 4am in the morning for this session. It’s packed with concise information that is perfect for folks new to the industry and for those of us lacking the early morning gene, it’s a great way to ease into the day, calmly reminded of the who’s, when’s and why’s that are the foundation of everything we do in support of our institutional research programs.
After lunch, NWABR hosted a departure from the strict regulatory topics in a panel of researchers who deal daily with non-rodent species in their work. In the Beyond the Mouse Cage session, each of the speakers had something fantastic to say about how their efforts were benefiting man and animals as a whole. Key elements were human emotion while caring for animals, the one-on-one correlation of disease (people/animal) and the environmental benefit. For IACUC committees that don’t normally see issues with field work or hear pitfalls from the researcher’s perspective of the regulatory process, this session was enlightening and helpful.
In addition, there was the end of Conference Levity! During the Compliance Updates, Taylor Bennett valiantly tried to remain seated but was repeatedly compelled by a greater force to launch from his seat to provide common sense responses to difficult questions. After each reply, he would return to his seat, only to pop right back up again.
Tena Petersen is a Manager of Regulatory Programs at the University of Washington Office of Animal Welfare. She works closely with Preston Van Hooser, the OAW office co-sponsored Beyond the Gap post-conference activity and zebrafish facility Mock IACUC.