Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

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At the University of Maryland, College Park, our investigators engage in research in disease prevention, and vaccine development, - for both humans and animals. They seek to understand the basis for cancer, neurological disease, and drug addiction, with the aim of providing new insights and tools for the clinical setting. Our wetlands research and studies in wildlife and biodiversity are helping describe and maintain species and their habitats, both locally and globally. Through our agricultural research, we are finding ways to improve nutrition and food production, feeding the world while reducing impact on the environment.

The role of the University of Maryland, College Park Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is to support advancements in biological and biomedical sciences through the responsible use of animals in research. The Animal Care Program at UMD is assured through the Public Health Service and registered with the USDA. Our program was accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) in 2011 and undergoes voluntary site evaluation from AAALAC on a triennial basis.


The use of animals in research, testing and teaching is primarily governed by two federal laws and their associated regulations, policies and guidelines –

  1. The Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and the Animal Welfare Act Regulations (AWR)
  2. The Health Research Extension Act (HREA) with the associated Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy; 1985) and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (1963, 2011, 8th ed).

In 1985, the Animal Welfare Act was amended to include a requirement that all research institutions establish an institutional oversight board with specified duties for assuring compliance with the AWA. At about the same time, the Health Research Extension Act required research institutions that receive PHS funding to establish animal care oversight committees. Together, these requirements led to the birth of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or IACUC. While the specific requirements of each law and their associated regulations and policies differ slightly from one another, the overall goals are the same – to ensure the proper care of animals used for teaching and research. The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee is instrumental in implementing federal and local policies, and ensuring excellent care for animals.

The composition of the IACUC committee is mandated by the PHS policy and the AWARs to include:

  1. Scientists (faculty researchers/educators)

  2. The attending veterinarian (AV) or a veterinarian with authority to act on behalf of the AV.

  3. Nonscientists (e.g. ethicists, statisticians, etc.)

  4. Individuals (1 or 2) not associated with the Campus

  5. Chair (Sufficient stature, e.g., seniority or tenure)

Our practice is to include faculty researchers and educators from all major units that participate in animal research or teaching at the University of Maryland (e.g. Biology, Animal Sciences, Psychology, etc.) so that protocol review is informed by expertise as much as possible.

PIs may wish to view IACUC members from their unit as resources through which the PI may obtain assistance, information, and/or clarification on protocol submission and processing.

Catherine Carr, Professor, Department of Biology


Position Statement

The IACUC adheres to the belief that the development of knowledge necessary for the improvement of the health and well-being of humans as well as other animals requires in vivo experimentation with a wide variety of animal species. In particular, the IACUC observes the principles espoused in the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources' Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals :

  1. Procedures should be designed and performed on the basis of relevance to human or animal health, advancement of knowledge, and/or the good of society.

  2. The appropriate species, quality, and number of animals should be used.

  3. Discomfort, distress, and pain should be avoided or minimized in concert with sound science.

  4. Appropriate sedation, analgesia, or anesthesia should be used.

  5. Humane and experimental end points should be established.

  6. Appropriate animal husbandry should be directed and performed by qualified persons.

  7. Experimentation on living animals should only be conducted by or under the close supervision of qualified and experienced persons.

Additionally, the IACUC advocates the use of animal alternatives as described by the 3 Rs in The Principles of Humane Experimental Techniques (Russell & Burch, 1959), specifically:

  1. REPLACEMENT of animals when possible,

  2. REDUCTION in the animal numbers used, and

  3. REFINEMENT of the animal procedures to minimize discomfort as much as possible

We also believe in a fourth R -- RESPONSIBILITY

Currently, IACUC review applies officially only to vertebrate animals. However, it is assumed that invertebrate species will be handled with the same degree of care and concern.


Meeting Dates & Deadlines

All research and teaching activities must be covered by an approved IACUC protocol. Please use the following guidelines to determine what should be submitted to the IACUC.

IACUC Meetings:

To be considered for an IACUC meeting, all new protocols and 3-year renewals should be received prior to the first of the month. Amendments are accepted for review on a rolling basis, however specific amendments may be brought to the monthly committee meeting. For more information on amendment submission, contact Cecily Greene.

All protocols and protocol related documentation must be submitted by the PI through IRBnet. IACUC staff cannot submit on behalf of a PI. Expiring protocols cannot be administratively extended. If submitting a 3 year renewal it is always wise to allow at least 2 months for protocol review and approval.

Important Dates: Fall 2021/Spring 2022

IACUC Meeting Date:

Submit by:

July 22, 2021

July 1, 2021

September 16, 2021

September 1, 2021

October 21, 2021

October 1, 2021

November 18, 2021

November 1, 2021

December 16, 2021

December 1, 2021

January 20, 2022

January 1, 2022

February 17, 2022

February 1, 2022

March 17, 2022

March 1, 2022

April 21, 2022

April 1, 2022

May 26, 2022

May  1, 2022

June 23, 2022

June 1, 2022

July 21, 2022

July 1, 2022


Newsletters & Announcements


Office Location & Hours

6108 A James Clark Hall
College Park, Maryland 20742
University of Maryland

301-405-3451 (Telephone)
301-314-1475 (Fax)

The office is open between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm


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Division of Research
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-1541
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