The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

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The University of Miami ensures that all faculty and staff comply with federal and state guidelines concerning the use of animals in research and teaching through the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC).

The IACUC's Mission

  • Review and approve animal use protocols;
  • Ensure that investigators and staff are properly trained;
  • Ensure that research and teaching activities conform to best practices as defined by The Guide For the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals;
  • Inspect animal care and use facilities to ensure compliance with federal regulations and policies;
  • Review the animal care and use program semiannually; and
  • Investigate concerns raised by faculty and staff regarding the humane care and use of lab animals.

To contact the IACUC, email iacucsupport@med.miami.edu or call (305) 243-2311.

How IACUC Ensures Animal Welfare and Safety

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  • Certain kinds of questions can be answered only through animal studies

    The University of Miami, like every other major research institution developing treatments and therapies to combat disease, conducts biomedical research involving animals. Health research institutions depend upon animal-based research because they need to understand complex biology and the impacts of new treatments in living systems that mirror human physiology, development, and disease.

  • Animal studies remain critical in developing treatments for injury and disease in both animals and humans

    Animal studies have played essential roles in the development of therapies to combat AIDS, several forms of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, paralysis and other medical conditions. While numerous advances have led to new or improved clinical treatments and prevention strategies, there are many diseases where few, if any therapeutic options exist. These include leukemia, breast and pancreatic cancers, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and stroke.

  • A fundamental necessity for continued progress

    As health researchers, we believe it is our moral imperative to use the proven and effective research process – which involves animals – to continue to make innovative discoveries that positively impact human lives.

  • The “Three R” principles of animal welfare

    We believe in the “Three R” principles of animal welfare – reduction, refinement, and replacement.

    We understand the tremendous responsibility that comes with animal-based research. We conduct studies with animals only when necessary and provide them with outstanding care. Substantial effort is made to ensure that all procedures are continually refined to minimize pain and distress to the animals. In addition, the number of experimental animals is reduced to the minimum necessary. The personnel who provide our animal care consider it a privilege to work with animals, and demonstrate this commitment daily by treating them with the utmost care and respect.

  • Internal and external oversight of our animal studies

    The University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee reviews and approves all research protocols and procedures that the animals experience. As additional safeguards to the animals, our research program is inspected annually by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and triennially by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), the highest standard of accreditation for US animal research programs. Oversight of our animal research includes not just routine reviews and reports, but also unannounced visits to research and training units, aiming to ensure that animals are treated humanely and with the utmost care. If there is ever a lapse in any process, it is self-reported, and appropriate and timely corrective actions are taken. Actions taken for any non-compliance can be severe, and range from official warnings to fines being imposed on the institution, with the possibility of suspension of work or the revocation of research licenses

    We comply with federal laws and regulations including the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) regulations overseen by the USDA. We also closely follow the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (PHS Policy) administered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). Our country’s comprehensive animal care oversight systems require regular communications between research institutions and federal regulators to ensure that animals are treated well and adjustments take place as needed. This system works rapidly and effectively to ensure that animals are well cared for.

  • Animal studies at the University of Miami have already led to innovative therapies

    Animal-based research at the University of Miami continues to contribute to advances in the treatment of serious human medical conditions—examples include:

    • Researchers at UM’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis performed animal studies that led to the demonstration that “therapeutic hypothermia”, a slight lowering of the temperature in areas of the central nervous system, can lessen the severity of deficits suffered by people with neurodegenerative conditions like traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury
    • Animal studies performed by researchers at UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute have led to a novel gene therapy that is highly promising in initial human studies to treat Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy—a previously untreatable disease that causes progressive and devastating loss of vision
    • Researchers at UM’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Department of Microbiology and Immunology performed animal studies that led to the development of a unique monoclonal antibody that is now part of a novel drug used successfully to treat cancer

Animal Research: Perceptions vs Reality

The University of Miami is mindful of the ethical issues that surround the conduct of research with animals.  However, some social media sites intentionally promote ill-informed “facts” or half-truths about animal research.  Below, we provide a link to an informative brochure, assembled by the Foundation for Biomedical Research, which tackle the myths surrounding animal research. We hope you find these resources useful in understanding the proven facts about the successful results and benefits to both humans and animals that animal research has provided.
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Access the iacuc secure site

Please note that you must have a password to log into this application. For more information, contact IACUC.

IACUC Secure Log-In

Reporting Animal Welfare Concerns

Concerns regarding the care and use of laboratory animals at the University of Miami can be anonymously reported to:

  • University Hotline
  • IACUC Office: (305) 243-2311
  • IACUC Chair: (305) 243-2032
  • Office of Research / Institutional Official: (305) 243-9635
  • DVR: (305) 243-2310
Report a Concern

2021 IACUC Submission Deadlines and Meeting Dates

Submission Deadline Date Meeting Date
Thursday, December 17, 2020 Thursday, January 07, 2021
Thursday, January 14, 2021 Thursday, February 04, 2021
Thursday, February 11, 2021 Thursday, March 04, 2021
Thursday, March 11, 2021 Thursday, April 01, 2021
Thursday, April 15, 2021 Thursday, May 06, 2021
Thursday, May 13, 2021 Thursday, June 03, 2021
Thursday, June 10, 2021 Thursday, July 01, 2021
Thursday, July 15, 2021 Thursday, August 05, 2021
Thursday, August 12, 2021 Thursday, September 02, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021 Thursday, October 07, 2021
Thursday, October 14, 2021 Thursday, November 04, 2021
Thursday, November 11, 2021 Thursday, December 02, 2021
Thursday, December 16, 2021 Thursday, January 06, 2022