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Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has an active and growing research community. Many of its research endeavors involve the use of animals.

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at UTHSC is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the proper care, use and humane treatment of animals used in research, teaching and training at UTHSC. The IACUC is committed to ensuring that quality animal research at UTHSC is conducted in an ethical and responsible manner. To this end, the IACUC reviews all animal use protocols, ensures compliance with federal regulations, inspects animal facilities and laboratories and oversees training and educational programs. Any research project, class activity, or testing procedure involving the use of animals must be reviewed and approved by the IACUC before initiation. The IACUC serves as a resource to faculty, investigators, technicians, students, staff, and administrators and is engaged in providing assistance with their animal-related needs.


AAALAC Site Visit June 10-12


On June 10th, 11th, and 12th, the UTHSC animal care and use program will be visited by representatives from the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), International. This is a re-accreditation site visit. All core animal facilities, including satellite facilities, will be inspected thoroughly.

In addition, the visitors will choose which animal research laboratories they wish to visit. During these tours, the visitors will likely ask to see locations, equipment and records related to animal use. They may wish to ask questions of any and/or all individuals associated with experiments involving animals. They assess each lab they visit for adherence to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th edition), the Federal Animal Welfare Act and Regulations, and other key guidance documents. Below are suggestions for preparing your research program for such a laboratory visit. Please ensure the following items are addressed before June 10th:

  • All personnel that have contact with animals or animal tissues are current on their registration in the UTHSC Occupational Health and Safety Program (OHSP). Site visitors will closely assess if we have a functional OHSP.
  • All personnel associated with animal protocols are aware of the approved goals and procedures used in the protocol, have been fully trained to do the work assigned to them, and follow the protocol as approved. There will be emphasis on animal studies involving survival surgery (anesthetics and analgesics), the use of hazardous agents, and experiments that may result in more than momentary or slight pain or distress. Site visitors may ask laboratory personnel about studies at random.
  • All Research Personnel Training Records, experimental records, animal surgical records, breeding records, controlled drug logs, and chemical documentation (including SDS sheets) are up-to-date, organized, and readily accessible. Site visitors may ask to spot-check your records.
  • Current Tennessee State Board of Pharmacy Researcher and DEA licensure for all controlled substances used in animal experimentation is in place and available. Site visitors may ask to see your drug records and secure storage.
  • Pharmaceutical-grade drugs are being used when available and that no drugs are used past their expiration date.
  • All equipment associated with animal experimentation is clean and in working order. Site visitors may ask to see equipment.
  • All charcoal canisters used to scavenge anesthetic waste gases have been weighed before the first use and on a regular basis, and that overweight canisters have been discarded.
  • Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is available and being used in the correct manner by all personnel.
  • All animal protocols are up to date, all animal activities are described in an approved protocol, and a copy of all documentation is readily available and can be supplied upon request. Printed copies of protocols should be available in the lab.
  • Each performance site has an up-to-date copy of the “Have Concerns Regarding Animal Care or Treatment?” webpage prominently posted. You may be asked what you would do to report animal care concerns. If you do not have this notice, please contact the IACUC office ( to obtain a copy.

At the time of the site visit:

  • Please try to be present in the laboratory (or accessible) if possible, during the three-day timeframe. If you cannot be present, please try to have an informed individual available to answer questions about your protocol(s).
  • Realize that the site visitors may view any animal experiments being conducted on those days.
  • If asked a question regarding your work, please try to answer it fully. If you have questions or comments about this process, please do not hesitate to contact the IACU office ( and we will be more than happy to assist you.


May 8, 2024