The IACUC is responsible for oversight and ongoing assessment of all aspects of the institution's animal care and use program as described in the Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Policy) and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide). The Committee responsibilities include:
The primary oversight responsibilities of the animal care and use program includes these three (3) components.
The institutional official (IO) bears ultimate responsibility for the Program, although overall Program direction should be a shared responsibility among the IO, attending veterinarian (AV), and IACUC. The IO has the authority to allocate the resources needed to ensure alignment of Program goals with the institution’s mission. The Vice Provost for Research serves as the IO for animal care and use at Rice University. The AV, Associate Director of Research Compliance (where the IACUC office is housed), IACUC Chair, and IO maintains an open line of communication regarding all aspects of the animal care and use program.
The AV is responsible for the health and well-being of all laboratory animals used at Rice University. The AV has authority, including access to all animals, and resources to manage the program of veterinary care and oversee other aspects of animal care and use (e.g., husbandry, housing) to ensure that the Program complies with the Guide. The AV also provides veterinary pre-review for all animal care and use protocols and serves as a consultant to research investigators in the veterinary aspects of protocol design.
The IACUC is responsible for oversight and routine evaluation of the animal care and use program. Committee membership includes the following: a Doctor of Veterinary, a practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals, a member from a nonscientific background, and a public member to represent general community interests in the proper care and use of animals. Within the IACUC office, the Compliance Administrator handles the administrative processes related to committee function, such as the receiving and routing research protocols based on submission deadlines, supporting IACUC meetings and follow-up communications with investigators, and organizing and following up with investigators regarding facility inspections.