February 28, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

As we embark on another year of incredible growth and progress in the Animal Care & Use Program, it is important that we take a moment to pause and reflect on all that we, as an institution and a research community, have achieved in recent months:
  • We continue to have a positive and open dialogue with the AAALAC Council on Accreditation centered on the wide array of initiatives we've implemented to further strengthen our animal care and use program. We are on track to submit our Institutional Animal Care & Use Program Description by April 1, which will be followed by a mandatory site re-visit from AAALAC between May and July 2017. Additional details about the site visit, including the specific dates that AAALAC will be on campus, will be provided as they become available.

  • Later this week, we'll lead a team of experienced external consultants on a four-day Mock Site Visit of our facilities. This visit provides us with a unique opportunity to identify new and improved ways to make our collective work and day-to-day research operations even stronger, while also offering a meaningful pre-AAALAC assessment of our program.
  • After nearly a year of development, we launched a new unified program website (animalcare.umich.edu) earlier this month. This project, which has combined three websites previously operated by ULAM, the Animal Care & Use Office, and UMOR, now serves as a centralized hub for all news, policies, guidelines, and information affecting the University of Michigan animal care and use community.
While we celebrate the many advances we've made in the last year, we must also look forward to the important work that lies ahead. In the coming weeks and months, you'll continue to see a renewed emphasis on training, program compliance, and the health and safety of our research personnel. These are just a few of the myriad ways we'll ensure that our program remains on the path to sustained excellence in all aspects of animal care and use.
 
We thank you for your continued dedication to achieving the highest animal welfare standards for all animals under our care, and for your unwavering commitment to our program's collective success.

Yours in Service,

Robert C. Dysko, DVM, DACLAM
Attending Veterinarian
Director, Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine

William Greer, BS, CPIA, LAT, CM
Assistant Vice President - Animal Program Compliance Oversight
Director, Animal Care & Use Office

Daniel D. Myers, DVM, DACLAM
Associate Professor of Surgery
Chair, Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee


Latest Animal Care & Use Program Activities:
IACUC Approves New Training Requirements


The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) recently approved several changes to training requirements that affect many members of the animal care and use community.
 
These requirements apply to all new personnel added to protocol as well as any existing personnel listed on a protocol that is being amended or reviewed. 
 
What is Changing
Beginning Tuesday, February 28, 2017:
  • All personnel using fish, amphibian, reptile, USDA rodent species, and wildlife as part of their animal models will be required to complete an "Introduction to Species" online module prior to being approved to protocol.
     
  • All personnel performing rodent and non-rodent mammalian recovery surgery will be required to complete an "Introduction to Surgery" online module prior to being approved to protocol.
     
  • All personnel handling rodents administered hazardous substances will be required to complete a "Hazard Containment" procedures workshop within 60 days after approval to protocol.
Please visit the U-M Animal Care & Use Program website for a detailed list of courses affected by this change in requirements. Log in to MLearning: https://trainingportal.med.umich.edu to complete the training. Courses can be found in your Learning Plan. Please allow 30-60 minutes for completion. Additional MLearning instructions are available here .
 
You are encouraged to complete this training as soon as possible. Training completion will be checked by the Animal Care & Use Office when new protocols or protocol amendments are approved, and at protocol renewal.
 
To improve the accuracy of training assignments and to avoid a possible non-compliance notification, we ask that Principal Investigators remove any personnel who no longer work in their laboratory from the animal handling details of their protocol. For assistance with amending your protocol, please contact the Animal Care & Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028 .
 
Questions about animal care and use training should be directed to the ULAM Training Core
at
ulam-trainingcore@umich.edu or (734) 763-8039 .
New Tools and Resources for Semi-Annual Inspections

 
Inspection Notifications and Reminders Now in eRAM
To help simplify the semi-annual inspection process, the IACUC recently announced a standardized inspection schedule . Moving forward, the IACUC will conduct all semi-annual inspections in the Spring and Fall (i.e., March and September). As part of these efforts, inspection schedules and reminders are now sent to PI/Study Team members based on the buildings/rooms they are assigned to as outlined on animal use protocol(s) in eRAM.

Inspection notices and reminders are automatically sent by eRAM at 6-week, 2-week, and 4-day intervals leading up to the assigned inspection date.

When reviewing the inspection schedule, please note that inspection time frames are approximate and will start in SPF and housing areas. This will be altered if there are contaminations. The following also applies:
  • For ULAM housing locations, only ULAM husbandry supervisors and
    IACUC inspectors will inspect
     
  • For approved housing outside the vivarium, the facility manager or PI are required
    to be present with IACUC inspectors
     
  • For laboratory areas where live vertebrate animals are used, having a lab representative present for the inspection is highly recommended
     
  • During facility inspections, inspectors must be provided access to locked cabinets, drawers, and storage areas that potentially store drugs and medical materials.
If you have any questions or concerns about these inspections, please contact the Animal Care & Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.
 
Facility Inspection Module Available in eRAM March 1
On Wednesday, March 1, eRAM will launch a new Facility Inspection Module to help standardize the communications processes surrounding semi-annual inspections.

The module aims to:
  • Automate the Facility Inspection tracking process
     
  • Create a mechanism to collect data regarding Facility Findings and Deficiencies that can be used for more detailed and transparent reporting and analysis
     
  • Provide an automated process for pre-visit reminder emails (see article above)
As part of the new module, those responsible for addressing a facility inspection deficiency will now be assigned a Deficiency Action Item in eRAM. That individual will also use the eRAM system to communicate the status of the Action Item to the Animal Care & Use Office. Individuals will receive a detailed email notification from eRAM when they are assigned a Deficiency Action Item.
 
For more information, please review the eRAM Facility Inspection Module Summary Release Notes . Additional instructions on how to complete these new processes in the system are also available in the Step-By-Step Action Plan Details and Complete Facility Inspection Deficiency Action Instructions .
 
A complete list of eRAM updates can be reviewed via eRAM's Bi-Weekly Release Notes . Specific questions or concerns about semi-annual inspections should be directed to the Animal Care & Use Office at acuoffice@umich.edu or (734) 763-8028.
Connect With Your Faculty Veterinarian
at an Upcoming Animal User Group Meeting


As part of ongoing efforts to keep the research community apprised of updates and changes within the Animal Care & Use Program, we invite you to connect with your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian at an upcoming Animal User Group Meeting.
 
The primary focus of these meetings will be a discussion of human-derived substances, cage density and breeding, veterinary technicians 'primary interventions,' PPE posting for animal use areas, and a brief AAALAC update.

 
Although attendance is not required, we strongly encourage at least one member from each laboratory to attend. For your convenience, ULAM Faculty Veterinarians are hosting several Animal User Group Meetings at locations across campus throughout the beginning of March. While some facility-specific information will be discussed at each meeting, you are welcome to attend the meeting nearest your animal facility and/or the session that best fits your schedule. Please note that your attendance is requested at only one session.
New Login Option for MLearning Launches March 1

 
MLearning, the online system used for IACUC-required animal care and use training, will debut a new login option on Wednesday, March 1. Currently, individuals must login to MLearning using their uniqname and Level-2 password (Outlook/Michigan Medicine-UMHS).

A new alternative login (pictured right) will now allow individuals to use their Level-1 password instead of a Level-2 password; an added convenience for research personnel who do not work on the medical campus or who may not regularly use, or be familiar with, a Level-2 password.

This new feature may be of special interest to those individuals located in facilities such as the Kellogg Eye Center/Brehm Tower, Dental School, School of Public Health, and the North Campus Research Complex.
 
Please note: You must be listed as personnel on an IACUC-approved animal use protocol or amendment in order to login to MLearning. Once an individual has been added to an approved protocol, their MLearning credentials will be established and their required training will be assigned in MLearning based on the animal handling details outlined in the animal use protocol by the Principal Investigator.
 
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the ULAM Training Core at (734) 763-8039 or ulam-trainingcore@umich.edu.
Contact ULAM Before March 6 for Assistance with Scheduling
Anesthetic Machine Servicing


If you own or use a vaporizer/anesthetic machine that is due for its yearly maintenance BEFORE June 2017 and you would like ULAM to coordinate the servicing on your behalf, please complete and submit the Authorization Form by Monday, March 6. Due to limited availability, servicing requests submitted after March 6 may not be fulfilled.
 
Please review the handout on applicable service(s) and fees prior to completing the Authorization Form. Vetamac will be on campus to service machines beginning Wednesday, March 15 through Friday, March 17. Their next service dates will be in June 2017.
 
As a reminder, the U-M Policy on Monitoring Anesthetic Machines and Vaporizers dictates that, "assessments should be conducted on anesthesia machines and vaporizers at yearly intervals."
 
If you have any questions about requesting service, please contact ULAM Veterinary Technician Amy Boekhout at alss@med.umich.edu or call (734) 615-2068.
New Medical School-Specific Training to Keep You Safe


"What if it happened here?" It's a thought that has occurred to many of us in recent years after tragic fires, shootings, floods, and other events at medical schools across the country.
 
New training soon to be available to all Medical School faculty and staff can help you feel more prepared if such crises do happen here (or wherever you happen to be) -- and enhance your ability to stay safe and secure.
 
If you work in a Medical School building and are not involved in clinical care, you will soon receive two training modules: Fire Safety and Critical Incident (which includes situations such as active shooters). Each takes about 15 minutes to complete.
 
This training will made available to Medical School faculty and staff later this Spring and should be taken every year via MLearning.
 
What You Should Know:
  1. Later this Spring, and annually thereafter, Medical School faculty and staff who work in Medical School buildings will have the Fire Safety and Critical Incident modules added to their Learning Plans in MLearning.
     
  2. Assigned modules should be completed within a month of assignment.
     
  3. If you are an employee of the Medical School and you work in a patient care or clinical area, you will NOT be assigned these modules, but will continue to complete the mandatory training designed for faculty and staff in clinical areas, as you have always done.

Questions or comments should be directed to Pat Ward in Medical School Regulatory Affairs at patward@med.umich.edu. Additional questions or concerns can also be directed to MLearning at mlearninginfo@umich.edu.

Important Deadlines and Reminders


Keeping track of deadlines can be challenging. That's why we've compiled a list of several important deadlines affecting the animal care and use community.
 
For your convenience, contact information and additional resources are also provided below.


New IACUC Training Requirements Go Into Effect
These requirements apply to all new personnel added to protocol as well as any existing personnel listed on a protocol that is being amended or reviewed.

Visit the U-M Animal Care & Use Program website to review the full announcement.

Questions about animal care and use training should be directed to the ULAM Training Core at ulam-trainingcore@umich.edu or (734) 763-8039. 

Animal User Group Meetings
March 1 - March 13 | Various locations across campus
 
Connect with your ULAM Faculty Veterinarian at an upcoming Animal User Group Meeting. The primary focus of these meetings will be a discussion of human-derived substances, cage density and breeding, veterinary technicians 'primary interventions,' PPE posting for animal use areas, and a brief AAALAC update.

Semi-Annual IACUC Inspections Begin

To help simplify the semi-annual inspection process, the IACUC recently announced  a standardized inspection schedule . Moving forward, all semi-annual inspections will now be conducted in the Spring and Fall (i.e., March and September). 

If you have any questions or concerns about these inspections, please contact the ACU Office at acuoffice@umich.edu  or (734) 763-8028.

Mock AAALAC Site Visit De-Brief Session
Approx. 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Room M3330, Med Sci I

Join members of the U-M Animal Care & Use Program leadership team, as well as the external consulting team, as they share lessons learned from the Mock AAALAC Site Visit happening across campus Tuesday, February 28 through Friday, March 3.

Anesthetic Machine Servicing Authorization Form Due
If you own or use a vaporizer/anesthetic machine that is due for its yearly maintenance BEFORE June 2017 and you would like ULAM to coordinate the servicing on your behalf, please complete and submit the Authorization Form by Monday, March 6.

If you have any questions about requesting service, please contact ULAM Veterinary Technician Amy Boekhout at alss@med.umich.edu or call (734) 615-2068.

ULAM-12200 Mouse Breeding:
Improving Breeding Efficiency Workshop
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM | 3rd Floor Library, Life Sciences Institute
Enroll today (have your uniqname and Level-2 password ready)

Questions should be directed to the ULAM Training Core
at ulam-trainingcore@umich.edu or (734) 763-8039.

ULAM-12200 Mouse Breeding:
Improving Breeding Efficiency Workshop
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM | 6th Floor Conf. Rm, Brehm Kellogg Eye Ctr.
Enroll today (have your uniqname and Level-2 password ready)

Questions should be directed to the ULAM Training Core
at ulam-trainingcore@umich.edu or (734) 763-8039.

Animal Research Spotlight

 
An international team of researchers from the U-M Medical School, Washington State University, the Luxembourg Centre
for Systems Biomedicine and the Luxembourg Institute of Health, and Aix-Marseille Université, recently collaborated on
a study to show the impact of fiber deprivation on the guts of specially-raised mice.

Using U-M's germ-free mouse facility and advanced genetic techniques that allowed them to determine which bacteria were present and active under different conditions, the team studied the impact of diets with different fiber content -- and those with no fiber. The findings, published in Cell , have implications for understanding not only the role of fiber in a normal diet, but also the potential of using fiber to counter the effects of digestive tract disorders. Learn more .
For more information about the Animal Care & Use Program  at the University of Michigan,  CLICK HERE .
Our mission in the Animal Care & Use Office is to support the Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee, fostering sustained excellence in animal care and use in scientific research and education, and promoting the philosophy that the highest animal welfare standards are necessary for impactful science.