OHSU believes that knowledge gained through biomedical research in relevant animal models is essential to developing new ways to identify, prevent, treat or eradicate disease and to improve human and animal health. OHSU’s views on this topic reflect those of other academic health centers, universities, physicians and scientists throughout the world.
OHSU only allows animal studies when other research methods, such as laboratory-based cell culture, simulation or computer modeling, are scientifically inadequate and/or when experimental designs are too dangerous for human participants.
OHSU continually monitors and evaluates new methods and technology as alternatives to animal studies in our programs, and is committed to adopting these techniques as soon as their effectiveness is demonstrated.
OHSU understands and embraces the responsibility to provide compassionate and state-of-the-art health/veterinary care that comes with the privilege of working with animals.
Before OHSU conducts any research with animals, the research must be approved for scientific value and justification of need for animals and species by peer review. Only after a study is deemed to be of scientific value is it possible to request approval from the OHSU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. This rigorous review process evaluates factors such as details of the study design, steps taken in the study design to minimize pain and distress, and a documentation of appropriate training of all study staff. Veterinarians specially trained to care for research animals participate in this review process.
If the committee determines that animals are necessary to address a research question, OHSU ensures the study uses the fewest number of animals possible and emphasizes procedures that minimize discomfort and stress.
OHSU supports and adheres to the appropriately stringent Health Research Extension Act and Public Health Service Policy, and the Animal Welfare Act and Animal Welfare Regulations with oversight provided by the:
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Office for Laboratory Animal Welfare of the National Institutes of Health
- AAALAC International
OHSU is regularly reviewed by federal agencies for adherence to relevant regulations and also participates in AAALAC International’s volunteer accreditation program that assures our programs are taking extra steps to achieve excellence in animal care and use. Animal care and housing are directed by licensed veterinarians who are Diplomates of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, a recognized specialty of distinction within the veterinary medical profession.
A sampling of Oregon National Primate Research Center contributions to health and science
- New methods of vaccine development for HIV, tuberculosis, West Nile Virus and other infectious diseases
- Treatment for an infection that can result in chronic lung ailments and brain injury in pre-term infants
- The effects of aging on neurological immunological and reproductive functions (and how these are related)
- Method of protecting fertility in people who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy as treatment for disease
- Safer contraception method
- Improved understanding of brain injury and repair
- Improved baby formula to promote healthy eye development in newborns
- Gene therapy for persons who are carriers of mitochondrial defects
- A method for accessing embryonic stem cells without the destruction of the fertilized egg
- Treatments for infertility
- Clinical trials using vitamin C to protect against lung damage in infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy
- Clinical interest in the effect of consuming a high-fat diet during pregnancy and the development of obesity and/or Type II diabetes in the next generation