The Role of IACUC

Here you will learn about the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at Pacific University, how it runs, and how faculty and students are expected to work with the committee at the outset of a research or teaching project involving animal subjects. Please read this introduction to acquaint yourself with our operating principles.


The purpose of the IACUC is to ensure humane treatment of any and all laboratory and classroom animals; ensure availability of appropriate veterinary care; ensure proper training and safety of laboratory and classroom workers; and ensure that Pacific University has conformed to all federal regulations concerning animal use and well-being.

As stated by the National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, each IACUC has a mandate to review their institution’s program for the care and use of animals and to inspect any animal facilities (including satellite facilities) every six months. To uphold this charge, Pacific University policy requires all faculty, students, or staff involved with animal research or teaching activities to work directly and conscientiously with the IACUC:

  • Before a research or teaching activity is initiated;
  • During a research or teaching activity if the protocol requires continuing review;
  • During a research or teaching activity if the research protocol needs to change;
  • During a research or teaching activity if an adverse event occurs; and
  • After a research or teaching activity ends to close the file.

Please refer to the OSSP Guide for Faculty: IACUC Chapter for complete details regarding the IACUC and your responsibilities as a faculty member, staff member, or student engaged in the care and use of animals.

Overview of IACUC Process

Before a research or teaching activity can commence, the IACUC will assess the effect of the proposed activities on the animals involved in the study. The IACUC has the sole authority to require revisions for proposed animal subject activities and to approve proposed activities. The IACUC, and, in some circumstances, other institutional officials, can also disapprove, suspend, or terminate animal subject activities. Note that the IACUC does not comment on the scientific merit of a proposed research design unless the merit is disproportionate with the potential effect on the animals.

The IACUC Attending Veterinarian or Chair will determine whether your planned activities fall under the federal guidelines for research or teaching with animal subjects. This practice is warranted because the IACUC is most familiar with the relevant federal regulations and interpretations thereof.

In the sections that follow are detailed instructions on how to work with the IACUC in making these determinations and in getting your research activities ready for implementation. We look forward to working with you.