Speaking of Research Stands-Up for Dog Research in the U.K.

Last week, in response to public outcry against the opening of a research beagle breeding facility in the U.K., Tom Holder penned a detailed analysis of the importance these models play in biomedical research in The Huffington Post.

Holder, the Director of Speaking of Research, highlights the discovery of insulin and the development of the rabies vaccine along with current achievements in perfecting artery to vein blood transfusions and a novel stem cell transplant treatment that allowed 23 pet dogs with paralyzing spinal injuries to regain some use of their rear legs.

He goes on to note that 20% of the dogs used in U.K. research are imported because U.K. breeding facilities cannot provide all of the dogs used.  Holder writes, “These dogs have to endure long and potentially stressful flights from other countries. Surely it is better to breed them here in the UK, where we have some of the highest standards of laboratory animal welfare in the world and where our facilities can be easily monitored by the Animals in Science Regulation Unit inspectors? The new breeding facility offers animal welfare standards above and beyond those demanded by the Government.”

To read Holder’s posting, “Why People Are Wrong to Oppose the New Beagle Breeding Facility,” and to view some informative videos, please click here.

Congress Introduces Bill to Encourage USDA Transparency

After hearing concerns from the biomedical research community, Congressman Rod Blum (R-IA) has introduced H.R.3136, the Enforcement Transparency Act (ETA).

This NABR-supported legislation would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release the guidelines used in the formulation of any civil penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.  At present, requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the penalty guidelines worksheet used by Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) at the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have been denied.  Further, Congressional requests to the department for such information have been ignored.  H.R.3136 will provide the research community and the public a much greater understanding of how penalties are calculated for enforcement actions by USDA.

Please contact your Congressman today and urge him or her to cosponsor and support this common-sense legislation.  Click here to use NABR's Capwiz system to send an email directly to their offices or click here to locate your representative.

Do Dogs Hold the Key to Beating Cancer?

Over the centuries, dogs have been man’s best friend.  They’ve given us friendship, companionship, love, and protection.  But could they now help science cure cancer?  Today, July 20, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News featured an article on this exciting possibility entitled, “Cancer in Dogs Offers Insight for Humans.”

Through animal research, they just might.  Since sequencing the dog genome several years ago, scientists have discovered strong similarities in dog and human cancers and researchers hope, that through comparative oncology, human cancer research and cure development will learn valuable information from our canine friends.  One of the most notable of these dogs was that of retired North Dakota U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, named Dakota, who participated in a T-cell cancer project at the University of Texas’s M.D. Anderson Cancer Center before passing away in February of 2013.

To learn more about the scientific efforts of researchers and dogs in combating cancer, please read the article by clicking here.

Chicago Sun-Times Prints Opinion Piece by NABR, FBR President

Frankie Trull, President of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR) and the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), has once again been featured in a major news publication lauding the importance of animal research.  On Sunday, July 12, her opinion piece, “In defense of using animals in lab research” was featured by the Chicago Sun-Times, a newspaper that has a Sunday circulation of over 406,000.

In “In defense of using animals in lab research,” she outlines the crucial value that animal models provide in the hunt to improve animal and human health.  She discusses the many similarities that humans have with animal models and charts the benefits that they provide in medical discovery, particularly with macular degeneration.

To read the story, please click here.

The Chicago Sun-Times opinion piece joins NABR and FBR’s media coverage in other nationally recognized publications like the Baltimore Sun, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times.

Johns Hopkins Researchers Receive Golden Goose Award for Accidental, Groundbreaking Discovery with Cats and Primates

Two neurophysiologists, Torsten Wiesel and David Hubel, have worked diligently to make discoveries in understanding our brains’ function and how best to treat childhood cataracts but it was an inadvertent mistake that led them to an important breakthrough.  Through their research with cats and primates, Wiesel and Hubel were pioneers in learning how human minds work by exploring and understanding the physiology behind visual perception in animals.

With this development, coupled with the decades of service to science, Wiesel and the late Hubel have been selected as the second winners of the 2015 Golden Goose Award.  This award, created by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), honors federally-funded researchers whose endeavors have resulted in significant benefit, although it may have once, initially seemed odd.

To learn more about the Golden Goose Award and Wiesel and Hubel’s serendipitous discovery, please click here.

Animal Activist Pressure Results in House Appropriations Report Language

A months-long, multi-pronged campaign by a variety of animal rights groups against some National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported research projects involving nonhuman primates has resulted in a reference made in the report accompanying the House Committee on Appropriations bill for FY 2016. Included with many other comments and issues raised in the 263-page report, is this paragraph:

Review of Maternal Deprivation Studies.—The Committee is aware that prominent experts and animal advocacy organizations have raised concerns about the scientific and ethical justifications for maternal deprivation studies involving baby monkeys being conducted in both intramural and extramural NIH funded laboratories. The Committee is further aware that the NIH Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare opened an investigation in response to these allegations on September 9, 2014. The investigations consulted with research investigators, the USDA, nonhuman primate center scientists, veterinarians, animal care staff and other relevant experts. As a result of the investigation, several modifications were made to the protocol and several procedures removed. Accordingly, the Committee requests NIH to conduct a review of its ethical policies and processes with respect to nonhuman primate research subjects, in consultation with outside experts, to ensure it has appropriate justification for animal research protocols and to provide an update on these efforts in the fiscal year 2017 budget request.

In Memoriam: John Sherman, Leading Advocate for NABR and Biomedical Research

John F. Sherman, PhD, died June 28 at his home in Washington, DC. Dr. Sherman was the driving force behind the 1985 consolidation of the forty-year old National Society for Medical Research (NSMR) and the Association for Biomedical Research (ABR), founded in 1979. In order to better influence national animal research policy, he worked with ABR President Frankie Trull and both governing boards to bring the two organizations together as the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR). A tireless advocate for biomedical research, as well as NABR and the responsible use of research animals, in 1983 Dr. Sherman was a founder of the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding, an effective coalition that continues to work for adequate research funding until the present day. His career began as a research pharmacologist in 1953 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he ultimately served as Deputy Director and Acting Director. He then became a vice president for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) from 1974 to 1990, and subsequently a special consultant.

The AAMC Special Recognition Award stated Dr. Sherman "was widely recognized as an unfailing friend of the biomedical research community throughout his distinguished career. To say that advances in biomedical research in the United States are due, in no small part, to his vigilant and consistent efforts is not an overstatement; indeed, generations of scientists have Dr. Sherman to thank for keeping the funding of biomedical research a critical issue on the agenda of national decision-makers. The respect and honors given to Dr. Sherman over the years are a testament to his enduring contributions to his most cherished cause - biomedical research.” NABR echoed these sentiments when recognizing Dr. Sherman’s strong support for animal research with the Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

NABR’s Next Webinar is Just Two Weeks Away – Register Today!

On Tuesday, July 21, Drs. Betty Goldentyer and Robert Gibbens, the Eastern and Western Region Directors of the USDA-APHIS Animal Care Division, will answer your questions during NABR’s next webinar, "Q&A with the USDA, Third Edition."  Space is running out so register today to reserve your spot!

This webinar presents a unique opportunity for NABR members and the biomedical research community to seek guidance and ask questions directly to the leadership of USDA.

Questions must be submitted in advance so please submit questions as soon as possible to info@nabr.org.  Questions will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication and will be answered in the order they are received.

"Q&A with the USDA, Third Edition" will be scheduled for an hour, but NABR will continue the webinar until all of your questions have been addressed. Again, please submit questions to info@nabr.org as soon as possible.

register now

Webinar participants will be provided with a Certificate of Attendance upon request.

*This webinar is a complimentary service for NABR member institutions. An unlimited number of interested participants from each member institution may register free of charge. Interested participants from non-member institutions must be pre-approved and will be charged a per-person access fee of $279. All major credit cards are accepted. You will be contacted for payment upon registration. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

NIH Announces Sally Rockey’s Departure

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Deputy Director for Extramural Research Sally Rockey, PhD, will be leaving her post to become the Director of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR). In a June 11 announcement, NIH Director Francis Collins said, “On the one hand, I’m very happy for Sally and proud that she will be bringing her considerable skills to the leadership of this new and important endeavor…. On the other hand, I will greatly miss her wisdom, courage, and creativity as we tackle the knotty issues associated with extramural grant funding, especially in this particularly stark budget climate. Sally has done an outstanding job of steering the NIH through many challenging times and we will be forever in her debt.” Dr. Collins said that Dr. Rockey will continue at NIH until mid-September “while we mount a vigorous search for her successor.”

Authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR operates as a non-profit corporation seeking and accepting private donations in order to fund research activities that focus on problems of national and international significance. Congress provided $200 million for the foundation, which must be matched by non-federal funds as projects are identified and approved.

The Animal Research Behind the Top 25 Most Prescribed Drugs

Has Your Doctor Prescribed One of These Medications?

In an effort to continue educating the public and key decision makers about the importance of animal research, NABR and the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) have just posted a listing of the top 25 most prescribed drugs and the animal models that helped develop them.

Compiled using publicly available information from the FDA, the Top 25 Most Prescribed Drugs table is easy to read and clearly demonstrates the indispensable role animal models play in the drug development process. The table can be customized to sort by species so readers can learn which pharmaceuticals were developed thanks to the assistance of rodents, nonhuman primates (NHP), dogs, or rabbits.

Chances are someone you know is taking one of the most commonly prescribed FDA-approved medications on this list. These include medications for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, asthma, and diabetes; all of which could not have been developed without the assistance of animal research. Yet, a common tactic by opponents of lifesaving and life-improving biomedical research with animals is to attempt to discredit its effectiveness.  With this information, the evidence is irrefutable. Please share it with the public, your colleagues, and cross post on social media to help increase awareness of the necessity of animal models in drug development.

See the Top 25 Drugs: 

Download PDF Copy:

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