Show Your Support for Biomedical Research!

Are you proud of your work to help improve global human and animal health?  Do you want to help support the efforts to protect scientific liberty and the ethical use of animal models in biomedical research?  Then look no further.

The folks at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) have BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH SAVES LIVES bumper stickers available for distribution.  If you missed out on these at last year’s AALAS Annual Meeting, here’s your chance to grab one.  These are a great way to highlight the importance of supporting lifesaving science with the general public.

Contact FBR today at to learn how you can get a bumper sticker.

What Animal Research Means to March Madness

March Madness is in full swing.  The brackets are filled out.  Some are busted.  The upsets are happening.  The powerhouses are surging towards the Final Four.  But did you ever stop to think that maybe, just maybe, animal research is playing a role?  It definitely does and got the folks at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) thinking.

In a blog post published today, FBR took a close look at the world of animal models in competitive sports.  In one interesting example, horses and macaques, for example, were instrumental in the development of microfracture surgery.  This surgical procedure corrects torn cartilage in the knee by smoothing the edges of the tear and creating tiny fractures in the underlying bone, releasing stem cells from the bone marrow.  By creating a “superclot,” cartilage-building cells are released.  Arthroscopic surgery and repairs of ligament tears also owe a debt to animal research.

If you have a moment in between games or during halftime, take a few minutes to scout out FBR’s latest blog post, “What Animal Research Means for March Madness.”  You can read the posting here.

Thanks to Primates, OHSU Researchers Are One Step Closer to Killing HIV in Newborns

There is exciting and promising news coming out of Oregon Health & Science University.  According to a report, researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center have discovered that a genetically engineered antibody can hunt and kill HIV.

Genetically engineered antibodies were administered 24 hours after primates were infected with the HIV virus.  The findings were amazing.  “This is really a complete, 100-percent cure basically,” said Dr. Nancy Haigwood, Director of the Primate Research Center.  By the end of the study, six months later, the primates showed no infection.  Each year, 200,000 children are born to mothers with HIV and this new development, hopefully, will help prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

To read the news story on this development and to see Dr. Haigwood’s interview, please click here.

Register Today for NABR’s Upcoming Exclusive Webinar!

Do you or your institution have questions for the USDA about compliance with the federal Animal Welfare Act?  Then you've come to the right place.  NABR has organized a one-of-a-kind opportunity to meet the new Deputy Administrator for Animal Care at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Tuesday, May 3 during NABR’s next webinar.  She will be answering your questions live from NABR headquarters in Washington, DC at this special event.  Space is going very quickly so please register ASAP.

As you probably already know, APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea announced in February that with the retirement of Dr. Chester Gipson, Bernadette Juarez was named as the new head of Animal Care. During this NABR-exclusive webinar, Ms. Juarez will present her vision for Animal Care, answer your questions, and discuss the future of the USDA division responsible for the regular inspection of your facilities.  If you'd like to submit a question for Ms. Juarez to answer during the webinar, please send it to

Ms. Juarez is an attorney with extensive experience in investigating violations and enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). As Director of APHIS' Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES) she led investigations into suspected violations.  During her tenure in the USDA's Office of General Counsel, she represented APHIS in numerous enforcement proceedings. Register today so you don't miss this opportunity.

All questions must be submitted in advance to and will remain anonymous. Questions will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication.

Space is limited for this webinar and will fill quickly, so please register ASAP!


register now

FBR Releases Final Segment in Three Part Series on Animal Research and Diabetes

Yesterday, the team at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) released the third and final part of its three segment series covering the involvement of animal models in diabetes research.  Part three of the series covers how biomedical research in veterinary health, the development of implantable devices for people living with diabetes, and the identification of a new type of diabetes thanks to the assistance of animal models.

Thanks to many years of animal research, species of all kinds are benefitting from the research.  Insulin, for example, was discovered with the assistance of canine models and because of gene therapy, Type 1 diabetes in dogs has been cured.  But it does not stop there.  Scientists have been working on new ways for the 29 million Americans with diabetes to manage their care, including the development of implantable devices to help monitor blood sugar, replace insulin injections, and in some cases even place insulin-producing cells under the skin.  Such groundbreaking breakthroughs would not be possible without the contribution of dogs, cats, and pigs.

To read more about these and other exciting developments in diabetes research, please click here.

If you have not done so already, please take a moment to read NABR’s coverage of part one and part two of FBR’s series.

Nancy Reagan: A Legacy as a Science Advocate

On Sunday, March 6, Nancy Reagan, wife of former President Ronald Reagan, died at the age of 94.  Besides being the First Lady, she was a devoted wife and mother, key advisor, fashion icon, and an anti-drug champion, launching the “Just Say NO” campaign.  But did you know she was a staunch supporter of medical research?

Earlier today the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) took a closer look at the First Lady’s role as an advocate for science.  After President Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994 she became a vocal proponent for research into brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  The Regan’s also founded the Ronald and Nancy Reagan Research Institute to focus on, understand, and treat Alzheimer’s.  Information gathered from mice, stem cells, and primates have been utilized in this important hunt for a cure.

Nancy Reagan’s accomplishments will be remembered for a long time and her advocacy for scientific research will never be forgotten.  To learn more about her focus on improving research opportunities, please read FBR’s story here.

Neuroscience Leaders Say Responsible Animal Research Critical for Brain Research Progress

Society for Neuroscience (SfN) president Hollis Cline and Mar Sanchez, chair of the SfN Committee on Animals in Research, have responded to a National Public Radio (NPR) commentary by Samuel Garner claiming “The ‘Necessity’ of Animal Research Does Not Mean It’s Ethical.”

The SFN leaders first noted the Garner piece “does not reflect the unassailable reality that responsible animal research remains essential to advance our understanding of the brain and to treat its diseases. Given the tremendous human and economic toll of brain disorders worldwide—including autism, depression, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease—it is among those areas of research in which continued progress is most critically needed.”  They then describe the ways in which “animal research is conducted under extensive regulation and oversight to assure humane and compassionate animal care.”

Read their full letter here on the SFN website.

Animal Extremist Sentenced to Three Years and $200,000 in Restitution

In federal court Monday, February 29, Kevin Johnson was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution to the fur farm owner victims of his sabotage, according to the Chicago Tribune.  Johnson, 29, pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiring to travel across state lines to interfere with the operations of an animal enterprise, a violation of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). In handing down the sentence, U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve said she was troubled by the "escalation" of Johnson's activism over the years and that previous stints behind bars had not seemed to deter him. She also noted that his actions on the mink farm caused suffering for many of the animals he professed to want to save. In all, more than 550 of the minks died, many painfully, the judge said.  The fur farm owners were forced to close their longstanding business and lost their retirement funds in the process. Before he was sentenced, Johnson choked back tears and apologized for the attack, saying he has finally realized after nearly a decade of arrests that committing criminal acts was not an acceptable form of protest.

“(Johnson) has stalked, stolen, harassed, and threatened to make his point," Assistant U.S. Attorney Bethany Biesenthal wrote in a court filing, "... his past shows an escalating dangerousness."  Records show Johnson has a long criminal record in California starting in 2006. Video from the protests depicted him screaming into a bullhorn outside Pom Wonderful executives' homes, threatening to harm them and their families, according to prosecutors. Three years later, Johnson was arrested after threatening UCLA professors over their use of animals in research. He later pleaded guilty to criminal stalking and served about 1 1/2 years in prison, prosecutors said.  In May 2012, five months after his release on parole, Johnson was arrested for shoplifting and inciting a riot, prosecutors said. Later that year he was arrested again for attempting to burglarize a pharmacy, and when authorities searched a laptop computer found in Johnson's car, they found personal information about scientific researchers and their families, according to prosecutors.

An accomplice, Tyler Lang of Los Angeles, also pleaded guilty last year to the same charge as Johnson.  Lang is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge St. Eve on March 23, 2016.

Type 2 Diabetes: How Are Animal Research and Testing Advancing Treatments?

As we reported recently, the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) launched a three-part series taking a closer look at the valuable contributions animal models have made in the hunt to treat and cure diabetes. Yesterday, FBR released the second part of the series, “How Animal Testing and Research is Advancing Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes.”

A metabolic disorder in which the body’s cells don’t sufficiently use insulin from the pancreas to turn glucose into energy, type 2 diabetes results in high blood sugar levels.  Genetic and lifestyle factors, like obesity and lack of exercise, are the primary causes.  Obesity is rising globally and it was estimated by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that in 2014 22 million Americans had the disease, compared to 5.5 million in 1980.

Science, once again, has turned to animal models to stem the tide of diseases like type 2 diabetes.  A special line of mice has been developed that have the obesity and glucose intolerance that leads to type 2 diabetes.  Another rodent model, a rat, is even an identical model of human type 2 diabetes.  Animal research and testing in diabetes research is not new but it continues to be a priority for science as 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes.

To read how rodents and even Gila monsters are helping researchers find a cure for type 2 diabetes, please click here to read, “How Animal Testing and Research is Advancing Treatments for Type 2 Diabetes.”

The first segment of the series, “Animal Research Creates Treatments and Advances for Type 1 Diabetes,” can be found here.

Please be sure to share this interesting coverage of diabetes research with your friends, family, colleagues, and on social media.

And the Oscar Goes to…

The Oscars aren’t for a few days but the team at the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) has a suggestion for the Award for the Best Supporting Role: the rat and the mouse.  The contributions of these valuable research animals have been valuable to researchers in the ongoing medical drama that is finding cures and improving human and animal life.  In their latest release, “Presenting the Award for Best Supporting Role in a Medical Drama,” FBR takes a look at some of these contributions and discusses the importance of those discoveries.

We as humans share about 97% of our DNA with rodent models so it makes sense that 95% of animals in research are rats and mice.  For over 200 years, they have been indispensable in securing today’s cures and therapies all while paving the way for more.  Rodent models have helped sequence the human genome and develop the use of human embryonic stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries.  Rats and mice are essential in research into Alzheimer ’s disease, cancer, blindness, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, Fragile X syndrome, high cholesterol, HIV/AIDS, influenza, meningitis B, multiple sclerosis, radiation sickness, SARS, stroke, tuberculosis vaccination, and tumor metastasis, just to name a few.

Please take a moment to read FBR’s report, “Presenting the Award for Best Supporting Role in a Medical Drama,” and share it with your friends, family, colleagues, and on Twitter and Facebook.

With the huge volume of success made possible by rats and mice, they are well-deserving of a Lifetime Achievement Award.