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Alice Huang, PhD, CPIA

Staff Scientist and Deputy for IACUC Guidance, Office of the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer , Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs

presenter photoAlice Huang, PhD, CPIA, is the Deputy for IACUC Guidance in the Office of the CVMO, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, and is located in Decatur, Georgia. She was a research physiologist and medical school faculty member, with particular interests in systems cardiovascular physiology, for almost 20 years, before joining the Office of the CVMO. Since 2006, she has led the efforts of that office to work with representatives of USDA, OLAW, and AAALAC, to understand the integrated regulatory requirements and provide consistent guidance specific to the needs of the individual 70+ VA stations involved in animal research. She also provides technical support for on-line training and document management systems used by VA, and is involved in the development of committee management software.

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M.A. McCrackin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACLAM, CMAR

Veterinary Medical OfficerSpecial Consultant on Regulatory Affairs, Office of the CVMO, Ralph H. Johnson VAMC

presenter photoM.A. McCrackin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACLAM, CMAR serves as the Veterinary Medical Officer (VMO) for the VA in Charleston, SC and Special Consultant on Regulatory Affairs for the Office of the Chief VMO. She is Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine and Director of the Surgical Research Laboratory at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. McCrackin earned her veterinary degree from the University of Georgia, completed a small animal surgical residency at the University of Tennessee, and received a PhD in microbiology from the University of Montana. She led the Companion Animal Working Group as a member of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia that updated the Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals in 2013 and is currently a Fellow and lecturer in the MUSC Clinical and Translational Research Ethics program. Dr. McCrackin regularly teaches the responsible conduct of animal research to students, staff and new faculty. She has participated on IACUCs at three universities, the VA, and a private company. She has been an AAALAC ad hoc consultant since 2011 and is an active member of AALAS, AVMA, ACVS, ACLAM, and ASLAP.

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Joan T. Richerson, MS, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CPIA

Assistant Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs

presenter photoJoan T. Richerson, MS, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CPIA, is the Assistant Chief Veterinary Medical Officer in the Office of the CVMO, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Nashville, Tennessee. She is a laboratory animal veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in animal care and use program management and has served as a veterinary medical consultant for the VA and other federal agencies. In 2010, she joined the Office of the CVMO and works with Drs. Michael Fallon and Alice Huang to provide support and guidance to VA animal care and use programs. She is primarily responsible for the VA Just-In-Time secondary reviews of protocols and the optional IACUC Training Exercises.

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Communication and Networking Track

Breakout Sessions – Series A

A3 - Make Any IACUC More Effective: A VA Perspective

Friday, April 1

10:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Faculty(s):

Alice Huang, PhD, CPIA

Staff Scientist and Deputy for IACUC Guidance, Office of the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer , Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs

M.A. McCrackin, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACLAM, CMAR

Veterinary Medical OfficerSpecial Consultant on Regulatory Affairs, Office of the CVMO, Ralph H. Johnson VAMC

Joan T. Richerson, MS, DVM, MS, DACLAM, CPIA

Assistant Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of Research and Development, Department of Veterans Affairs

Has your IACUC struggled with deciding what deficiencies really need to be documented in a semiannual report, how much to say about them, and what’s the point anyway? Has your IACUC documented approved departures from the Guide and then wondered whether they were actually departures at all (but felt it was better to document them anyway, “just to be safe”)? The office of the Chief Veterinary Medical Officer of the VA provides guidance about these and other questions to the 70+ VA facilities with animal research programs, all of which are required by VA policy to comply with the USDA, APHIS, Animal Care and PHS Policies. This interactive session will be of interest to participants from non-VA institutions, as well as VA facilities. During this session, faculty and attendees will:


  • Discuss how to address and document deficiencies in ways that limit administrative burden to what is effective for improving the animal care and use program
  • Discuss an example of a potential Guide deviation and determine which of several possible approaches is most compliant with the regulatory requirements and consistent with effective IACUC oversight
  • Share recent hot-button site visit concerns from the perspective of an AAALAC International ad hoc consultant
  • Hear brief updates on VA animal research
Slides