How Environment and Enrichment Can Impact Research Outcomes for Rabbits and Rodents

Tuesday, March 20
11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Franklin C

More and more, an animal's environment and enrichment, including social housing, is proving to have an effect on research results. Some scientists are reluctant to change their housing methods for fear of not being able to reproduce model systems. This session will discuss recent data showing the effects of caging, enrichment, and social housing, as well as review methods investigators can use to make changes to these systems. During this session, speakers and attendees will:

Kathryn Bayne, MS, PhD, DVM, DACLAM, DACAW, CAAB

Chief Executive Officer
AAALAC International

Dr. Bayne is Chief Executive Officer for AAALAC International, where she has worked for more than 20 years. Prior to this position she worked at the National Institutes of Health leading a research program on nonhuman primate psychological well-being and environmental enrichment programs for primates, dogs, cats and swine. She is a certified applied animal behaviorist, and is internationally renowned for her work in laboratory animal behavior and welfare. Dr. Bayne has held several leadership positions including service as President of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), the Association of Primate Veterinarians, as well as the District of Columbia Veterinary Medical Association. She is past Chair of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Committee and was the inaugural Chair of the American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioner’s Animal Welfare Committee. She was a member of the OIE ad hoc working group that developed the chapter on Research Animal Welfare for the Terrestrial Animal Health Code and was a member of the committee that revised the CIOMS International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals.


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Elaine K. Hebda-Bauer, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist, Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute
University of Michigan

Elaine K. Hebda-Bauer, PhD, is an Assistant Research Scientist at the Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan. She has many years of experience conducting basic neuroscience research with rats and mice including managing breeding colonies and working with aged and transgenic animals. Dr. Hebda-Bauer’s research is focused on examining the interplay among stress and emotionality, cognition (especially learning and memory), and aging to understand the mechanisms underlying psychiatric and neurological disorders and determine which factors contribute to, modify, or attenuate vulnerability to neuronal dysfunction and the cognitive and emotional impairment observed in these disorders. How stress over a lifetime impacts one’s vulnerability to psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases is a key theme that has guided her research. Using animal models of altered neural plasticity, she employs molecular, biochemical, anatomical, and behavioral methods to examine the interplay of genes, developmental mechanisms (from birth throughout life), and behavior in brain function and dysfunction. By studying the effects of gene-environment interactions and the impact of stress on rodents’ emotional and cognitive behavior and gene expression and signaling in the brain, Dr. Hebda-Bauer has elucidated the importance of how social and physical aspects of the environment impact research outcomes.


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