A Brief Refresher on IACUC Functions and IACUC Forms

All activities involving the use of vertebrate animals require prior approval by the IACUC.

Federal regulations require that any activity involving the use of live vertebrate animals in biomedical research, training, or teaching must have prior IACUC approval. The IACUC mandate is to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the Institutional program for animal care as use. This includes all research and educational activities involving animals, as well the veterinary care program.

In order to secure approval, applicants must submit an IACUC Application describing the value of the animal research to human or animal health, design of the study, rationale and justification for using animals, choice of species, alternatives to the use of animals, animal procedures and how the welfare and well-being of the animals is going to be ensured during the course of the study. 

IACUC Applications
There are only two types of IACUC forms: one for the Initial Application and a shorter one for a yearly Progress Report. Both forms are logic-driven, user-friendly, state of the art electronic documents available on line via the Ideate portal: https://ideate.mssm.edu/home. Submission, processing, and review of IACUC applications are all done on line.

Ideate Portal
Learning how to access and use the Ideate portal forms requires attending a brief training session offered weekly by IT trainers. At such sessions users receive an ID and password to the portal. The schedule of training sessions is posted at http://eolas.mssm.edu/e-learn/. This site also has online training modules on how to complete and file IACUC application.

Where to find help with IACUC forms
Help is available from the IACUC office (212-241-0153, e-mail: iacuc@mssm.edu). The IACUC strongly recommends consultation with CCMS Veterinarians (212-241-3008) prior to filing an Application to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to minimize pain and/or distress to experimental animal. Consultations with CCMS Veterinarians are required for studies involving large animals (e.g., non-human primates, pigs, sheep). Consultations with the Biosafety (212-241-5169) and with the Radiation Safety Officers (212-241-2269) are required for studies involving the use of hazardous biological, chemical or radioactive materials.

Where to find help for problems with the Ideate system
Users encountering technical problems in completing or submitting IACUC forms should contact immediately the IT department at ideate@mssm.edu.

Review of IACUC Applications
The IACUC may approve, withhold approval, or require modifications of any proposed activity related to animal use and care before issuing a final approval. An integral part of the IACUC review is also a risk assessment and occupational safety evaluation by the Institutional Safety Officers and by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Final IACUC approval is granted after all reviews have been completed and PIs have responded adequately to all requests for modifications of a protocol. Approvals are granted for a period of 3 years; for the second and third year of such period, only a Progress Report is required at the beginning of each project year. At the expiration of the 3-year approval period, PIs must submit a new IACUC application.

For additional information, contact the IACUC office at 212-241-0153, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm or via email at iacuc@mssm.edu.