Under the OSD, the OLAM supports the research of NHGRI scientists. A critical focus of this support is training in the humane care and handling of research animals. To this end, they have created three training CDs that have enjoyed world-wide distribution: 1) Training in Survival Rodent Surgery, a joint project between the NHGRI and the office of Animal Care and Use (OACU);2) Training in Basic Biomethodology for Laboratory Mice, an NHGRI funded and produced project that also serves as a backbone for the OACU CD Mouse &Rat Humane Restraint and Experimental Techniques;and 3) Training in Basic Biomethodology for Laboratory Rats, an NHGRI project currently under production that has been partially funded by the AALAS Foundation and the NIH OACU. The training offered through OLAM ensures that all animal handling is in compliance with NHGRI, NIH, and Federal regulations and guidelines for the continued assurance of full accreditation by the AAALAC, International. The OLAM also develops and/or recommends refinements in humane care and handling of laboratory animals and provides training to researchers in these refinements. In addition to the OACU-required on-line or lecture-based training and registering with the Animal Exposure Program (AEP), the NHGRI ACUC requires additional training prior to being listed on a NHGRI Animal Study Protocol (ASP) or being added to an ASP by amendment. Each research staff is required to complete facility-specific training. This training includes requirements for facility entry, proper animal handling procedures, and other related issues. The Animal Program Director (APD) or her designee performs this training. Research staff must also review the relevant sections of the CD, "Training in Basic Biomethodology for Laboratory Mice". This CD covers the most common procedures performed at NHGRI. This includes general husbandry, restraint and handling, identification methods, genotyping, injections, blood collection, anesthesia and analgesia, and euthanasia. The NHGRI Investigator Handbook also offers information on the humane care and use of animals in research. Once the relevant sections of the CD have been reviewed, hands-on, one-on-one training with the APD or her designee occurs to assure that animals are treated humanely without injury to the animal or handler and that skills are appropriate for the experimental manipulation(s) being performed. Individuals performing survival rodent surgery are also required to view the CD, "Training in Rodent Survival Surgery" developed and financially supported by the NHGRI and the OACU. This CD also covers special considerations in transgenic surgery and basic suturing techniques. Pre-surgical planning and training is initiated during protocol development. During this time, the surgeon's skills and the available facilities/equipment are assessed by the PI and APD. If the investigator is not experienced with the surgical procedure, training with the APD on cadaverous or terminally anesthetized animals is done under the NHGRI training protocol until the technique has been perfected. Once the protocol is approved, the APD works with the investigator to assure aseptic practices are followed. Regardless of the level of expertise of the investigator, the APD observes all surgeries when they are first performed. Once initial training is complete, the staff member must sign a statement saying the Animal Study Proposal has been read and the contents are understood. They must also read the NHGRI ACUC 03.1 Laboratory Animal Allergy Prevention Program (LAAPP) guideline and attached Division of Health and Safety (DOHS) allergy brochure. Training is an on-going commitment and a high priority at NHGRI. The OLAM conducts monthly hands-on training sessions in various experimental techniques (e.g., restraint, blood collection, injections, suturing, etc.). In addition, the NHGRI APD provides individualized training as described above. Investigator training with the NHGRI APD occurs on an almost daily basis. If the APD lacks the expertise to teach a particular technique, it is the joint responsibility of the APD and the PI to find an individual capable of training the APD and the investigator. All NHGRI investigators using anesthetics are trained by the APD in their safe and effective use and in the proper techniques for induction, maintenance and recovery. Investigators using inhalant anesthetics are also trained in safe and appropriate scavenging techniques. These techniques are also reviewed in the Biomethodology for Laboratory Mice training CD. All NHGRI investigators are trained by the animal facility and the APD, or her designee, during their facility training, in the approved methods of euthanasia for each facility. This training encompasses both adults and neonates. These techniques are also reviewed in the Biomethodology for Laboratory Mice training CD and the NHGRI Guidelines 01.1 and 01.2 Euthanasia of Rodents and Euthanasia of Zebrafish. All training is documented and maintained in the OLAM training file.
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