(Dec. 13, 2010)--The University of Texas at San Antonio has received full accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, a nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in scientific research. More than 800 companies, universities, hospitals, government agencies and research institutions in 33 countries are AAALAC-accredited including the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, American Red Cross and National Institutes of Health.
"AAALAC accreditation is the gold standard for animal research facilities," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "Our Laboratory Animal Resources Center has worked diligently for three years to earn this accreditation. It is a mark of distinction and an exceptional accomplishment that demonstrates UTSA is committed to the highest standards in animal research."
Led by university veterinarian Marcel Perret-Gentil, D.V.M., M.S., the UTSA Laboratory Animal Resources Center (LARC) oversees the care and use of UTSA research animals such as rodents, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Additionally, LARC serves as a facilitator for the UTSA Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), a federally mandated and internal regulatory body that includes individuals affiliated with UTSA and representatives of the general public. The IACUC regularly reviews the entire UTSA animal care program to ensure that the use of animals is justified, the number of animals used is minimized and each animal research project stays within the prescribed limit of the approved proposal.
To earn AAALAC accreditation, Perret-Gentil and the LARC team developed and implemented dozens of internal processes designed to ensure UTSA's animals receive the best possible care. Among those processes are standards to ensure the animals receive proper bedding, feed and enrichment materials from vendors that the LARC team has evaluated before doing business.
Additionally, the animals are monitored daily and sick animal reports are attended to immediately to ensure all reported animals receive prompt and adequate veterinary care. To avoid placing undue stress on the animals, species are separated. The LARC staff also adheres to a strictly timed routine and provides animals with exceptional post-operative care.
The processes not only ensure humane care, but they collectively ensure that UTSA researchers obtain reliable data using the least number of animals possible and minimize repeat testing.
"We are in this job because we love animals," said Luis Zorrilla, LARC assistant director. "We want to serve as advocates for the animals and ensure they receive proper care."
Animal research has led to the development and/or improvement of a variety of medical treatments including, but not limited to, blood transfusions, anesthesia, painkillers, antibiotics, insulin, vaccines, chemotherapy, CPR, coronary bypass survey, reconstructive surgery and orthopedic surgery.
The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.