Health Sciences Administration

Our Mission and Vision

Protect the integrity and excellence of vertebrate animal care, research and teaching at the University of Washington (UW). Provide comprehensive resources and outstanding service to the UW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), faculty, staff and other partners for navigating and complying with the rules and regulations regarding the use of vertebrate animals.

Who We Are

The UW is a leader among public institutions receiving federal research funding and maintains a fully accredited animal care and use program. The Office of Animal Welfare (OAW) is the key administrative unit responsible for supporting the University’s IACUC in implementing federal and non-federal requirements for the use of vertebrate animals. The University is required to have an IACUC to oversee and evaluate all aspects of the institution’s animal care and use program, including review and approval of all uses of live vertebrate animals in research, teaching, and training.

What We Do:

Located on main campus, the OAW supports the University’s primary research objectives by promoting and advancing responsible and ethical use of animals by informed, well-trained, and regulatory-compliant research personnel and programs. The OAW facilitates the IACUC review of research protocols, the IACUC inspection of housing and use facilities for the animals, and provides oversight and compliance on behalf of the IACUC in accordance with applicable laws, policies, and regulations. OAW also reviews grants involving live vertebrate animals, and supplies training in basic and advanced animal handling and surgery for researchers using vertebrate animals. In addition, the OAW spearheads the University’s interactions with regulatory agencies, other institutions, and industry associations to ensure continuing assurance and accreditation of the animal care and use program. More information on UW’s institutional assurance and accreditation can be found on the OAW website here.

Who We Work With:

The Office of Animal Welfare works with all University educators, researchers, and staff who use live vertebrate animals in their research, teaching, and/or training programs. This includes over 30 academic units and research institutes. Other key UW departmental partners include the Office of Research, Department of Comparative Medicine, the Washington National Primate Research Center, Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of Sponsored Programs. In addition, the OAW works with numerous public and private institutions to coordinate joint research with the UW. Key outside partners include the NIH – Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), USDA – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and AAALAC International.