Observation

Animal Research Accrediting Group Welcomes Psychological Scientist to Top Governance Position

Steven I. Dworkin

Steven I. Dworkin, a Western Illinois University psychology professor, has begun serving as Board of Directors Chair at the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International.

Dworkin has represented APS on the board for the past 3 years, and says his new role serves as a testament to the significant influence that psychological science has on the organization’s activities.

“I have had the opportunity to stress the importance of behavior standards in providing high quality care for animals used in our research endeavors,” Dworkin, who studies neurobehavioral pharmacology, said of his involvement with AAALAC. “Most recently I have provided a behavioral research perspective on reproducibility and replication.”

AAALAC is a private, nonprofit organization that promotes the humane treatment of animals in science through a voluntary accreditation program, a Program Status Evaluation service, and educational programs. More than 1,000 universities, government agencies, hospitals, and other research institutions in 47 countries have earned AAALAC accreditation, including the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, and the National Institutes of Health. Under AAALAC’s voluntary accreditation process, research programs earn the organization’s endorsement by demonstrating that they go beyond minimum legal standards to achieve excellence in animal care and use. Programs are evaluated on factors such as housing conditions, veterinary care, and environmental stimuli.

Among the 70 organizations that are members of AAALAC, in addition to APS, are the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Neuroscience, Scientists Center for Animal Welfare, and the National Association for Biomedical Research.

Dworkin urges APS members to contact him with any questions or concerns they have about AAALAC activities. He can be reached at SI-Dworkin@wiu.edu.

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