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Animal Care and Use

The use of animals in teaching, research and testing is critical to the advancement of medical knowledge and basic science, which have greatly enhanced the quality and length of human and animal life. We are committed to continuing that work, and to the judicious use and humane treatment of our animals. We embrace our moral, scientific and legal obligations regarding their care.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), an oversight body that is a requirement for a federally funded research organization, assures that all activities that require the use of laboratory animals are conducted in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), other federal statutes and regulations and state laws and directives related to animals. Rush faculty must receive IACUC approval before any project that involves animal use begins.

Foundations of our protocols

In our case, the Public Health Service (PHS) policy, which addresses the humane care and use of vertebrate laboratory animals, takes precedence regardless of the funding source for a particular research project. An investigator must adhere to the provisions of the PHS policy and Rush's approved PHS Assurance of compliance. Beyond mere duty, we believe the PHS policy, in tandem with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals from the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the National Research Council, provide a solid framework for an ethical animal research program. Please note that where regulations enforcing the AWA are specific and more restrictive than PHS policy, AWA regulations apply.

Comparative Research Center

The RUMC IACUC and the veterinary staff of the Rush Comparative Research Center (CRC) hold authorized jurisdiction over all animals used at Rush for research, testing or teaching. These animals are kept in one facility comprising 23,000 square feet, which is operated according to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, as required by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), to ensure appropriate care. The IACUC and the CRC have two dovetailing jobs — to help you achieve your research goals, and to ensure that research animals are treated humanely.

Our veterinarians offer investigators a number of services. We will review IACUC applications with you and your team, train you to work with the animals required for your research, and advise and help you with the animal-related aspects of your study.

When necessary, we will provide veterinary care, but research-related animal illnesses are the investigator's responsibility. You should plan ahead to work with the veterinary staff to determine what treatment and support your animals will require, and work with us to provide it when necessary.

Alongside the IACUC, our veterinarians are authorized to enforce the regulations, policies and procedures Rush has committed to following. The veterinary staff and the IACUC have the authority to suspend animal-use activities in the event of a breach, and also have final authority in determining when euthanasia is required. Any issue or disagreement between the center’s staff and investigators may be referred to the IACUC or the research compliance officer for review and recommendation.


Our center’s effectiveness is assessed regularly at multiple levels, as required by our IACUC, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, AAALAC International and OLAW.

Contact Us

Comparative Research Center

Cohn Research Building

1735 W. Harrison St., Suite 206

Chicago, IL 60612

Phone: (312) 942-6576