The MSMR Laboratory Animal Care Workforce Study is released.
News Release here
Executive Summary here
E-mail us here if you would like the entire report. Please include your contact information.
Hello, and welcome to MSMR’s Media
MSMR is a member organization that focuses on the use of animals in
biomedical research, teaching and testing – a critically important,
and often controversial issue underlying medical progress. We also take
a strong and active interest in life science education, and in a range
of other important topics in biomedicine, such as the use of embryonic
stem cells and the work of the oversight committees charged with protecting
humans and animals in research studies.
We provide materials and experiences to classroom teachers and their
students, sponsor professional development training for the research
community, and engage in public and legislative outreach regarding issues
important to our members.
Our Mission: We promote and enhance biomedical research, including the
humane care and use of animals, for the improved health and well being
of people, animals and the environment.
In fulfilling our mission, we foster a better understanding of biomedicine
by improving basic science literacy in and enthusiasm for the biological
and health sciences among the public, the media and future generations
of citizens and scientists.
We have a perspective that transcends narrow segments, with our membership
representing academic basic research, hospitals and institutes, life
science, medical devices, biotechnology, diagnostics, and pharmaceuticals.
And it is with this perspective that we set out here to provide a resource
to the media – editors, journalists, and broadcast reporters who
find themselves in need of expertise and a balanced view of what can
at times become polarizing issues.
We welcome your interest, and we thank you for visiting our media portal.
What follows here is additional background on MSMR, along with informational
links you may find helpful.
Who We Are – History and Members
The Society began in 1953 and was incorporated in 1982 as a Massachusetts
non-profit. We were granted federal tax-exempt non-profit status the
same year. Our membership now includes research hospitals and institutes,
colleges and universities, professional societies, biotechnical and
pharmaceutical firms, and organizations that support biomedical research
as vendors or suppliers. Membership is not limited to Massachusetts:
we represent organizations in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode
Island as well as the Bay State. About one-third of our support comes
from foundation grants.
The Society is guided by an elected Board of Directors comprising physicians,
veterinarians, research scientists and administrators, business people
and community members.
What We Stand For
The use of animals in biomedical research is essential to both basic
science and the translation of science discoveries to new medicines,
medical procedures and devices.
Good science depends upon good animal care. Thus, there must be a commitment
to ethical and humane animal use. Animal research is heavily regulated
at the Federal level. There are also state and even municipal laws affecting
research animals. In addition to adhering to all regulations and laws,
MSMR members support a practice called The 3 Rs (Reduce, Refine and
Replace) which seeks alternatives to animals when available and validated,
and which also seeks strategies for lessening animal use and for refining
procedures so as to minimize discomfort to research animals.
MSMR’s Board and members have adopted carefully reasoned positions.
For example, we believe in specimen dissection as part of high school
biology training. MSMR supports appropriate animal research by makers
of medical devices, and we believe that the same standards of care that
apply to other vertebrate animals should apply to rats, mice and birds.
Services to the Media
Whenever there is a story of interest and importance to our members,
we reach out to the media, often providing a balancing view on behalf
of those who work with research animals. We are available for comment on topics of importance to our members and for background and references.
We also periodically write letters to editors on topics affecting our
We also provide, on this website, a very complete set of links, allowing
reporters and journalists ready access to well-catalogued information
about biomedical research, regulation and oversight, science education,
Services to the Research Community
As a member organization, we focus on services to members and on outreach
that will benefit biomedical research generally.
In animal research, an oversight committee, usually called the Institutional
Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), has primary responsibility for
the care and husbandry of research animals, the specific protocols concerning
those animals, and the facilities and caretakers for the animals. MSMR
offers professional development workshops to IACUCs on a variety of
topics that will make them more effective in their duty.
Ultimate responsibility for the research animals within each organization
falls to the Institutional Official (IO). MSMR periodically offers training
to senior officials on personnel and plant security, on working with
the media, and on preparing for noteworthy events.
We track Massachusetts legislation that may affect our members, including
animal use, embryonic stem cell, laboratory inspection, tax incentives,
and education, and notify members of such legislation and their opportunity
to comment pro or con.
Services to Educators
Teachers and students come to us for grade-appropriate educational materials
(elementary, middle, high) about life science, and particularly animals in research. We also bring
expert speakers to classrooms, help arrange field trips, and conduct
two annual essay competitions on topics relating to biomedical research.
Because of our deep connections to the research community, we can also
provide career day speakers to high schools.
This Media Portal
Our Media Portal is a work-in-progress. We value your thoughts and suggestions
on how it, and we, can be most helpful to you in your work.
Please let us know by e-mailing us at MediaConnection@MSMR.org or calling us at 978.251.1556.
Alan Dittrich, President