An Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees animal research and ensures the institution's compliance with federal, state, local, and institutional regulations, including the Animal Welfare Act and Public Health Service Policy which mandate the existence, structure and function of an IACUC. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Whitehead Institute (WIBR), the IACUC is called the Committee on Animal Care (CAC).
The Committee on Animal Care (CAC)
The CAC was established to ensure that MIT and WIBR researchers working with animals (or making funds available to support other researchers' work with animals) comply with all animal care laws and regulations. Committee members are appointed by the President of MIT at the recommendation of the Vice President for Research. The CAC membership consists of veterinarians, scientists, nonscientists, and at least one member who is not affiliated with MIT and represents the interests of the community.
The CAC is responsible for to reviewing all research and teaching exercises that involve vertebrate animals or animal tissues before research activities begin. The committee also conducts site visits of animal facilities and laboratories.
The CAC Protocol Office (CACPO)
The Protocol Office is the administrative office that supports the various functions of the CAC and serves as the liaison between investigators and the CAC. The primary functions of the CACPO include facilitating the submission, review and approval of CAC protocols, providing support and assistance to investigators across all aspects of research animal protocols, and coordinating program monitoring/site visits.
As a free-standing academic unit, DCM's missions include the veterinary care and maintenance of research animals at MIT and WIBR institutes, research, and teaching/training. The CAC works closely with DCM to ensure animal welfare and support researchers.