The animal care and use program supports teaching and research across the spectrum of SJTUSM programs through studies in animal-facilitated research oversight, experimental design, procedural development, technical training, professional veterinary care, and consultative service on animal use, techniques, animal disease diagnostic services, and regulatory compliance. Currently, the Department of Laboratory Animal Science (DLAS) of SJTUSM mainly, but not exclusively, other SJTUSM departments, also follow AAALAC standards. Since the SJTUSM startup AAALAC accreditation project in 2014, Shanghai Jiao Tong University College of Basic Medical Sciences and other research departments of SJTUSM joined this animal program and carried out responsible animal usage and reliable medical research on the SJTUSM campus.  

In 1998, the first SJTUSM Animal Care and Use Committee was established and the fourth Animal Care and Use Committee was established on September 10, 2013. Also, the SJTUSM animal welfare committee was established in 2008 and the second animal welfare committee, on July 12, 2013. During 2015, we established a new Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), and in 2021 we change the term Of IACUC. The new IACUC is comprised of 18 members and enhanced by recruiting Xuemei Tong, our IACUC chairperson, who is a professor from Biochemical and Molecular Cellular Biology Department of SJTUSM. Most importantly, we have built a group of highly skilled veterinarians led by Jin Lu, MVM, who gained bachelor’s degree in University of Queensland in Australia and graduated from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Master of Veterinary Medicine. She is certified with veterinarian certification and license in China. To accomplish our commitment to AAALAC International in animal care and use training. Every year our veterinarian team and facility supervisors joined the Annual Shanghai Laboratory Animals Science Association (SLASA) Laboratories and Tecniplast training Crouse.

In addition, in order to meet AAALAC accreditation criterion, the animal facility of SJTUSM was renovated from 2012 to 2014, 2019,2021 and 2022, according to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Eighth Edition) and China laboratory animal facility GB standards. After renovating animal holding spaces and HVAC facilities as well as increasing animal welfare, we have noticed great improvement under the direction of the Guide and the national and China regulations for this application.

SJTUSM uses animals in basic research and for applied clinical studies where animals serve as homologies for specific human diseases. Basic studies include areas such as cellular and molecular biology, cancer biology, transgenic, signal transduction, neurobiology, genetics, embryology, endocrinology and immunology, etc. Applied clinical studies include work on biomedical techniques and treatments for human cardiovascular disease, nerve regeneration, gene therapy, andrology, cancer therapy, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, hematology, etc. The use of animals in testing includes some aspects of applied clinical studies for pre-clinical trials and safety tests. Animal use in teaching includes medical student surgery training and laboratory animal technique training. Major animal used for researches, studies and teaching programs is mice, and DLAS also houses rats, rabbits and dogs. There are currently 67 principal investigators conducting independent research/teaching at SJTUSM and over 113 approved animal use protocols in effect.  

DLAS’ last renovation was conducted in 2019, 2021 and 2022. We are renovating the animal facilities in order to get more space to support animal housing and animal research. These renovations replace out-dated IVC system with more advanced equipment. In 2022, due to Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai, our renovation plan is behind schedule. However, our director and essential staffs stay on campus during epidemic outbreak period, keeping standard animal care and veterinary service for in-house animals. During renovation. We kept standards found in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide) and the compulsory laboratory animal facility standard of China (GB). Specific renovation details include an HVAC system, facility monitoring system, animal holding room construction. The new facilities have reasonable layouts and more space for animal holding. We use real-time surveillance systems to control the HVAC system and monitor animal holding room temperature, humidity, and light cycle.

In 2016, we set up a new Tunnel Cage Washing System, dirty bedding dumping stations. The cage washing system helps us develop cage washing quality control and ensure the animal equipment is thoroughly sanitized before autoclave. The dirty dumping stations can efficiently protect people with allergies. In 2022, another tunnel cage washing system and two new autoclaves are brought into DLAS. Due to Covid-19 outbreak and university lock down, they have not been started using yet, but in the future, they will be imbedding to daily cage change workflow and reduce pressure.

DLAS’ dirty side elevator is specialty for dirty cage transfer. Now we thoroughly separate dirty cage and trash transportation from clean cage and people. All animal-related dirty supplies and equipment will be transported by the dirty side elevator which is located north of animal facilities. Clean equipment and supplies and people use the clean elevator, which is located in the animal facility lobby. The new transportation routes help us to control cross-contamination well and also develop occupational health programs.

Additionally, we have enabled “animal care and use protocol” version 2. The new version of protocol when add some essential information in it. Now protocol form including animal use justification, animal number justification, special concerns for animal use, animal procedure or surgery description, animal physical restraint, literature research for alternatives to animal painful procedure, anesthesia and analgesia description (including preemptive analgesia), animal transportation, hazardous agents, transgenic animal use, instructions for emergency care, and PI managed animal holding area descriptions. All of those new sections of protocol will help IACUC to review animal use program efficiently and promote the implementation of laboratory animal welfare.

DLAS have several specific research groups such as embryo transplantation group, genetic modification group, veterinarian group and diagnostic imaging group. DLAS encourage staffs from each group to have positive interactions, especially to improve animal welfare and proper use.

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