Post Approval Monitoring
Texas Tech University is dedicated to providing humane care and treatment of animals used in research, teaching and demonstration. According to the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide), oversight of animal activities must continue, even after after IACUC approval, to be in compliance with federal laws, regulations and policies. Therefore, Texas Tech University has initiated a post-approval monitoring (PAM) program.
The purpose of the PAM is to work with, and in support of, investigators to confirm accurate and consistent protocol performance, and that animals are being used in accordance with federal regulations and approved IACUC policies, standard operating procedures and protocols. Monitoring allows for opportunities to refine research procedures and techniques, make recommendations for maintaining compliance, and ensure the animal's well-being. These observational visits allow investigators to address and/or correct any problems that may be moving towards non-compliance by adjusting methods to follow the protocol or to submit an amendment. The PAM is a facilitator for improving communication between the IACUC and investigator to help ensure compliance and the success of Texas Tech University's animal researchers.
The current PAM coordinator/liaison working with investigators and the IACUC is Brittany Backus PhD
Dr. Backus received her B.A. in Biochemistry in 2007 from Texas Tech University. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Dr. Backus began working in an animal welfare research laboratory as a Research Aide, where she found a new passion for research and pigs. Brittany received her M.S. in 2010, and her Ph.D in 2013, with a focus on animal welfare and behavior and comparative medicine.
Dr. Backus' research interest in animal welfare science is studying the stress response of production animals to husbandry and industry practices, and investigating potential pain mitigation or environmental methods to improve the animal's well-being. Dr. Backus' research interests in comparative medicine are using the pig as a whole animal model for physiological or psychological disorders that have both human and animal benefit. Encompassed in her primary goal she evaluates the animals' response to challenges through the study of stress physiology, behavior (temperament, anxiety, and learning and cognition), immunology and neuroscience.
As a result of her background and her own ongoing research, she is uniquely qualified to assist in the evaluation of compliance, as well as being an invaluable resource to investigators and the institutions animal care and use committee's charge, and unwavering commitment, to animal welfare, in an environment that encourages high quality research.