Animal Use Training

Villanova University is committed to the safety of all investigators, students, and staff who handle live vertebrate animals. Exposure to live animals is not risk free and therefore requires that all animal handlers are made aware of the hazards associated with such contact.  Principal investigators and instructors are responsible for the safety and education of those individuals exposed to animal related hazards under their supervision.

As part of the federal mandate (Public Health Service Guide), Villanova requires that all animal handlers complete adequate IACUC Training and submit an Animal Handler Health Form to the University Health Center in advance of participation in animal use procedures.  The program includes an overview of IACUC functions, protocol requirements, federal animal welfare regulations, as well as species-specific handling and use procedures.  The success of the occupational health and safety program is dependent upon the diligent participation and cooperation of faculty supervisors and research personnel. 

IACUC training includes but is not limited to the following:

Contact the IACUC chair (louise.russo@villanova.edu) for the date of the yearly on- campus training session. One-on-one training with the campus veterinarian is available upon request.

The online training module must be completed by all individuals required to handle live vertebrate animals under the following conditions:

  1. Graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants participating in courses in which they are required to direct and assist students in laboratory activities utilizing live vertebrate animals
  2. Graduate and undergraduate students utilizing live vertebrate animals in their independent research activities either in the laboratory or field setting
  3. Faculty and staff members planning to utilize live or preserved vertebrate animals in teaching or research activities who have not previously completed on-campus training

To complete online training, animal handlers must contact Kimberly Downey in UNIT (kimberly.downey@villanova.edu) or Catherine Kogoowski (catherine.kologowski@villanova.edu) to gain access to the module. To expedite access to the system, please include the following in your email request:

  1. Your full name and user ID (typically your email username)
  2. A statement indicating requested access to the IACUC online training module

You will receive an email communication as soon as your request has been processed along with general steps to access the training module via WebCT. Successful completion of online training requires achievement of a passing score on a brief content quiz that is accessible at the end of the module. If a passing score is achieved, you must print a copy of the certificate of training. Attach the certificate to page 1 of the Animal Handler Health Form and submit it to the IACUC chair, Dr. Louise Russo, Department of Biology. Pages 2 and 3 of the Animal Handler Health Form should be submitted to the University Health Center for information access should an accident or injury occur as a result of animal handling activities.

If you do sustain an injury as a result of animal handling, you must complete an Animal Handler Health Form - Injury Report and submit it to the IACUC chair. All paperwork related to training and health status must be submitted prior to participation in live animal handling in your research or teaching activities. You and your research mentor or course instructor will receive a verification email from Dr. Russo once the appropriate paperwork has been received and reviewed. Failure to comply with these training requirements will result in mandatory cessation of your participation in animal related activities including teaching assistance until training verification has been met.

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Contact Information

Office of Research Administration
Middleton Hall Rm 1st
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085

For general questions, contact ResAdmin@villanova.edu or 610-519-4220.