2014 Webinar: Making Your Alternatives Searches More Valuable

Webinar Archives - Members  Webinar Archives - Non-Members


Alternatives to painful procedures in research involving animals are sometimes not viewed as viable options or given the appropriate consideration. With respect to ensuring animal well-being, it is important to understand that minimizing pain is better for the animal. 

In this webinar, presenters explained when alternatives searches are required, and what that means for institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) members. Additionally, presenters:

  • Summarized strategies and level of review suggested by oversight agencies to minimize pain
  • Highlighted the changes in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy 12 (Consideration of Alternatives to Painful/Distressful Procedures) 
  • Identified common misconceptions regarding USDA and other governing bodies’ mandates regarding alternative searches
  • Suggested alternatives to painful procedures, including the use of analgesics/anesthetics and non-pharmacological interventions, the development of a humane primate model of spinal cord injury, noninvasive imaging, telemetry, etc.
  • Discussed the importance of the three Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) in an alternatives search 
  • Provided examples of scientific literature on alternative animal models and humane endpoints and share useful techniques and search strategies

This intermediate-level webinar was of interest to individuals working in animal care and use, including IACUC members, chairs, directors, and staff, as well as researchers. 


Tim Allen, MS, is the technical information specialist at the USDA Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC), and has been employed there since 1992. Previously, he was a pharmacologist with Nova Pharmaceuticals, Eastman Pharmaceuticals, and Sterling Drug. He is a member of the National Institutes of Health Animal Research Advisory Committee and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute animal care and use committee. Mr. Allen earned a master’s degree in poultry endocrinology from the University of Maryland. Mr. Allen and his family share their home with two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, two chickens, two crabs, and assorted fish and frogs.

Joanne Zurlo, PhD, is the director of science strategy at the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing and senior scientist in the department of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her PhD in basic medical sciences from New York University in 1979, with a concentration in biochemistry and chemical carcinogenesis. Dr. Zurlo served on the faculty at Dartmouth Medical School and at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. From 2000 to 2010, she was the director of the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research (ILAR) at the National Academies in Washington, DC, where she expanded international activities and harmonization discussion, directed publication of the quarterly ILAR Journal, and spearheaded and coordinated the development of special reports related to Laboratory Animal Welfare and Guidelines, including the 8th Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Dr. Zurlo returned to Johns Hopkins in 2010.

Certificates of Attendance

Certificates of attendance for the Making Your Alternatives Searches More Valuable webinar were made available at the conclusion of the webinar. To access the certificate, you must first complete the online evaluation. Such certificates are useful for obtaining continuing education (CE) credits (not Continuing Medical Education credits) from professional associations. Note that guidelines concerning CE credits may differ, and you should consult the appropriate professional association representative for further guidance.

If you would like to receive a certificate of attendance for a previous PRIM&R educational program, please email info@primr.org or call 617.423.4112, ext.0.

CE Credit for Certified Professional IACUC Administrator (CPIA®) Recertification
Webinar participants holding the CPIA credential who wish to apply credits from Making Your Alternatives Searches More Valuable toward CPIA recertification may submit the certificate of attendance they received upon completing the online evaluation as documentation of their participation. Participation in this 90-minute webinar counts as 1.5 CE credit hours.