A psychology student works with a rat in a lab.
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

IACUC Contact

iacuc [at] nebrwesleyan.edu (iacuc[at]nebrwesleyan[dot]edu)


Cody Arenz, professor of biology

Gary Gerald, committee chair, associate professor of biology

Rachel Hayes, Psychology

Jeff Isaacson, Biology

Sheila Purdum, animal science, UNL

Micah Kohles, consulting veterinarian 

Matthew Merkwan, secondary consulting veterinarian 

Mel Luetchens , nonscientist, affiliated

Glenda J. Pierce, community member

Tish Gade-Jones, institutional officer

Christine Petersen, coordinator

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

To ensure the humane care and treatment of all animals used in teaching and research at the university, the Nebraska Wesleyan University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) oversees all animal teaching, research activities, laboratory training, and laboratory animal facilities. The use of animals in teaching and research at Nebraska Wesleyan University is conducted in accordance with the Guide For The Care and Use of Laboratory Animals 8th edition (pdf) and guidelines provided by the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare and USDA.

Composition of the IACUC

The members of the IACUC are appointed by the institutional official and include:

  • at least one practicing scientist experienced in animal research
  • one member whose primary concerns are in a non-scientific area
  • one member not affiliated with the university and not a member of the immediate family of a person who is officially affiliated with the university
  • the university attending veterinarian

Responsibilities of the IACUC

The IACUC oversees the university’s compliance with all applicable federal, state and institutional policies, laws and regulations. The committee:

  • monitors the use and housing of animals in teaching and research
  • reviews protocols for animals used in teaching and research
  • evaluates animal facilities and programs at the university every six months
  • prepares the annual USDA report for the university
  • reviews concerns involving the care and use of animals and, when warranted, investigates these concerns
  • assists in establishing training procedures for scientists, research technicians, animal technicians and other personnel involved with animal use, care and treatment

The IACUC is authorized to suspend an activity involving animals in accordance with applicable policies and regulations.


IACUC applications require copies of the certificates demonstrating completion of “Working with the IACUC” training modules and completion of the species-specific training modules for all project personnel through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI). NWU provides access to CITI for campus members. Campus members can register for a CITI account. See CITI customer support portal for directions for registering an account and additional support.

Basic Criteria of IACUC Review

In assessing the adequacy of care and use of animals in research, the IACUC considers a number of basic criteria, specifically whether:

  • an acceptable rationale is provided for using animals and justification and appropriateness of species and numbers to be used is described
  • a complete description is provided of proposed use, appropriate husbandry and housing that assures comfortable living conditions and well-being of the animals
  • procedures with animals avoid or minimize discomfort, distress and pain and are consistent with sound research design or educational use
  • procedures that may cause more than momentary or slight pain or distress to the animals will be performed with appropriate sedation, anesthesia and analgesia or, if not, scientific justification is provided
  • personnel conducting procedures or caring for the species being maintained or studied are appropriately qualified and trained
  • the method of euthanasia, used, if necessary, is consistent with the euthanasia guidelines from the American Veterinary Medical Association

Forms and Documents

The following documents will help guide you through this process: