Comparative Medicine: How We Work

Mission, Oversight and Education

In the Comparative Medicine shared resource, our work is guided by our mission and values and aimed toward our goals of promoting scientific purpose and ethical care.

photo of two lab staff at work at a hood
Our staff work closely with researchers in order to maintain the highest standards. Photo by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Our Mission

Our mission is to assist scientists in their efforts to eliminate cancer and related diseases as causes of suffering and death through preclinical and translational biomedical research.

Preclinical research is indispensable in the identification, development and manufacturing of innovative therapeutics to treat and prevent disease in humans and animals. We recognize the value of preclinical research in advancing our understanding of cancer.

Regulations and Oversight

All animals used in federally funded research are protected by laws, regulations and policies to ensure the smallest possible number of subjects and the greatest commitment to their comfort. Fulfilling these protections is a collaborative effort between the Comparative Medicine shared resource, Fred Hutch researchers and our Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or IACUC.

We maintain full compliance with all federal, state and local area regulations; in fact, we voluntarily adhere to additional standards that go above and beyond those mandated by federal and state regulations. As part of our charge, we oversee rigorous personnel training and regular facility maintenance.

The Comparative Medicine shared resource is managed in full compliance with the following regulations, policies and guidelines:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Welfare Act and Regulations
  • U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  • Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
  • All Washington state and local area animal welfare regulations

Fred Hutch is registered as a research facility with the USDA (91-R-0081), has a Letter of Assurance on file with PHS/OLAW (D16-00142) and is fully and continuously accredited by the AAALAC International since 1979. As part of this program, Fred Hutch voluntarily adheres to additional standards beyond those mandated by regulations.

The Fred Hutch IACUC reviews every project proposed to include the use of animals. This committee includes scientists and other scholars, as well as members of the public, to encourage representation of diverse viewpoints.

Education and Representation

We believe education and representation are critical in maintaining the highest standards.

To that end, Fred Hutch maintains an institutional membership to the American Association for Lab Animal Science, or AALAS, to provide training and scientific materials, career growth and certifications, advocacy support for research, and a platform to share discoveries and advancement in the care of lab animals. We also provide staff with memberships to the Washington state AALAS branch for regional meetings and networking. 

Our veterinary staff includes diplomates of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and our comparative pathologist is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathology.

Fred Hutch is also an active member of the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research to help foster commitment to the ethical conduct of research and to educate the public. 

More resources:

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)

AAALAC International

Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR)

National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR)

Americans for Medical Progress (AMP): Come See Our World

Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR)