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Texas Branch

American Association for

Laboratory Animal Science


Meeting Program

February 17-19, 2016

Sheraton Hotel

Arlington, Texas


Texas Branch AALAS Board & Committee Members
President Jamie Greaver, BS, RLATG

Past President Angie Hitt, RLATG

President Elect Lindsay Holmes, BS, RLAT

Secretary Karen Guerra, MBA, CMAR, RLATG

Treasurer Brian Gibson, DVM

Board Member Ryan Byrd, RLAT

Board Member Adrienne Ferguson Duran

Board Member Elizabeth Magden, DVM, MS, DACLAM,

Board Member Chris Southern

District VII Trustee Karen Guerra, MBA, CMAR, RLATG

District VII Trustee Teresa Neubauer, CMAR, RLATG

Alt D7 Trustee Toni Mufford

Commerical Liaison Chris Rogers, Envigo

Commercial Co-chair John Eppes

Parliamentarian T. Lane Watkins, CMAR, RLATG

Historian Co-chair Brian Gillman, RLATG

Legislative Nicole Monts De Oca, DVM

Membership Chair Belinda Proctor, RLATG

Membership Co-chair Jenni Adams

Nominations/Elections Steve Sterle, LATG

Publications Chair OPEN

Publications Co-chair Carrie Schultz, PhD

Technician Branch Rep Summer Boyd, MS, RVT, RLATG

Technician Branch Co-chair Eli Rodriguez, LATG

Long Range Planning Angie Hitt

Education & Training Chair Sheri Leavitt, BS, CMAR, RLATG

Education & T. Co-chair Tressie Roark, LVT, LATG

ALL Coordinator Ashley Pawelka

Webmaster Chair Cordelia Rasa

Webmaster Co-chair David Disselhorst & Michelle Wodzak

Metro Coordinator Sheri Leavitt Galveston

Metro Coordinator Michelle Johnson Houston

Metro Coordinator Jack Simons, MS, RLATG San Antonio

Metro Coordinator Gabby Kapp, CMAR Central

Metro Coordinator Katrina Donelson, RLAT Dallas / Fort Worth

Metro Coordinator Oscar Sanchez, LATG West Texas

Metro Coordinator Velvet Lee Finckbone, MS, RLAT Panhandle

2016 Meeting Planner Paula Rigling

2016 Program Co-chairs Tressie Roark, LVT, LATG & Leticia McGuffy, ALAT

2016 Local Arrangements Igor Smiljcic, RLAT & Michelle Wodzak, RVT, RLATG

2016 Awards Chair Pamela Huskey CMAR, RLATG

2016 Awards Co-chair Amanda Trimble

2016 Sponsorships Becky Blackwood, DVM, DACLAM & Jody Swain, MS, DVM

2016 Poster Coordinator Julie Roller, MS, CMAR, RLATG

2016 Silent Auction Ryan Byrd, RLAT & Elizabeth Magden, DVM, MS, DACLAM

2016 Tech Olympics Summer Boyd & Eli Rodriguez

2016 Meeting Logo Rico Cabuco
Congratulations to the new 2016-2017 Board

Schedule of Events
Wednesday: February 17, 2016
8:00-10:00 Set up in the vendor exhibit area

9:00-5:00 Registration

9:00-1:00 AREA Program

10:00-12:00 Exhibit Hall Open (closed 12:00-1:00 for lunch break)

10:00-12:00 Silent Auction Bidding

10:00-12:00 Battle of the Baskets

10:00-11:45 Vendor Presentations

11:45-12:45 Lunch Break

12:45-5:00 Opening Session/ Scientific Session

1:00-5:00 Battle of the Baskets

1:00-5:00 Exhibit Hall Open

1:00-5:30 Silent Auction Bidding

1:00-5:00 Poster Session

(3:00 - 4:00 Authors present at poster display for judging)

3:00-3:30 Break

5:00-9:00 Welcome Reception (Hors douevers & cash bar)

5:00 SOCIAL EVENT - Technician Olympics - Karaoke
Thursday: February 18, 2016
7:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast in Vendor Exhibit Hall

7:30-5:00 Exhibit Hall Open (closed 10:30-11:30 & 12:00-2:00)

8:00-4:30 Registration

8:00-10:00 Scientific Session

8:00-10:30 Silent Auction Bidding

8:00-12:00 Battle of the Baskets

10:00-10:30 Break


11:30-12:00 Break

11:30-12:00 Exhibit Hall Open

11:30-12:00 Silent Auction Bidding

12:00-2:00 Awards Banquet & Lucheon (lunch provided)

2:00-2:30 Break

2:00-5:00 Exhibit Hall Open

2:00-4:00 Silent Auction Bidding

2:30-3:00 Scientific Session

3:00-4:00 Round Table Discussion

4:00 Closing Remarks

4:00 Silent Auction Closes, Collect items at 4:15

Friday: February 19, 2016
7:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast

8:00-9:00 Registration

9:00-12:00 Leadership Training - Management 101

9:00-1:00 Necropsy Workshop off site at UT Arlington

12:00-2:00 TBAALAS Board Meeting

Scientific Session List of Speakers:
Wednesday: February 17, 2016
Moderator- Lindsay Holmes (Hall of Fame )
10:00 Vendor Andrea Gay Nesting 101: What's all the fuss

10:15 Vendor Denise Giuvelis Refinement of Pain Management Techniques

10:30 Vendor Rusty Thomas Caging Standards for Macaques - Euro vs US

10:45 Vendor Paul Lorcheim Pinworm Egg Inactivation Using Chlorine Dioxide Gas

11:00 Vendor Karena Thek Developing an Animal Care Plan for a Non-typical Species

11:15 Vendor John Zapata Rolling Along; Tips for Getting the Right Wheel and Caster

11:30 Vendor Rick Myer Pending- TBA

Moderator- Cordelia Rasa (Hall of Fame )

12:45 Opening Remarks Jamie Greaver, 2015 TBAALAS President

1:00 Laura Conour AALAS Branches and National AALAS: Bridging the Gap!

1:30 Pat Sikes Overview of the AALAS Foundation

1:45 Linnea Morley Providencia rettgeri in a Rhesus macaque

2:00 Kathryn Cavanaugh Early Pregnancy Determination and Daily Observations of Fetal Development

2:15 Keely McGrew Easy Does It: Effects of Caretaker Behavior on Lab Animal Performance

2:30 Michelle Wodzak Cardiovascular Disease Animal Model Development: the ups and downs

2:45 Courtney Sands We Have a Trick Up Our Sleeve: Increasing the Human-Animal Bond

3:00 Break

3:30 Lindsay Holmes Pigeons - Breeding, Training, Homing

3:45 Leticia McGuffey Replace, Reduce, Refine and the 4th R: Retirement

4:00 Elizabeth Magden Positive Reinforcement Training and Health Care in Nonhuman Primates

Thursday: February 18, 2016
Moderator- Sheri Leavitt (Hall of Fame )
8:15 Cindy Buckmaster Speak Now or Forever Rest in Peace!

9:15 Jamie Greaver Ergonomics or Else.....

9:45 Brian Smith Hepatic Lipidosis in a Rhesus macaque

10:00 Break

10:30-11:30 KEYNOTE SPEAKER – Sponsored by Tecniplast

11:30-12:00 Break

12:00-2:00 Awards Banquet

2:00-2:30 Break
Moderator- Shari Hunt (Hall of Fame )
2:30 Elizabeth Magden Use of an Implantable Loop Recorder in a Chimpanzee

3:00 Round Table How to Advance Your Career

4:00 Closing Remarks

Friday: February 19, 2016

9:00-1:00 Necropsy of Mouse and Rat Dr. Mary-Wight Carter, off site at UT Arlington


Management 101 Class Agenda

9:00-9:30 Ice Breaker - Be A Leader Julie Wood

9:30-10:30 Difficult Conversations Julie Roller

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:00 Handling Challenging Situations Frankie Howell/ Wood/Roller

Vendor Abstracts: (Wednesday, February 17, 2016) Hall of Fame
Andrea Gay, The Andersons Bedding Products - Nesting 101: What's All The Fuss

At a growing pace, more studies are being conducted with a focus on nesting, the behaviors associated with nesting and the many benefits the inclusion of nesting material can provide to both the animal and to the research. Does your facility use nesting material? What are the advantages of providing nesting material? If your facility doesn't use nesting material, why not? Is your facility aware of what nesting materials are available in today's market?

This presentation will discuss the role that nesting plays in today's research environment, the impact that nesting material has on cage environment, and the many options the market offers in the way of nesting material.
Denise Giuvelis, Clear H2O - Refinement of Pain Management Techniques in Laboratory Rodents

Pain management in laboratory rodents is challenging due to repetitive delivery methods, institutional compliance and animal welfare. The purpose of this study was to determine if carprofen could be effectively delivered to rodents using a dietary gel technology (MediGel CPF). Two experiments were conducted; ovariectomy on C57BL6 female mice in Dr. Edward Bilsky's lab at the University of New England and plantar-incision on male SD rats in Dr. Cholawat Pacharinska's lab at Stanford University. These studies assessed behavioral endpoints as well as blood plasma concentrations of rodents consuming MediGel CPF to those receiving a standard of care subcutaneous carprofen injection. In mice, similar reductions in abdominal sensitivities and plasma levels were observed in both treatment groups. In rats, tactile hypersensitivity was attenuated following surgery and plasma levels remained at a consistent level throughout treatment. MediGel CPF showed a good palatability in both mice and rats allowing caprofen concentrations in the blood to reach efficacious levels. The results from these studies allowed us to conclude that MediGel CPF represents a labor and cost effective as well as a less stressful refinement to traditional pain management techniques in rodents.

Rusty Thomas, Britz & Co. - Caging Standards for Macaques – Euro Standards vs US Standards

The European standards (ETS 123) in general require more cubic space for animals based on their age, not necessarily their size (weight/height). The US standards (Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals) dictate specific cage sizes based generally on the weight and height of the animals.

Paul Lorcheim, Clordis - Pinworm Egg Inactivation Using Chlorine Dioxide Gas

Chlorine dioxide gas has been validated to be effective against pinworm eggs in a controlled laboratory setting.  This presentation give a brief overview of that study, and include the properties that allow chlorine dioxide gas to be effective at eradicating pinworm eggs in the real world.  Finally, this presentation will discuss various decontamination service projects where pinworms have been eradicated from a facility successfully.

Karena Thek, Bio-Serv - Developing an Animal Care Plan for a Non-Typical Lab Animal Species:

The Woodchuck (Marmota monax)

Have you ever got the news that a non-lab animal typical species would be arriving at your facility?  How are you going to house them?  What are you going to feed them?   How do you enrich them?  Developing an animal care program for a species you never worked with can be challenging and stressful.   This presentation gives pointers on how you can develop your plan while working through an example:  the Woodchuck.  Learn interesting facts about woodchuck behavior, enrichment examples and challenges you may face in housing these unique creatures.

John Zapata, Ancare Corporation - Rolling Along; Tips for Getting the Right Wheel and Caster

Using proper terminology to convey accurate information to your sales rep can ensure you obtain the right caster or related parts. This presentation will introduce the participant to the proper names of the parts that make up a basic caster assembly. In additions, you will be introduced to a couple of different types of casters and wheels you should be familiar with. Tips will be shared on how to express the correct information such as with bolt patterns, wheel size and type of caster, saving time, frustration and money. The presentation will lead to some simple solutions for the care of your wheels and casters that you should be familiar with and will help you determine whether you need to replace the entire caster or just a component of the assembly. The intent of this presentation is for you to be comfortable knowing what exactly you need to keep you rolling!

Rick Myer, Superior Laboratory Services Inc. - TBA

Platform Abstracts: (Wednesday, February 17, 2016) Hall of Fame

^ denotes award eligible *denotes primary presenter ~denotes first time presenter

AALAS Branches and National AALAS: Bridging the Gap!

Laura Conour, DVM

Princeton University & 2016 National AALAS President

My platform for my year as AALAS President is to explore how our community can bridge the gap between the local AALAS branches and the national AALAS association as a whole. Grassroots organizations and the network they compose on local and regional levels strengthen our laboratory animal community and permit education, outreach and networking across all geographic areas. As part of this presentation, I’ll discuss operations, financial management, and constituency of the branches and what services national AALAS currently provides to the branches. I would like to open a dialogue for us, as a group to discuss the following questions:

· How might the branches and national AALAS benefit from a closer, more solidified relationship?

· What could the branches do to further support national AALAS?

· What can national AALAS do to provide services to the branches in order to foster a grassroots initiative in support of our mission to advance responsible laboratory animal care and use to benefit people and animals?
Overview of the AALAS Foundation - What it does and how you can help.

Pat Sikes, MS

Charles River Laboratories

The AALAS Foundation is a non-profit organization separate from National AALAS. It relies on donations to bring awareness to the general public about the compassionate professionals working in the field of laboratory animal science, communicate the important role of animals in research and offer free resource materials to assist laboratory animal science professionals conducting outreach activities in their local communities.

Providencia rettgeri in a Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta)

Linnea Morley, DVM* J. Goldman

University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston

Providencia rettgeri is a gram negative bacterium in the family Enterobacteriaceae. It has been found in water and land environments and is a cause of traveler's diarrhea. It is a common urinary tract pathogen and a source of nosocomial infections in humans. Some isolates of Providencia rettgeri have been found to be NDM (New Delhi Metallo-Beta-Lactamase) positive, resulting in an antibiotic resistant strain. Providencia rettgeri was cultured during a cranial explant in a 9 year old intact male rhesus macaque with a history of allergies. Treatment with Enrofloxacin was met with an allergic reaction, and the remainder of the treatment was continued with Gentamicin. The remaining cranial implant is scheduled for explant in November 2015, at which time another culture will be performed to determine if the above treatment was successful. This report documents the first known case of Providencia rettgeri associated with an infection at the site of a cranial implant in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta).

EarlyPregnancy Determination and Daily Observations of Fetal Development via Ultrasonography in Dutch Belted Rabbits

^~Kathryn Cavanaugh, BS* E. Rose, G. Gum, S. Pritt

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

Palpation has been the predominant method of pregnancy determination in rabbits, typically practiced 10-14 days post copulation (PC). By using ultrasonography, producers may detect pregnancy significantly sooner. A sample size of N=21 does were evaluated to determine the earliest date of pregnancy detection by ultrasound and to chronicle fetal development. Group 1 (n=11) was evaluated daily from day 7 PC through day 28 Group 2 (n=10) was evaluated from day 7 PC through day 28, with 3 does also being evaluated on day 5 and 6 PC. Day 5 PC images exhibited clearly visible vesicles in 2 out of 3 does. For all does evaluated on day 6, there was 100% pregnancy confirmation. Day 6 PC vesicles measured an average size of 040 cm in diameter, increasing to an average of 055 cm in diameter by day 7 PC. Images were captured daily until day 28 PC. Clear images were documented in an attempt to make ultrasonography a more accessible method of pregnancy determination and fetal health evaluation. This report demonstrates that pregnancy can be determined as early as day 5 PC, and reliably at day 6 PC, as opposed to previous reports that stated the earliest date for pregnancy detection was day 7 PC.

Easy Does It: Effects of Caretaker Behavior on Lab Animal Performance

^Keely McGrew, BS, CVT, RLATG

Charles River RM Houston

Animal care technicians are often the first line of defense when it comes to identifying subtle changes in animal behavior that could indicate a health problem. It is also possible that the animals themselves are identifying subtle changes in technician behavior. Could changes in technician behavior result in changes in animal performance? If so, can a technician alter their behavior to increase performance variables? To answer this question, I conducted a series of tests using a FitBit tracker to examine how technician heart rate (correlated to calm or excited movement) related to animal performance. Performance in this case was measured by how many primates came to the front of the cage to accept a hand treat, compared to the average response rate. Subsequently, I measured the effectiveness of calming exercises to reduce heart rate, then repeated the test. A combination of review of current literature looking at the caretaker effect on animal performance, anecdotal experience, and comparison of the data will be used to make specific recommendations for lab animal staff on how to tailor their behavior to get the most from their animals.

Cardiovascular Disease Animal Model Development: The Ups and Downs.

^Michelle Wodzak, LVT, CMAR, RLATG* A. Thind, B. Qiang, R. Thomas, B. Strauss

Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center/ Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center

Animal research is vital at moving therapies to the clinic. Here a few case studies will be presented to demonstrate how animal research models of cardiovascular disease, specifically a rabbit model of arterial chronic total occlusion and a pig model of myocardial infarction, were developed, contributed to our understanding of disease processes, and enabled the development of novel therapies such as enzymes that break down collagen-based arterial blockages. The purpose of this talk is to present the challenges with animal model development, and an overall picture on the importance of why we do what we do.

We Have a Trick Up Our Sleeve: Encouraging Conspecific-Like Behavior and Increasing the Human-Animal Bond in One Device

Courtney Sands, DVM* C. Evans

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Non-human primates are naturally social animals and generally live in family groups or troops. In the wild, these monkeys forage and build bonds with one another through grooming and other social activities. In the research setting, however, we are sometimes placed in situations where monkeys may be housed individually and do not have physical contact with other monkeys. To help encourage natural behavior and to increase the human-animal bond we designed a grooming device that is worn on the arm like a sleeve. This sleeve is made from faux hair that is very similar, in texture and look, to rhesus macaque hair and is secured to the persons arm with Velcro. Small edible forage items, such as rice, dried split peas and oats are tucked in between the hairs so the monkeys have something to “forage” and groom. When presented with the sleeve many of our rhesus macaque males were immediately interested and began grooming and foraging for food items. We have found that the grooming sleeve enrichment device allows for conspecific-like and safe social interactions with people and believe that this would be an excellent addition to other enrichment programs.

Pigeons - Breeding, Training, Homing

^Lindsey Holmes, BS, RLAT* H. Arnson, N. Lefeldt, D. Dickman

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Magnetoreception remains one of the few unsolved mysteries in sensory biology. Recently Dr. David Dickman, PhD of the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine provided potentially groundbreaking evidence for an involvement of the pigeon vestibular sensory system in magnetoreception. The Dickman lab believes that homing pigeons utilize the Earth’s magnetic field to guide them over long distances. To study their incredible homing ability, the pigeons must be trained. However, there are many challenges that must be met before training can begin. With help from local experts and the Center for Comparative Medicine, the Dickman lab has created a breeding colony and built a customized pigeon loft. Training begins as soon as the pigeons are brought to the loft via timed feedings and trap training. Soon after, selected birds are chosen to wear vests with GPS trackers and the birds are taken to various locations, up to 50 miles from Houston. The birds are released and their path back home is recorded via the GPS tracker vests and their routes reconstructed on a map. The data gained with the with help of our pigeons may not just give us a better understanding of the sensory system underlying magnetoreception, but could also significantly increase our knowledge about how navigation takes place in the brain which is a central issue in understanding associated with disorientation like Alzheimer’s.

Replace, Reduce, Refine and the 4th R: Retirement

^Leticia McGuffey, RALAT

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Nonhuman primates (NHP) are an essential model for biomedical research. There are currently very limited options for NHPs at the end of a study which typically involve transfer to another study or euthanasia. Many facilities adopt out lower species, but it is rare to retire an NHP. Retirement sounds like a wonderful option to honor our NHPs’ contributions by relocating them to a place with sunlight instead of fluorescent lights, fresh air instead of filtered air, natural foraging instead of foraging boards, birds chirping instead of radio. Fortunately, the idea of NHP retirement is gaining traction in the research community with institutions becoming more open to the idea.  It sounds like Utopia, but even Utopia comes with its share of obstacles. If you accept the challenge, however, and pursue the reward of seeing your research partner NHPs in a peaceful loving environment, it gives one an indescribable sense of peace. When considering retirement for NHPs, there are many factors to consider. This presentation will share one person’s experience with identifying a sanctuary, clearing legal hurdles, relocation of animals, and assistance with upkeep after the move. They say it takes a village and it does. In this case, it look an entire Lab Animal Community.

Positive Reinforcement Training and Health Care in Nonhuman Primates

Elizabeth Magden, DVM, MS, DACLAM

UT MD Anderson, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research - Bastrop

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) involves rewarding a desired behavior with the goal of training animals to repeat the desired behavior. PRT is an important component of nonhuman primate care and management. From a health care perspective the goals of PRT are to train animals to voluntarily participate in activities that enrich their lives and enhance their wellbeing, enable close observation of the animals for injuries or other concerns, and to minimize/alleviate stress. The benefits of PRT include mental stimulation from the training activities, closer monitoring of the animals, and fewer sedation events. The chimpanzees at the KCCMR have a wide repertoire of trained behaviors, including: presenting body parts for inspection and veterinary care - including auscultation, oral/otologic/ophthalmic exams, cultures, blood/urine/semen collection, wound care; medication administration; complementary therapeutics (acupuncture/laser); diabetic glucose testing and insulin administration; and voluntarily presenting for anesthesic injection. In this seminar we discuss how PRT improves both the welfare and health care of nonhuman primates and we show specific case examples on the successful use of PRT to enhance quality of life.

(Thursday, February 18, 2016)
Speak Now or Forever Rest in Peace!

Cindy Buckmaster, PhD, CMAR, RLATG

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Animal rights fanatics are working hard to eliminate our relationships with animals completely and they are closer than ever to accomplishing their goal. Our rights to work with and own animals are under attack and our neighbors and lawmakers are being manipulated by zealots who support an agenda based on fantasies. We’re frustrated! We’re angry! And we are to blame for all of it! We failed to educate the public about the truth of our work. We snubbed the animal rights movement, pretending they would be ignored by people who would find the truth for themselves. We delivered an informational void and stepped aside for fanatics to fill it with fiction. We have victimized humanity with our silence and entrusted our survival to animal rights extremists obsessed with ruling the world on their terms. And we will die in their world very soon if we don’t speak NOW!

Ergonomics or Else….

^Jamieson L. Greaver, BS, LATG

University of Texas Health Science Center - Houston

If you have worked with laboratory animals long enough, you have probably also been told the benefits of ergonomics (defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary as “A science that deals with designing and arranging things so that people can use them easily and safely”).  Regardless of whether you work with mice, frogs or monkeys, you hear things like invest in good shoes, ask for help when moving heavy objects, lift with your knees or push, don’t pull.  An ergonomics lecture might be something you have to “endure” during a once a year refresher course from your Environmental Health and Safety group.  Perhaps, you are young and the thoughts of injury are far from your mind. But what is the real cost of not being ergonomically sound in the field of laboratory animal science?  What does it cost an institution?  What is the true cost on a personal level?  This presentation illustrates in detail a real life case study- my own- answering these questions.

Hepatic Lipidosis in a Rhesus Macaque

Brian Smith, DVM

MD Anderson Cancer Center - Houston

Case Report: A 17 year old female Rhesus macaque presented with a history of thin body condition and slow movement that was observed shortly after the birth of her offspring. Physical examination and radiographs revealed crepitus in the left shoulder along with extensive spondylosis. The animal was placed on pain medication. Clinical examination revealed a low red blood cell count of 4.84 μL, a hemoglobin count of 9.4 g/dL, and a hematocrit of 32.9%. Blood chemistry revealed a low albumin of 1.9 g/dL, a cholesterol of 98 mg/dL, and total protein was low at 4.9 g/dL. These values indicated anemia and hypoalbuminemia. Later, ultrasound was performed and showed what appeared to be a mass in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen adding the possibility of neoplasia as well. Despite supplementing the animal with iron, albumin, improved diet and other treatments the blood values continued to fall and the body condition continued to decrease. Because of poor body condition and general wasting observed, the animal was euthanized 1.5 months after the beginning of treatment. Post mortem findings were a friable waxy liver with lipidosis. The definitive diagnosis was hepatic lipidosis.

Use of an Implantable Loop Recorder in a Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) to Monitor Cardiac Arrhythmias and Assess Effects of Acupuncture and Laser Therapy

Elizabeth Magden, DVM, MS, DACLAM, cVMA* S. Buchl, M. Sleeper, R. Jones, E. Thiele, G. Wilkerson

Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research - Bastrop

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in captive chimpanzees and is often associated with myocardial fibrosis, which increases the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. Here we present a 36 year old male chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) diagnosed with frequent ventricular premature complexes (VPCs). We placed a subcutaneous implantable loop recorder (Medtronic Reveal®) for continual ECG monitoring in order to assess his arrhythmias without the confounding effects of anesthetics. While he was initially treated with the anti-arrhythmia medication amiodarone, he developed a thrombocytopenia and the drug was discontinued. In reviewing other potential therapies for the treatment of cardiac arrhythmias, we elected to try acupuncture and laser therapy based on the positive results observed in the human literature and the lack of adverse side effects.  We used two well-known cardiac acupuncture sites on the wrist, PC-6 (pericardium-6) and HT-7 (heart-7), and evaluated the results of the therapy using the ECG recordings from the implantable loop recorder. While confounding variables that increased excitement in this animal caused some variation in the data, it appears the mean number of VPCs/min can decrease with the use of acupuncture and laser therapy.

Poster Abstracts (Wednesday, February 17, 2016)

Located in the foyer near Champions Ballroom
^Techniques for Improving Efficiency in a Gnotobiotic Facility

Cassie L. Boyd, BS*, T. Leal, L. Hooper

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

Over the last several years interest in gnotobiotics has grown. Gnotobiotic (defined bacterial species present) and axenic (microbiologically sterile) mice provide a valuable research tool to help elucidate how the microbiota impacts health. Gnotobiotic and axenic mice are typically housed in flexible film or semi-rigid isolators. Maintaining gnotobiotic and axenic mice under strict sterile conditions is labor intensive and time-consuming. We have implemented many techniques which help us operate our gnotobiotic facility more efficiently. A sampling of these techniques include: packing food and bedding in cotton drawstring bags (allows quick inventory and secures opened but unused portions of food or bedding), utilizing a mock supply cylinder containing biological indicators in each steam sterilizer run (provides assurance that the supplies are sterile), and using a Class II Type A2 non-ducted biosafety cabinet for short-term experiments (avoids the time-consuming process of constructing and sterilizing new isolators). The time savings allow us to accommodate more projects.

^Outreach Outside of the Box - What If?

David Disselhorst, MEd, CVT, RLATG*, P. Crowder

Texas A & M Agrilife Extension Service - Ft Stockton

Typical Biomedical Research Outreach programs involve research personnel going out to schools and giving short, irregular presentations on what Biomedical Research is. Although useful in getting the message out - but what if? What if the Biomedical Research community were to actively pursue alternative methods for getting our message out? Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H youth programs are excellent starting points. Commonly thought of as “livestock” programs; genetics, breeding records, husbandry and basic research concepts can be presented by incorporating biomedical research concepts into existing programs. Qualified Adjunct Faculty can also incorporate these same concepts through elementary, junior and senior high school science programs. The purpose of this abstract is to explore this approach currently in use in three Independent School Districts in far west Texas.

^We Have a Trick Up Our Sleeve: Encouraging Conspecific-Like Behavior and Increasing the Human-Animal Bond in One Device

Cindy Evans, BS, RLATG*, C. Sands

Baylor College of Medicine - Houston

Non-human primates are naturally social animals and generally live in family groups or troops. In the wild, these monkeys forage and build bonds with one another through grooming and other social activities. In the research setting, however, we are sometimes placed in situations where monkeys may be housed individually and do not have physical contact with other monkeys. To help encourage natural behavior and to increase the human-animal bond we designed a grooming device that is worn on the arm like a sleeve. This sleeve is made from faux hair that is very similar, in texture and look, to rhesus macaque hair and is secured to the persons arm with Velcro. Small edible forage items, such as rice, dried split peas and oats are tucked in between the hairs so the monkeys have something to “forage” and groom. When presented with the sleeve many of our rhesus macaque males were immediately interested and began grooming and foraging for food items. We have found that the grooming sleeve enrichment device allows for conspecific-like and safe social interactions with people and believe that this would be an excellent addition to other enrichment programs.

^Changing the Dynamic of the Workplace to Increase Productivity and Influence Positive Behavior Amongst the Staff

Brittany Hubbard, MS, BS, RLAT *, F. Howell, C. Plourde

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

Enhancing the workplace to maximize employee performance and attitude is a direct result of Peer to Peer recognition alongside hard work and support from the management team. Sharing the organization’s vision with your team, down to junior members, will inspire increased productivity through all facets of the program and facilitate company growth. Peer acknowledgement has a powerful impact on employees and shows the importance of their presence and effort. Employees first need to be provided the tools and resources to be successful in their designated tasks. Without the necessary equipment and supplies, employees can become restless, stressed and unhappy. Unhappy employees lead to problems with attendance, attitude, behavior, and negative impacts on the facility. Secondly, employees desire a creative and fun work environment and appreciate being rewarded for their hard work and dedication. Implementing games, peer recognition, contests, luncheons, and words of praise drastically improves employee team work, performance and attendance. Peer to Peer recognition empowers employees to show their gratitude, by thanking and rewarding each other for their contributions to the team. When both management and peers provide consistent, specific recognition this motivates the employees to excel and to maintain a positive, engaging attitude. The ability to produce an appreciative environment will propel employees to exceed goals and can result in increased efficiency and productivity.

^Bringing the Flipped Classroom to the Lab Animal Learning Process

Shari Hunt, BS, CMAR, RLATG, ILAM*, R. Callicott

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

UT Southwestern employees attend classes designed to aid them in the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) technician certification process. Most institutions offer these classes using conventional lecture-based courses led by subject matter experts who cover specific material. Evidence suggests having active learning experiences, rather than the passive lecture, provides a more meaningful learning experience and increased retention. At UT Southwestern, we have begun to experiment with the flipped classroom for some of our Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) certification classes. Students watch pre-recorded videos, lasting no longer than 15 minutes each, covering basic the subject material. The videos are made using screengrab software while employing more visual instructional strategies to aid the adult and English-language learners, such as cognitive organizers, graphs, diagrams, and thinking maps. Videos are distributed through our online classroom over the internet using free learning management software. During class time, we employ active learning techniques, such as case studies in regulations, vocabulary matching, role playing, and inquiry-based learning rather than passive lectures. Overall, students are more engaged in the learning process. At the end of the course, we will compare previous groups for significant differences in performance and retention.

^The Effects of Mild TBI and Hemorrhagic Shock on Injured Hippocampal Neurons in Rats

Sheri Leavitt, BS, CMAR, RLATG*, U. Rodriguez

UTMB - Galveston

Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) with hemorrhagic hypotension (HH) has not been studied as well as moderate to severe TBI with HH. This study is to determine if there is a correlation between MTBI and HH to hippocampal injury.

Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were anesthetized, intubated, mechanically ventilated, and prepared for fluid percussion TBI. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), temporalis and rectal temperatures were recorded. Animals were randomly assigned to receive sham, low mild TBI alone, severe hemorrhage alone, and low mild TBI or high mild TBI plus severe hemorrhage. At 24 hours post- TBI animals were anesthesized and decapitated. The brains were harvested and frozen on dry ice and ten coronal (10uM thickness) sections were collected every 15th section throughout the injury site. Sections were stained with 0.001% fluorojade and positive cells were counted in the CA1 & 2 and CA3 regions of the hipocampus by investigator unaware of level of TBI.
^An Intermediate-Term Housing Solution for Gnotobiotic Mice Using Allentown Bio-Containment Unit Style (BCU) Caging

Julie Roller, MS, BS, CMAR, LATG*, C. Boyd, M. Meyers

UT Southwestern Medical Center - Dallas

Isolator housing of gnotobiotic mice is essential for long-term (30+ day) projects. A typical flexible film isolator takes about 2 weeks to prepare before animals are introduced. The cost and setup time associated with the isolator does not make it an efficient housing system for gnotobiotic projects lasting less than one month. For short term gnotobiotic mouse experiments (<72 hours), the UT Southwestern IACUC has approved laboratory housing for a limited number of sterile cages under a bio-safety cabinet. Neither isolator nor laboratory housing is practical for experiments of an intermediate duration (4 – 30 days).

Recognizing the need for an intermediate-term housing solution, the bio-containment unit (BCU) style caging system was tested and found to be a suitable alternative. Some adjustments regarding husbandry practices and cage preparation practices took place to make the project successful, but were worth the end result. In using the BCU caging for these intermediate –term experiments, we were able to bridge the gap between short-term and long-term studies, as well as provide a lower-cost alternative that offers the same level of cleanliness needed to properly support gnotobiotic projects.

Round Table Discussions / Workshops/ Wetlabs:
Want to Grow Your Career - (Thursday 2-18-16, 3:00-4:00) Hall of Fame

The Texas Branch AALAS Can Help You

Laura Conour, DVM 2016 National AALAS President

Jamieson Greaver, BS, RLATG 2015 TBAALAS President & Training Coordinator UTHSC

Julie Roller, MS, CMAR, RLATG Supervisor of Animal Care UTSWMC

Pat Sikes, MS Charles River Laboratories

The first meeting of the Texas Branch Animal Care Panel was held on May 1, 1963. There were 23 members and 5 guests in attendance. The branch continues to grow due to the activity and support of its almost 600 members. Six presidents elected for National AALAS are from TEXAS!! We have 24 Institutional members (5-20 members each), 87 commercial companies and 240 individual members represented in the branch. TBAALAS volunteers are officers, board members and committee members and are very dedicated, diligent, and are the backbone of the organization. Texas Branch exists to promote technical excellence and best practices in animal care by providing educational venues for information exchange. An annual branch meeting along with multiple local ‘metro’ meetings are held around the state. There are 8 elected board positions and 13 standing committees offering multiple ways to get involved, learn and give back. Learn about each of our career paths and how being involved with AALAS and local branches helped grow our careers within the lab animal industry.

Leadership Training - Management 101 (Friday 2-19-16, 9:00-12:00) Super Bowl I & II
9:00-9:30 Ice Breaker, Be A Leader

Frankie Howell/ Julie Roller/ Julie Wood

9:30-10:30 Difficult Conversations – Preparing, Managing, and Following Up for a Successful Result

Julie Roller, MS, BS, CMAR, RLATG

The ability to be able to effectively manage a difficult conversation with an employee is a skill that many managers spend years trying to develop. Being able to manage a conversation full of complex emotions, different personalities, and having the ability to think quickly and adjust to changing scenarios can be very challenging. This interactive presentation will give some tips and tricks to help managers in every stage of their career learn to be better prepared for the twists and turns that can take place when tackling employee issues. Interactive scenarios will display some of these techniques, and members of the audience can practice and get feedback from their peers. This presentation’s goal is to assist managers gain the confidence and skills that they need to handle most situations that they are presented with on a daily basis in their facilities.
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-12:00 We Need To Talk – Handling Challenging Situations with Employees

Frankie Howell, BS, RVT, CMAR, RLATG/ Julie Wood, BS, CMAR, RLATG

Have you had challenging employee situations? How have you handled them? This team building session will task leaders to resolve employee scenarios that have happened in the work place. Discussions will include who gets involved in the resolution, what impact the situation has on the facility and its employees and does the scenario violate any policies, regulations and laws.
Wet Lab (4 hour class) - (Friday 2-19-16, 9:00am-1:00pm)

Necropsy of Mouse and Rat To be held off site at UT Arlington
Dr. Mary Wight-Carter, DVM, DACVP

Additional Authors:

Susan Chadbourne, RLATG - Nina Garcia, AAs - Charles Latio, RLATG - Robin Pohorelsky, RLAT - Jennifer Weatherly
(Limited to the first 15 Registrants)

The objectives of this class are:

1)Become familiar with basic rodent gross anatomy

2)Learn how to collect target tissues for further testing

3)Introduction to common rodent parasites

4)Introduction to rodent gross lesions

5)Effectively describe and report abnormalities found during necropsy.

Attendees will have the opportunity to perform necropsy techniques which they can use at their institution for sentinel testing, phenotyping, or diagnosis of unexpected deaths.


2016 KEYNOTE SPEAKER Sponsored by:

Thursday 10:30-11:30

in the Hall of Fame
  Ebola:  From Africa to the United States - How laboratory animal professionals can help in unexpected ways


In the fall of 2014, Ebola Virus (EBV) found its way to the United States.  Two cases of EBV were diagnosed in individuals that had been traveling in Western Africa where the outbreak was ongoing, and two health care workers involved in caring for these patients developed EBV.  Following the identification of these cases new screening procedures were put into place to prevent the spread of EBV in the US, including routing travelers from Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone through one of 5 airports and screening them on arrival.  Symptomatic patients identified during this process are sent to

designated local hospitals for diagnostics and treatment.


How does a hospital prepare to receive patients that might be infected with the Ebola virus?  Where do you contain them to prevent infection with other patients?  How do you manage the waste?  Do laundry? Protect the staff?  Train them?  As one of the hospitals designated to receive symptomatic patients from O’Hare, the University of Chicago wrestled with these questions.  To address them, they put together a team of experts including members of the Hospital’s Infection Control Program, the University’s Biosafety Office, and a laboratory animal veterinarian from the Animal Resources Center, Dr. Lois Zitzow.


Lois’s talk tells the story of how a laboratory animal veterinarian found herself on a task force to develop the hospital’s operating procedures for handling patients infected with Ebola virus.  It describes how procedures used to manage infectious animals were applied to a hospital setting, how she used her experience in laboratory animal medicine to assess clinical procedures to make them safer, and how she helped to develop a training program that made the staff aware of how they could decrease exposure to the virus.  Most significantly, it’s a story about how our small part as laboratory animal professionals can contribute to a much larger cause, even though we may not realize it at the time.

Lois Zitzow, MS, DVM, DACLAM

Director, University Research Animal Resources and Associate Director,

Dept of Population Health at the University of Georgia

Thursday after the keynote speaker please take a short break then join us at 12:00 in the Plaza on the Hill

for our Awards Banquet.

Keynote speaker 10:30-11:30

Break 11:30-12:00

Lunch and Awards 12:00-2:00

Lunch will be served to all registered attendees

Special Presentation

Dr. H. Hugh Harroff will be presented with the TBAALAS Life Membership Award


Please send your information to Belinda Proctor so that you may receive your

free one year membership to TBAALAS.

Belinda Proctor, RLATG, CM

2016 TBAALAS Membership Chair


Silent Auction Information

The goal of the Silent Auction is to generate funds for the Technician Assistance Award. Last year’s winner attended the National AALAS meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. Please read about their experience on our TBAALAS website. We would love to make this a record-breaking meeting. The Silent Auction is a fun way to “EBAY” each other out and have fun competing for goods that helps support an important cause.

Be sure to stop by the table to see what treasures you can bid on!
Bidding is open from 10:00-12:00 & 1:00-5:30 on Wednesday

Bidding is open from 8:00-10:30, 11:30-12:00, & 2:00-4:00 on Thursday

“Battle of the Baskets”

Help us raise money for the Technician Scholarship Award at the TBAALAS meeting in 2016.

This award helps Texas Branch AALAS send a technician to the National AALAS meeting.

 Different Metro areas will each have a BASKET full of items on display near the

Silent Auction table at the Annual Meeting in Arlington.

You will be able to purchase tickets, for a donation, and then place them in the specific basket you would like to win. The basket with the most number of tickets in it will be declared the WINNER. 

This Metro area will get to hold the title

“Winner of the Battle of the Baskets” for the entire year!

May the best Metro Area Win!!

For more information  please contact Sheri Leavitt at:



Tech Olympics: Lab Animal Stars!

Once again teams will be competing at the TBAALAS meeting in Arlington during the “Tech Olympics.” This year, teams of 3-5 members will decorate a paper star using the supplies provided. Judges will rate each star based on creativity and design and the winners will take home prizes!

So, who is ready to leave the judges starry-eyed by decorating your very own lab animal star during TBAALAS in Arlington? Start forming your teams and stay tuned for more information!

Scavenger Hunt: Know Thy Vendor!

Make sure to grab a scavenger hunt entry form during check-in and then make your way around the vendor hall booths for a chance to win cool prizes!

Contact your TBR with any questions!

Eli Rodriguez

Texas TBR



Wednesday Evening Social Event

February 17, 2016

5:00 - 9:00pm

Champions Ballroom
"The Stars at Night, are Big and Bright, Deep in the Heart of Texas"


Contest: Wear your favorite sports team gear

Everyone that wears their team jersey, hats, socks, pants, etc will be entered in a grand prize drawing! 1st-3rd place winners

fanatic fan contest
Door Prizes throughout the evening - Must be present to win

Special Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Current as of January 5, 2016

Audio / Visual – Ancare Corp., Edstrom Industries, SoBran BioScience
Keynote Speaker - Tecniplast
Meeting Bags – Allentown Inc., LABEX of MA, LYNX Product Group, Thoren Caging Systems
Program Printing –Charles River Laboratories, PMI Lab Diet
Session Breaks - Getinge Group, Innovive Inc.
Social Event - Envigo
Technician Olympics – The Andersons Bedding Products

Vendor Booths (current as of 1-6-16)

Taconic Biosciences, Inc. biofresh lab

Dudick, Inc Superior Laboratory Services, Inc

University of North Texas Health Science Center Bio-Serv

Pharmacal Research Laboratories, Inc Rees Scientific

Colorado State University Spray Master Technologies


Covance Research Products Art's Way Scientific, Inc.

University of Texas Dallas LabDiet

Mirna Therapeutics Harlan Laboratories

The University of Texas at Dallas University of Texas at Dallas The Jackson Laboratory Innovive, Inc.

ClearH2O Allentown Inc

P.J. Murphy Forest products corp. Beta Star Life Scince Equipment

Mirna Therapeutics Texas Tech University Health Science Center

Tecniplast USA NEPCO

TTUHSC Rocky Mountain Lab Supply

Lab Supply Ancare Corp.

EDSTROM INDUSTRIES a-tune software Inc.

InterMetro Industries Corp. The Andersons Bedding Products

LGL Animal Care Products, Inc. Veterinary Anesthesia Systems Inc.

University of Texas at Arlington BetterBuilt

Charles River Thoren Caging Systems


Additional Stuff To See & Do While Visiting Arlington

arlingtontrolley.com 817-538-0777

levittpavillionarlington.org arlingtonmusichall.com

theatrearlington.com utacollegepark.com

arlingtonmuseum.com uta.edu/planetarium



Please fill out the form below to keep track of what presentations you attended.

Texas DVMs & LVTs - CEU's from the state is pending please

follow the procedures listed below for credit:

At the end of the conference each day from 3:30-5:00 stop by the

registration table and get your certificate as proof of attendance.

You have to do this at the conference for credit.

Questions? - Please see Summer Boyd, Sheri Leavitt, or Tressie Roark

Certificates cannot be mailed.
Texas Branch AALAS

Annual Meeting, Arlington, Texas

February 17-19, 2016



Time & CE credits

Program Printing Courtesy of:

PMI Lab Diet

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