General Information


The NCI Animal Care and Use Committee (NCI-ACUC) is established to oversee the institute's animal program, facilities and procedures and, to advise the Scientific Director on all matters of animal care and use at the institute. Accordingly, the NCI-ACUC is responsible for ensuring that the institute's animal care and use program is operating in accordance with

1) The Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
2) NIH Manual Chapter 3040-2, Animal Care and Use in the Intramural Program; and
3) The Animal Welfare Act and its amendments.

Furthermore, the committee serves as a forum for discussion and decision making regarding issues impacting on the sound application of animal resources to meet institute scientific objectives.


The NCI-Bethesda Animal Care and use Committee (ACUC) will be governed by the requirements and responsibilities for institute animal care and use committees set forth by PHS and NIH policies and the Animal Welfare Act. The ACUC will consist at a minimum of five members meeting the following criteria: 1) one member who is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine with training or experience in laboratory animal medicine and science who has direct or delegated responsibility for activities involving animals at the institution; 2) one practicing scientist experienced in research involving animals; 3) one member whose primary concerns are in a non-scientific area; 4) one individual who is not affiliated with the institution in any way other than a member of the ACUC, and is not a member of the immediate family of a person who is affiliated with the institution; and 5) one member representing the NIH Division of Safety, Occupational Safety and Health Branch. No more than three members will be from the same laboratory, branch, or office within NCI. Members are appointed by the Scientific Director (SD), Center for Cancer Research (CCR), Dr. Robert Wiltrout, through delegated authority from Dr. Michael Gottesman, the NIH Institutional Official. Terms of appointment for new members are three years and subject to review by SD, CCR.


The NCI-ACUC shall:

  • Coordinate and oversee activities of the NCI, disseminate relevant information, and serve as a forum for discussion of animal welfare issues.
  • Review and investigate concerns involving the care and use of animals resulting from public complaints received and from reports of noncompliance received from laboratory or animal facility personnel or employees
  • Make recommendations to the Scientific Director, Center for Cancer Research, regarding any aspect of the institute's animal program, facilities, or personnel training.
  • Maintain records of minutes of NCI-ACUC meetings, records of semi-annual ACUC reports, and other communications or recommendations as forwarded to the NIH-ARAC or Office of Animal Care and Use, NIH (OACU).
  • Be authorized to suspend an activity involving animals.
  • Review and inspect the NCI program and facilities for humane care and use of laboratory animals semiannually using C.F.R. Title 9, Chapter I, Subchapter A - Animal Welfare and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals as a basis for evaluation, prepare written evaluations, and submit same to the NIH-ARAC. ACUC members participate in inspections. Submit semiannually in April and October to the Director, OACU copies of approved minutes of ACUC meetings and a list of active animals study proposals with the following information: Proposal Number, Title, Principal Investigator, and Date Approved
  • Fulfill reporting requirements of PHS Animal Welfare Policy, Paragraph IV.F.
  • Prepare NCI's Annual Report of Research Facility as required by USDA and submit same to NIH-ARAC at the November meeting.
  • Review and approve, require modifications in (to secure approval), or withhold approval of animal study proposals or proposed significant changes in previously approved animals study proposals regarding the use of animals in ongoing activities.
  • Maintain minutes of NCI ACUC meetings to include attendance, activities, animal study proposals reviewed, significant aspects of the review, disposition (approval or withhold), and other deliberations. Copies of minutes are provided to the Director of the Center for Cancer Research, the Chair, and NCI-ACUC.
  • Maintain records to include: 1) minutes of ACUC meetings and 2) records of animal study proposals and proposed significant changes in previously approved animals study proposals; withheld approvals shall be so documented. All records are maintained for at least three years and, in the case of proposals, for three years following termination of a study.
  • Conduct continuing reviews of activities involving animals at least annually.