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What is an IACUC Administrators Best Practice Meeting?

The Best Practice Meeting has become an annual tradition (since 2005) for many Administrators. It gives every attendee the opportunity to discuss their own programmatic challenges with their peers. The primary goals of the meeting are to foster networking, the sharing of resources, and peer-to-peer counseling. Meeting attendees are encouraged to participate in open dialogue, and given the opportunity to provide opinions and ask specific questions. The meeting does not focus specifically on policies and standards governing animal care and use activities, but rather proven practices used to maintain an effective and compliant animal care and use program.

What is the Best Practice Meeting format?

The meetings are facilitated by co-moderators with colleagues from OLAW, the USDA and AAALAC International present to participate in open discussions.  Attendance is limited to approximately 50 individuals, and they are seated in a large open circle.  This seating arrangement has been proven over the years to facilitate attendee conversation and participation. 

The meeting is held over a two-day period with each discussion session being approximately an hour.  Networking luncheons are held on both days.  Each session is initiated by an attendee’s 10-minute presentation.  Immediately following the presentation, attendees, regulators, and AAALAC representatives engage in open discussions.


Bill Greer, BS:  received his Bachelor’s in Microbiology from Penn State University in 1985.  He currently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Research at the University of Michigan.  His previous roles included Associate Director for Research Compliance at the Pennsylvania State University, and research technician, production manager and Safety Officer at Intervet, State College, PA (Formally Tri Bio Laboratories).  In 2005, he organized and held the first IACUC Administrators’ Best Practices Meeting, which establish a venue for administrators meet informally and discuss programmatic concerns.  He continues to facilitate at least three annual Best Practice meetings.  In 2007, he initiated the process of establishing the IACUC Administrators Association (IAA), which is a professional organization of IACUC Administrators.  In 2010, he chaired the founding committee for the non-profit education based IAA organization.  He now serves as the president and chair of the IAA board of directors.  Since 2007, Bill has served as ad hoc specialist to AAALAC Council where he participates in institutional program reviews, assessments, and status determinations.  He served as a member of the Council of Certified Professional IACUC Administrators (CCPIA).  He continues to facilitate training activities at multiple venues including PRIM&R, AALAS, BTAA, C3, and both IACUC and IBC Administrators Best Practice Meetings.

Ron E. Banks, DVM:  received his veterinary degree from Auburn University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and retired a Colonel from the United States Army Veterinary Corps.  After postings as the Director, Center for Comparative Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado; and Director, Office of Animal Welfare Assurance at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; he currently serves as the Director, Division of Comparative Medicine, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Along his professional journey he has contributed as Council Member on AAALAC’s Council on Accreditation; Chairman of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee; Board Member for the IACUC Administrator’s Association; and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.  Dr. Banks is board certified with the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine; the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine; and he is a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Animal Welfare.

Guest Facilitators


Helen Diggs:  Dr. Diggs is currently serving as the Senior Director of AAALAC International.  She received a B.A. and M.Ed. in Education from the University of Portland, and a D.V.M. from Oregon State University and Washington State University. As the 2008 Oregon State University commencement speaker, she received an honorary Doctor of Science. She is a skilled author and speaker and has served in numerous leadership roles for volunteer professional associations including President of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), Executive Board of the National Association for Biomedical Research (NABR), Board of Directors for the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), and as a member of the AALAS Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Diggs developed and directs the ACLAM- recognized Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Consortium that includes Oregon Health & Science University, the Oregon National Primate Research Center, and the OSU Carson College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Diggs has a long history of service with AAALAC International. She served as an ad hoc Consultant for AAALAC from 1994-2003 and from 2005-2007. She has been a member of AAALAC's Council on Accreditation since 2007 and served as a Council Officer from 2013-2017. In 2018 she was elected Council Vice President. Dr. Diggs also served on the AAALAC International Strategic Planning Committee.


Robert Gibbens:  Dr. Gibbens (Bob) currently serves as the Director, Animal Welfare Operations, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care.  Bob received his Bachelor’s in Zoology from Oklahoma State University in 1980.  He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1984.  He worked for 6+ years in a small animal practice in Oklahoma before becoming a Veterinary Medical Officer with USDA in 1990.  He became a field supervisor with USDA, APHIS, Animal Care in 1995, and Regional Director in 1997.  He is currently the National Director of Animal Welfare Operations for Animal Care in Fort Collins, CO.


Neera V. Gopee, D.V.M., Ph.D. is the Director, Division of Policy and Education in the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland.  Dr. Gopee earned her veterinary degree at the University of the West Indies and holds a doctoral degree in Toxicology from the University of Georgia.  Prior to her appointment at OLAW, she served as a Veterinary Medical Officer at the National Center for Toxicological Research, US Food and Drug Administration in Jefferson, AR.  Dr. Gopee is board certified in toxicology and laboratory animal medicine.


Axel Wolff,   M.S., D.V.M.  currently serves as the Deputy Director, Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  At OLAW, he has also served as a Senior Assurance officer.   Dr. Wolff is retired from the US Public Health Service where he attained the rank of Captain.  Prior to joining OLAW, Dr. Wolff was the director of the Veterinary Resources Program, NIH’s intramural biomedical research support program.  He also directed NIH’s animal quarantine facility and served at the neurology institute.  Dr. Wolff’s interest in unique research animals has involved him in work with armadillos, chimpanzees, and fruit bats as well as the more common species.  He serves on the editorial board of Lab Animal and has published on various topics including primate enrichment and PHS Policy interpretation.


Meeting Support


The University of Denver

The IACUC Administrators’ Association





Please note the meeting will be held at the University of Denver (separate from the hotel).  We encourage you to make your hotel reservations at the Holiday Inn Denver-Cherry Creek since it provides shuttle services back and forth from the meeting location.  We have provided other hotel options, but in those cases, arranging for transportation services is the responsibility of the meeting attendee.      


Holiday Inn Denver-Cherry Creek

455 S Colorado Blvd

Denver, CO 80246


Hilton Garden Inn Denver/Cherry Creek

600 S Colorado Blvd

Denver, CO 80246


Moxy Denver Cherry Creek

240 Josephine St

Denver, CO 80206


Draft Meeting Agenda Items


Please note:  The agenda is based on the needs of the attendees.  During the registration process (or send Bill Greer an email ( attendees are given the opportunity to identify meeting topics.  The agenda is typically finalized about 30 days before the meeting. 


  • Regulatory Reform Efforts Update and Discussion
  • General Training Requirements; What’s required and reasonable
  • Semi-Annual Facility Inspections – Understanding the Flexibility within the Standards
  • The difference between service and emotional support animals, and access to Animal Facilities
  • AAALAC, OLAW and the USDA Updates
  • A Universal Protocol Template for the IACUC Community & Cost/Benefit Analysis, Merit Review, Protocol Review – What’s the difference and what should we know, Departures – Identifying and reporting.  Size of forms
  • Protocol Reviews (New/Amendments) and the process (FCR, DMR, VVC, Administrative)
  • IACUC Jurisdiction – What is the IACUC Expected to Oversee?  IACUC oversight when the activities (e.g., Food and Fiber Studies) are not covered (e.g., non-USDA and non-PHS funded) by federal regulations and IACUC jurisdiction on DEA substances
  • PAM Programs; A Critical Resource for PIs
  • “Connecting the Dots” between funding agencies, the Compliance and Sponsored Programs
  • Subcontracts, Inter-Institutional Assurances and Subcontracts (How to perform grant-protocol congruency for a sub-award, when the sub-awardee institution uses master protocols.)
  • Emergency Disaster Planning and Available Resources


May 29th, 2019 7:30 AM   through   May 30th, 2019 4:30 PM
Event Fee(s)
* IACUC Administrators Association NON-Members ($60 toward food and services) $ 175.00
IACUC Administrators Association Associates ($60 toward food and services) $ 60.00