Animal Research and Care

Conducting high-quality research is essential to the University’s mission of advancing health worldwide. Animal research has paved the way for many medical breakthroughs during the last century and continues to be a key component in furthering our understanding of diseases like cancer, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. We share the public's concerns for animal welfare and are committed to the responsible and humane care of our research animals. UCSF continues to be a national model for animal research and care by:

  • Providing quality care for our animals. Since 2000, UCSF has invested nearly $100 million to build and equip new facilities for the housing and care of our animals.
  • Adhering to the “3 R’s” (replacement, reduction, refinement). When reviewing studies involving  animals, UCSF considers: thereplacement of animals for research with material such as tissues and cells; the reduction of the number of animals necessary to obtain information or thoroughly train future physicians and scientists, and ways to refine studies in order to maximize the comfort and welfare of animals.
  • Upholding policies and practices that reflect our respect and care for all animals.
  • Maintaining accreditation from the independent Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). The AAALAC grants this accreditation only to select organizations that exhibit the highest standards for the humane treatment of animals used in research.

Animal research is highly regulated, and UCSF is committed to full compliance with all regulatory agencies and oversight groups. Everyone involved in the use of animals in research at UCSF must receive the approval of the UCSF Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), whose membership includes UCSF veterinarians, scientists experienced in research involving animals, physicians, and  members of the public. In addition, the federal Animal Welfare Act sets rigorous standards for the care and treatment of laboratory and research animals, to which we comply.

Beyond the dictates of laws and regulations, we recognize that laboratory animals are living creatures to be treated with care and compassion.


Daniel Lowenstein, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee website


Page updated 02-03-17