Healthcare: Animal Science Association Chases Breakthroughs

AALAS training programs for the lab technicians who care for animals used in medical research helps ensure progress toward better disease treatments and cures.

Healthcare • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

In today’s world, cancers ranging from pancreatic to breast often prove fatal, but the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science intends to change that. AALAS members are responsible for caring for the animals in labs that help researchers discover new and more effective treatments for cancer and other diseases.

“If the animals are not cared for properly and are not maintained in the conditions they need to be maintained, it will affect the results,” says Ann Turner, FASAE, CAE, AALAS executive director.

In the coming years AALAS will deepen its focus on training technicians and managers who care for lab animals used in medical research in areas ranging from pandemic response to cancer treatments. By providing excellent care to those test animals, researchers will get accurate results that lead to better therapies.

“I do believe there are major breakthroughs in different types of cancers that will be coming out in the next five years,” Turner says, noting that the pace of research has accelerated, focusing on everything from targeted drugs to gene therapy. Past successes, she notes, are a roadmap to how much can be achieved in the future.

“It’s been less than 30 years since childhood leukemia was a death sentence, and now the survival rate is 80 percent or more,” Turner says. “I’m hoping that within 20 years, we won’t remember that cancer was a killer.”

(Petlin Dmitry/Getty Images)

Rasheeda Childress

By Rasheeda Childress

Rasheeda Childress is a former editor at Associations Now. MORE

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