Animal Care and Use Policy
Research Grant Programs
- BrightFocus Foundation supports scientific research on the causes of Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, three devastating diseases. Some of the research we fund involves the use of laboratory animals. While we understand the public's concerns about laboratory animal welfare, we strongly believe that animal research is crucial to our goal of eliminating these health threats.
- BrightFocus Foundation has reviewed the issue of research on animals very carefully, and we are firmly committed to the humane care and treatment of laboratory animals. We make every effort to assure that the laboratory animals used in the research we fund are treated humanely, that the research is of the highest quality and is likely to provide important answers, and that the number of animals used in the research is as small as possible. While we encourage our researchers to look for alternatives to the use of animals in their research, we recognize that studies of complex living systems cannot always be done on a computer or in a test tube.
- BrightFocus Foundation requires researchers who propose to use animals in research funded by BrightFocus to certify that the care, handling, and use of those animals will meet or exceed federal and state animal welfare regulations and standards. Proposals for research involving animals must be approved by the applicant institution's animal care and use committee (IACUC) before funding begins, and the research must be performed at an institution that has a current animal welfare assurance on file with the Public Health Service Office for Protection from Research Risks. This assures that all of the animal research we fund is carefully reviewed by veterinarians and other experts to assure that animal distress will be minimized, that the research does not unnecessarily repeat experiments that have already been performed elsewhere, and that the animals are housed and handled according to the USDA regulations on laboratory animal health and welfare.
- BrightFocus strongly encourages applicant researchers to consider the "three R's" of animal welfare when developing their research plan: reduction in the number of animals to be used, replacement of animals by other methods whenever possible, and refinement of techniques to minimize distress to animals used in research.