The aim of the Hayre Fellowships is to foster young voices to speak in support of science and advancing medical knowledge through responsible animal research. The programs created are designed to continue to influence research advocates, even after the Fellows complete their terms. Here are the programs developed to date, and the Fellows that brought them to life.
Biomedical Research Awareness Day
The first national Biomedical Research Awareness Day (BRAD) was celebrated on April 19, 2016. Twenty American veterinary schools joined to raise awareness about the role of animals in biomedical research and to highlight careers in laboratory animal medicine. Many schools also engaged their local community by combining the event with their school’s Open House.
The celebrations involved undergraduate, graduate, and veterinary students, faculty, staff, and the public.
Social media played a large role in the initiative. Students from the participating schools posted on the BRAD Facebook page prior to the event, sharing news of their organization, previous activities their club had hosted or participated in, and their plans for BRAD. Throughout the day on April 19, veterinary students around the country posted photos of their BRAD celebration on Facebook and conveyed their support of biomedical research. BRAD encourages students and faculty to band together with a common goal and use their resources to raise awareness.
Logan France received her DVM from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences in 2015. She is pursuing a career in laboratory animal medicine and is currently in a clinical residency at Johns Hopkins University. She focused her Hayre Fellowship to help build, through BRAD and other means, an online communications network among veterinary students and faculty to share resources, facilitate collaborations, and to connect veterinary students interested in careers in laboratory animal medicine.
Broader Impacts: Public Outreach and Engagement about Animal Research
The aim of Broader Impacts is to inspire graduate students in biomedical and psychological research to become strong public advocates for science. A one-credit seminar was developed to teach about animal research, ethics, public views, and the importance of scientists contributing to public education and dialogue. The course supports the development of outreach skills about the vital and humane nature of animal research and the role every student can play in building public understanding of research. A pilot of the seminar was taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Spring 2016 semester. Course materials currently are being edited and formatted for free online distribution. All research universities are encouraged to adopt the course.
Audrey Buelo graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 and is currently a graduate student in the masters of public health program at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Audrey said, “I believe that teaching graduate students the importance of outreach while they’re still in a school setting is critical to inspiring them to be lifelong advocates. Currently there are no systematic programs that train graduate students how to engage effectively with the public on the topic of animal research – nor are they taught the importance of outreach and education.”
2013-2014 / 2014-2015
The Veterinary Impact!
The Veterinary Impact! was created in 2013 by Hayre Fellow and veterinary student Chris Thomson. The program highlighted opportunities for careers in research animal medicine, and gave those students who chose private practice a new appreciation for the development of the treatments that they will use to care for animals throughout their professional lives.
Traveling to veterinary schools across the country, Chris offered a seminar focused on how animal-based research affects the veterinary profession and why veterinarians need to stay at the forefront of the conversation. The workshop encouraged students to speak freely and openly about the use of animals in biomedical research with both the public and social media. The Veterinary Impact! project also featured a robust website about laboratory animal medicine and a series of posters.
The following year, Camille Maloney, a candidate in a dual DVM/PhD program, continued The Veterinary Impact!, expanding it to medical students and others in the life sciences. She brought to it a focus on the “One Health” movement – the integrative effort of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.
Chris Thomson, AMP’s 2013-2014 Hayre Fellow, was a third year veterinary student at University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine during his fellowship. Chris emphasized student-to-student outreach at veterinary schools and conferences throughout America. Through campus presentations, workshops and media initiatives via veterinary education programs, Chris built and maintained informed understanding and acceptance of the importance of animals to biomedical research. Chris earned his veterinary degree in 2015.
Camille McAloney, AMP’s 2014-2015 Hayre Fellow, was pursuing a dual DVM and PhD program at the University of Minnesota during her fellowship. She continued The Veterinary Impact! series created the previous year by Chris Thomson. Camille addressed graduate and undergraduate life science students, as well as those studying veterinary medicine, at universities across the United States. Her focus was on the necessity of animal-based research and the foundation of the “One Health” movement. She also supported AMP’s outreach at the 2015 AVMA annual meeting.
Social Media Advocacy
Recognizing that social media had evolved into a powerful force for advocacy with immense potential to influence young audiences, AMP in 2012 awarded a Hayre Fellowship to assist us in creating a vibrant presence on our social media channels, the basis of which still help guide our outreach and advocacy initiatives today.
Gene Rukavina is a highly visible member of the biomedical research community with expertise in training and social media methodologies. Gene’s Hayre Fellowship project focused on developing a strong online community in support of animal-based research offering targeted information and resources via YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. During his fellowship, Gene was the Training Coordinator for the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine at UCLA and served on the Board of Trustees of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) and was the Board’s representative to the AALAS Global Partners Advisory Council.
SHARE: Speaking Honestly – Animal Research Education
SHARE is a program jointly designed by Hayre Fellows Elizabeth Burnett and Scott Dobrin to facilitate classroom discussion about animals in research in an engaging and interactive manner. Teachers are provided with the necessary tools to discuss the topic using modern instructional approaches. This includes a lesson plan to facilitate an established classroom activity, video tutorials, data illustrating the efficacy of the method and additional supporting information.
Importantly, rather than championing a specific viewpoint, students are allowed to develop their own opinions based on factual information regarding both animal rights and animal welfare points of view. All materials are available on the SHARE website (www.sharehappens.org).
Elizabeth Burnett was a PhD candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina during her fellowship. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Arizona State University in 2001. She conducted behavioral research at the Southwest National Primate Research Center/Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio, Texas for five years before entering the Program in Neuroscience in 2006. As a result of her experiences as a researcher both at Southwest and at Wake Forest, Liz became an avid communicator about the importance of animal research to medical progress and developed extensive knowledge of animal rights and welfare issues. She earned her Ph.D. at Wake Forest in 2012.
Scott Dobrin was a doctoral candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston Salem, North Carolina during his fellowship. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Zoology in 2003 from the University of Florida and his Masters of Science in Zoology from North Carolina State University in 2006. Scott’s dissertation research focused on the effects of experience on brain structure by studying honey bees in their natural environment. He has presented his research and outreach activities at numerous regional and national meetings, including the Society for Neuroscience. He received his Ph.D. at Wake Forest in 2011.
Thank A Mouse
The Thank A Mouse program encouraged private practice veterinarians to become ambassadors to lead their clients into greater understanding of the role of animal research in veterinary medicine. A website offered accurate information about the importance of animal research to animal health, and the opportunity to express gratitude to the laboratory animals involved. Research articles and news stories kept people informed about the latest veterinary advances made possible by animal research. Thank A Mouse also provided educational materials for veterinarians, their staff, and their clients.
Gillian Braden-Weiss was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine during her fellowship. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2006 and her Masters of Laboratory Animal Science from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2008. She served as a research assistant in the Department of Pathobiology and at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Penn. Gillian has extensive experience in animal welfare, gained from her work as a veterinary associate at an emergency veterinary clinic in Baltimore, her externship at Penn Vet’s Laboratory Animal Resources Department, and her time working in laboratory animal departments at Drexel University, the University of Maryland, Rutgers University, Wyeth, and Merck. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Penn in 2012.
Breanna Caltagarone was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine during her fellowship. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2006 and her Masters of Laboratory Animal Science from Drexel University in 2008. She served as an NIH – Merck/Merial Veterinary Research Scholar and as Vice President of the Laboratory Animal Medicine Club at Penn Vet. Breanna worked in animal and veterinary care as a colony assistant in the Department of Medical Genetics at Penn, as an extern at Thomas Jefferson University. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Penn.
Pro-Test for Science
Pro-Test for Science brought together scientists, researchers, academics, students and members of the public to stand in support of the critical role of humane and well-regulated animal research in medical advances of the past, present and future.
Through the use of its website, speaking engagements and outreach events, Pro-Test for Science worked to dispel myths and falsehoods propagated by animal rights groups regarding the true nature of animal research; provide an academic forum in which
civilized discussion surrounding the animal research issue could take place; and combat fear and support victims of violence, harassment and threats used by animal rights extremists to coerce researchers and institutions carrying out medical research with animals.
Megan Wyeth, one of AMP’s 2009-2010 Hayre Fellows was a doctoral candidate in the Department of Neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) during her fellowship. Megan helped create Pro-Test for Science and served as a student organizer for the UCLA Pro-Test rally. At that event, 800 students and faculty came together to speak up in support of research scientists and against animal rights extremism. Megan earned her B.S. in Neurobiology with College Honors in 2002 from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on functional changes in mice with spontaneous seizures and is designed to shed light on epilepsy. She has presented her research at meetings of the American Epilepsy Society and the Society for Neuroscience. She earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in 2011.
2008 – 2009
Speaking of Research Launch
Speaking of Research is an international advocacy group that provides accurate information about the importance of animal research in medical and veterinary science. The organization was initiated in 2008 by Tom Holder during his time with AMP as its first Hayre Fellow.
Speaking of Research members engage in talks, debates and presentations across the U.S., U.K., and beyond. The Speaking of Research website provides information and resources about the importance of animal research, as well as the latest news about animal rights extremism. Speaking of Research aims to change the focus of the animal rights debate by encouraging students and scientist to speak out in favor of the lifesaving research developed with animals.
Tom Holder served as AMP’s inaugural Hayre Fellow in 2008, touring campuses and biomedical research facilities throughout the US. Tom’s compelling story captivated audiences and motivated others to speak out about research. Tom graduated from Oxford University in 2007, with a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. His time at Oxford coincided with an escalation of violence and intimidation by animal rights extremists. Frustrated by the climate of fear descending on Oxford, he became instrumental in the formation of Pro-Test, which stood up to animal rights extremists in the UK. In 2008 he moved to the US where he founded Speaking of Research, as well as helping to organize the UCLA Pro-Test rally. Now based in the UK, Tom continues to be an active advocate for biomedical research in both the UK and US. In 2012 he left teaching to join Understanding Animal Research, a UK advocacy organization.