University of California, San Francisco is a world-class research institution. Mistakes are made. Quality dictates that the error is analyzed, captured in the record and incorporated into any adjusted learning and process updates. This should be happening now at “UC” as the San Francisco Chronicle reported that a rodent, fully alive, was found abandoned in a freezer for up to two days last summer at the UCSF research lab. The institution as acknowledged that it failed to comply with federal animal welfare regulations.
An activist group recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture concerning the incident. According to the Chronicle, it was the fifth animal death tied to Animal Welfare Act violations in less than two years at UCSF.
Elite research sites maintain and live by an underlying quality system that incorporates rules that the teams must adhere to—and this includes the Animal Welfare Act. Somehow folks here and there are slipping through the quality cracks at UCSF. It is time for a solid root cause analysis, review of preclinical and clinical GcPs and procedures associated to all necessary and required rules and best practices. A lot of little problems can lead to some real big ones if the truly great institution isn’t careful.