Hot Topics at AALAS National Meeting 2017


     
Hot Topics at AALAS National Meeting 2017 During the week of October 15, 2017, I attended the 68th National AALAS meeting in Austin, Texas. It has been almost twenty years since I attended my first AALAS National meeting, and it was an excellent opportunity to meet new people and reconnect with colleagues to share lab animal science news.

The meeting had ten posters and six platform sessions related to the animal model microbiome. Julia Krout of NYU organized two excellent workshops, Gnotobiotic Startup and Development and Advanced Techniques in Gnotobiotics.

Hot Topics

Board Officers

Betty R. Theriault, DVM, DACLAM
President


Cheryl DiCarlo, DVM, PhD, MBA, DACLAM
President Elect


David Holland
Treasurer


Jennifer Phelan
Secretary

It was great to talk to a variety of people, some of whom are actively working with gnotobiotic animals and many more just getting their facilities started.

We had some interesting questions concerning use of isolators versus individually ventilated cages (IVCs). As a best practice, I recommended IVCs only for short term studies not for breeding or long-term projects.

There were diverse questions about associating mice with a variety of gut flora, from human FMTs to establishing Altered Schaedler Flora (ASF), with increasing interest in creating a diverse gut flora to improve immune response.

Other frequent questions were related to study planning, training gnotobiotic technicians, and facility design. Notable examples were preferred autoclaving supplies, application of sterilants and their appropriate contact time, and use of flexible film versus semi-rigid isolators.

The big picture theme is interest in the microbiome as a topic of research continues to grow, and with it the demand for gnotobiotic models, references, and resources to support this growth.

Association for Gnotobiotics

Association for Gnotobiotics
New logo courtesy of Kristin N. Grimsrud of UC Davis
It was exciting to staff the booth for the revitalized Association for Gnotobiotics. The Association was revived through the efforts of our former President, Julia Krout of NYU, and current President, Betty Theriault of University of Chicago, as well as many others. Dave Holland, from CBC, did an amazing job setting up our booth at the show and providing Association for Gnotobiotics lanyards to give out to people stopping by.

The Association's mission is to connect colleagues interested in advancing knowledge and technologies associated with the generation, care, and use of germ-free and defined flora laboratory models, and to foster continuous communication through technology, seminars, and meetings.

The Association is currently recruiting members and looking for corporate sponsorships. Below is information on annual corporate sponsorships — contact any board officer if you are interested in membership.

Annual Sponsorships Ads in Newsletters Number of Memberships Acknowledgement on AG Banner Acknowledgement, Newsletter & Website Access to membership lists

Friendship $250 to $999

1/4 page 5 Bottom of banner in smallest font Small font None

Supporting $1000 to $4999

1/2 page 10 Middle of banner in middle sized font Medium font Annual access

Founding Sponsor $5000+

Full page 15 Top of banner in largest sized font Large font Semi-annual access

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