Compassion in Science: The Benefits of Caring and the IACUCs Role

PRIM&R Webinar

Please join the Office of Research Integrity for a Responsible Conduct of Research session on fostering and maintaining healthy compassion in animal care and use programs.  

Laboratory animal professionals may struggle to balance the compassion they feel for the animals in their care with the scientific imperatives that require the use of animals in research. Compassion fatigue (CF)—characterized by deep physical and emotional exhaustion and a pronounced change in the ability to feel empathy—can occur when individuals become overwhelmed by these conflicting emotions. CF can lead to increased illness, high turnover, and low morale in the workplace, negatively impacting the program overall. By encouraging “healthy compassion,” institutional leaders can foster a strong animal welfare program that also optimizes scientific advancements. IACUCs have an important role to play in this effort. Through avenues such as semiannual inspections, training, and advocating for animal caregivers, IACUCs can support programs and tools that build resiliency among laboratory animal professionals.


  • Definition of compassion fatigue and the significance of the human-animal bond
  • Compassion fatigue and its impact on the animal care and use community:  animal caregivers, researchers, IACUC members, and trainers
  • Addressing compassion fatigue on an institutional level, and the IACUC's role in such efforts


Tia R. Bobo, DVM, MS
Attending Veterinarian
Office of Animal Research

Anyone engaging in research or scholarly activity at GW including, under- and graduate students, administrative staff, researchers, postdocs and faculty, is encouraged to attend.  RSVP to [email protected].