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Rat tickling eases rats' stress for testing Purdue University alumna Megan LaFollette, PhD, won the 2020 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Virtual 3-Minute Thesis® competition with a presentation about mitigating stress for laboratory rats.

October 5, 2020

Purdue University graduate alumna wins MAGS 3-Minute Thesis® competition

Purdue University graduate alumna Megan LaFollette, PhD, won the 2020 Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools Virtual 3-Minute Thesis® competition.

LaFollette, an Animal Sciences May 2020 graduate, had advanced to the competition after winning Purdue University’s 2019 3-Minute Thesis® (3MT) competition with the presentation titled, “Tickling Rats for Superior Science”.

Rats are used in biomedical research across the world. “Unfortunately when first handled, they can experience fear and stress, which isn't good for rat welfare or scientific research,” said LaFollette. “My PhD work focused on the practical implementation of a positive handling technique called rat tickling to mitigate this stress.”

The presentation that took place at Purdue in 2019 can be viewed at https://youtu.be/BxeWis0bSgk. That recording was submitted for the 2020 MAGS 3MT, which was held virtually. LaFollette placed first out of 25 students who competed on behalf of their institutions.

Currently, LaFollette is a 3Rs Fellow at The North American 3Rs Collaborative where she focuses on advancing science, innovation, and welfare through sharing. While her 3MT presentation focused on refining rat welfare, she now tackles challenges to refine, reduce, and replace the use of all types of laboratory animals in research.

The virtual MAGS Fall Signature event on October 7 will celebrate the top three 3MT finalist. Register for the event at: https://go.liaisonedu.com/MAGS-Fall-Feature-Event

Learn more about LaFollette at: MeganLaFollette.weebly.com

 
Writer: Korina Wilbert, kwilbert@purdue.edu

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