Science on Tap talk to focus on misconceptions of animal use in medical research

July 17, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A University of Illinois at Chicago veterinary medicine researcher will discuss the misconceptions that exist in the use of animals in medical research during Thursday's (July 19) Science on Tap.

Dr. Elizabeth Nunamaker, who completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Purdue Center for Paralysis Research, will speak at 6 p.m. in the upstairs of the Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St., Lafayette.

Her talk is titled "Laboratory Animal Medicine: Dispelling the Misconceptions." The Science on Tap event is free and open to those 21 and older.

"More than 26 million animals are used in research every year in the United States alone. As a direct result, today people are living longer, healthier lives," Nunamaker said. "Unfortunately, public perception of animal research is misguided by sensationalized media coverage and propaganda rather than accurate reports of the excellent and humane laboratory animal veterinary care."

Sponsors for the talk are the College of Veterinary Medicine, Discovery Park and Purdue University.

Nunamaker, a laboratory animal medicine postdoctoral veterinarian in the Biological Resources Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Chicago, points to federal regulations that are in place to protect these animals. She also said most clinicians, investigators and technicians who work with animals for research are highly trained and dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of these animals.

Her talk also will highlight the variety of species seen in research, how they are used, how they are cared for and protected, and how the research community is continuously striving to improve laboratory animal welfare.

Nunamaker received her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Purdue in 2010 after completing her doctorate at the University of Michigan and earning a master's degree from Northwestern University, both in biomedical engineering. She received a bachelor's degree in bioengineering in 2000 from Arizona State University.

The Science on Tap lecture series, led by Purdue graduate students Patrick Dolan, Shaili Sharma and Becca Scott, provides Purdue faculty and collaborating researchers the opportunity to share research activities in an informal setting, with presentations that are designed to appeal to a more general audience.

Attendance at the monthly event has averaged 80 during the program's first two years.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Elizabeth Nunamaker, 312-996-5098,

               Patrick Dolan, 765-496-9336,

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