Jean Dodds Speaks About AHVM Foundation Grants and Research
Richard Palmquist, DVM, Foundation Past President
Jean Dodds, DVM is a well thought of and talented veterinarian who is in charge of our research grant approval process. She is busy on two continents, but I caught up with her today to discuss her activities here at the Foundation. Here is what she had to say:
1. While most people know who you are, please tell our readers a bit about your qualifications and how you came to this position.
I’ve been a veterinary basic and clinical research investigator for nearly 50 years. For the first 27 years of my professional career we performed NIH –funded comparative hematology and immunology research. I also administered the Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services for the NY State Department of Health.
2. How did you become involved in the holistic and integrative medical movement?
The interesting “eureka moment” for me arrived in the late 1970s, when I was asked to speak to the nascent AHVMA group in Milwaukee about concerns I was having with the increasing practice of over-vaccination in veterinary clinics. When I stood up before this group – thinking that I would be looking at “odd” folks– I was amazed to immediately recognize that I’d found my home with them. I have never looked back after that!
3. The AHVM Foundation does not support studies that harm animals preferring to concentrate on clinical studies that use animals that are already affected by the condition being investigated. Can you share your feelings about humane research?
To me, humane treatment and study design are the lynchpins of acceptable, humane research using living beings. We follow the time-honored biomedical research goals of the three Rs of Russell & Burch. These are:
• Reduction in the number of living animals needed to accomplish the desired research goal;
• Refinement in the protocol to reduce any harm to the animals; and
• Replacement of living animals with non-animals methods such as mathematical models, tissue culture, and invertebrates.
4. How does the Foundation assure its research is ethical and not harmful to animals? While these 3 Rs apply to both naturally occurring and experimentally induced animal models, the AHVMF does not accept proposals that induce disease or disorders; we only accept studies of naturally occurring conditions. We also monitor researchers to verify they are operating in keeping with these rules.
5. Why is such research important?
Our research focus is aimed at integrative, alternative and complementary approaches to preventing, ameliorating and treating diseases and disorders, which may be used separately or in addition to allopathic medical or surgical therapies. Such research gives veterinarians and animal guardians more tools and choices in managing their animal's health care needs.