Pilot study results guide changes to anxiety research

March 12, 2015 Over the last year, University of Wisconsin–Madison research into the biological underpinnings of anxiety has drawn a great deal of interest — largely due to the researcher’s plan to incorporate infant monkeys raised apart from their mothers. Results from a pilot study have led Ned Kalin, psychiatry professor and lead investigator, to a change that plan. This important study, which hopes to point out new directions for developing better treatments for mental health disorders that cause serious suffering for millions of people, will move forward at UW–Madison without separating young monkeys from their mothers. In the pilot study, outlined last year in a report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers observed the behavior of 25 monkeys that were rejected by their mothers and raised out of necessity by human caregivers alongside other young monkeys. The researchers expected monkeys that were reared without their mothers to …

Chancellor Blank: Responding to the animal research critics

Recently, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been on the receiving end of a harsh campaign that criticizes our research using animal models. The critics are using a graphic picture, taken out of context, blown up to billboard size, and displayed on Madison’s public buses to try to turn public opinion against the valuable medical research conducted by faculty and staff at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Statement Regarding PETA Bus Ads

Once again, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is sparing no expense to continue a campaign distorting and misrepresenting important UW-Madison research. The animal rights organization is spending thousands of dollars on a graphic eight-week advertising campaign using Madison Metro buses. Because many of the claims the organization makes about the science and how the animals in the studies are treated lack substance, PETA necessarily resorts to stunts and outlandish behavior to draw attention to its cause. While it is disturbing that PETA is intent on making misguided emotional appeals using public venues such as Madison Metro, the university has every confidence in the importance of the research, its oversight, and the treatment and care of the very few animals involved. We will continue to provide support for the research and researchers and respond to PETA’s campaign of misinformation as appropriate. One thing we cannot do, and that …

Conversation Starter? PETA’s Bus Ads on University of Wisconsin Hearing Research

As predicted, PETA’s ongoing campaign against scientific research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison continues, escalating this week with a striking advertisement on 100 Metro buses. The ad calls for an end to UW research aimed at better understanding how the brain processes sound. A central question is how sound arriving at both ears is combined to allow us to determine the direction of its source with respect to our body.