The committee works tirelessly to help improve public understanding on animal research. Everyone below continues to shape the future of Speaking of Research. Do you want to be involved? Join the Committee.
All signed news articles express the views of an individual member of the Speaking of Research committee and not that of his/her institution.
Pamela Bass – A Registered Veterinary Technician using her medical skills to maintain animal health in the research environment, she has been an advocate for scientific research for decades. She takes every opportunity to talk to people about her work and the work of the scientists around her. She firmly believes that once people understand how the animals really live and wealth of knowledge we gain from them, we will be able to have an educated populace able to make rational decisions.
Allyson Bennett – A scientist whose research with nonhuman primates centers on how interplay between genes and experiences in childhood and adolescence contribute to individual differences in developmental pathways and health across the lifespan. She previously directed a community outreach and education program designed to provide opportunities for interactions between researchers and the broader community, particularly K-12 and college students at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She is currently on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
David Bienus – A Veterinary Technician responsible for maintaining the health welfare of laboratory animal colonies and for training individuals in proper techniques used in research. He also assists with the programs agricultural animals and is starting an outreach program aimed at the high school level. David became interested in Speaking of Research because he felt strongly that it was time for those involved in research to stand up and support one another while debunking some of the myths put out by the animal rights organizations.
Paul Browne – A science blogger, Paul joined Speaking of Research because he was tired at seeing the half-truths and misinformation of the anti-vivisectionists go unchallenged in the press, and of watching news reports on medical advances that rarely mentioned the animal research that underpinned them. As scientists face increasingly serious threats from violent animal rights extremists, he believes that the medical and research communities can and should do a lot more to support colleagues who are under attack.
Doris Doudet – A Professor of Medicine/Neurology at the University of British Columbia. Her specialty is the use of non invasive PET and MR imaging to assess the role of brain neurotransmitters in health and disease and the mechanism of action of various therapies in human and animal subjects.
Andy Fell – A science writer and public information representative at the University of California, Davis News Service. He communicates to lay audiences both on- and off-campus about UC Davis research, through news releases, features, blog posts, social media, videos and other means, and he interacts with journalists covering the campus. His beat area includes discoveries and issues in animal research.
Tom Holder – A founding member of the British group Pro-Test, which stood up to animal rights extremists in the UK. In 2008 he moved to the US where he founded Speaking of Research, as well as helping to organize the UCLA Pro-Test rally. Despite returning to the UK he continues to be an active advocate for biomedical research.
Kathryn Knowlson – A supervisor of animal care and research support, who is responsible for the humane care and use of non-human primates in biomedical research. Kate works with a team of 30 technicians to monitor the health of the animals, provide all daily care, and collect data as requested by the researchers. Kate joined Speaking of Research to help raise public awareness of the high standards of care that research animals receive and the practical medical benefits animal research produces, while also honoring the compassionate, hard-working animal-lovers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of critical treatments for humans and animals through their work with research animals.
Jim Newman - The associate director for media relations in the Strategic Communications department at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Oregon. He also directs communications for OHSU’s Comparative Medicine Department and the Oregon National Primate Research Center. His specialty is handling animal research communications (internal and external) for the university. In this capacity Jim has developed and implemented several successful communications plans to proactively communicate issues relating to animal studies at OHSU. Jim also has several years of experience in publicly responding to and correcting false allegations by animal rights groups about OHSU’s animal-based studies.
Dario Ringach – A Professor of Neurobiology and Psychology at the David Geffen School of Medicine in UCLA, and affiliate with the Jules Stein Eye Institute, the Brain Research Institute and the Biomedical Engineering Program at UCLA.
Gene Rukavina – The Training Coordinator for the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine at UCLA. Gene believes in the power of public outreach and the importance of explaining to the general public how and why animals are used in biomedical research. Gene uses his background as a Registered Veterinary Technician to reach out to pre-vet and vet tech students each semester and encourages them to consider a career path in laboratory animal science. Gene promotes proper training, which plays a vital role in the welfare of laboratory animals.
Bill Yates — A professor at the University of Pittsburgh who studies the vestibular system and its influences on autonomic regulation. This research seeks to unravel the neural mechanisms through which body motion can lead to conditions such as motion sickness. Bill is also active in bringing information to the classroom about the importance of animal models in biomedical research.