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Fox Chase Cancer Center Employee Wins National Award for Animal Care

PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 10, 2005) -- Fox Chase Cancer Center's Mike Pimble has been selected to receive the second annual Lab Products Animal Technician Award at the 2005 National Convention of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The award will be presented in St. Louis this November.

Eight animal technician awards, voted on by the previous year's winners, are presented to a representative of each of the eight districts in the United States. Pimble is recognized as a top animal technician in District 2, which includes Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

"I'm honored to receive this award not only on a personal level, but also because it shows the importance of the work animal technicians do," Pimble said. "I've always taken pride in properly caring for our animals, and knowing our role in the fight against cancer."

Pimble, a member of the Delaware Valley of the AALAS, has been at Fox Chase for 11 years. During this time he has worked with new employees during their training periods and worked part-time for research scientists as a technician in off-duty hours. Research scientists have requested Pimble's expertise when their work involves close animal observation and manipulation.

"He's really admired by other people in the department because he knows how to do what he does so well," Harry Rozmiarek, director of the Laboratory Animal Facility at Fox Chase, said. "The job of an animal care technician is a multi-faceted position. His work has been consistently outstanding in every respect."

Pimble's recognition brings to light the excellence of Fox Chase's Laboratory Animal Facility (LAF). In existence since 1948, it supplies and raises animals for Fox Chase's research programs, as well as operates under the highest standards of animal care. No research project involving animal testing at Fox Chase goes on without the animal care LAF provides, or the technical assistance of the animals it offers to the researchers.

The LAF's three facilities - husbandry, genetic monitoring, and animal health - ensure that researchers use healthy and genetically noble animals as critical parts of their protocols, which are closely reviewed by The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).

The LAF includes three unique lines of mice that were developed at Fox Chase to study disease. In 2003, Fox Chase researchers developed the mouse model of epithelial ovarian cancer, the first mouse model for studying ovarian cancer. This mouse allows researchers to study the disease more fully, from its cause to possible treatments - a key given that there is no early, reliable screening for the disease.

Fox Chase researchers also developed the mosaic mouse model in 1962, which was born with genes from four parents. By creating a mouse with an amalgamated genetic system, researchers were able to study genetic expression, birth defects and developmental disorders in a completely new way.

In 1980, researchers developed a mouse with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), providing a model of the human version of the disease. As well, connections between immune birth defects and diseases like cancer and AIDS can be studied in SCID mice.

Nominees for the AALAS award must have worked at last one full year in a laboratory animal facility, as well as perform hands-on animal care work. Since the award is intended to give top-notch technicians the opportunity to attend their first AALAS meeting, recipients may not have attended a national meeting before.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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