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2024 Excellence in Research Animal Care and Use Award Winners

The Animal Care & Use Program is pleased to announce the 2024 winners of the Excellence in Research Animal Care & Use Award.

Established in 2019, this awards program celebrates staff excellence in the humane care and use of animals within the University of Michigan (U-M) research community. This year’s winners represent both the U-M research community and the Animal Care & Use Program:

Claire Swinton – 2024 Animal Care & Use Award Winner

​Claire Swinton, a Veterinary Technician in the Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine (ULAM), was named winner of the 2024 Animal Care & Use Program Excellence in Animal Care & Use Award.

Photo of Claire Swinton, a female veterinary technician, standing in front of a colored background, wearing scrubs, and holding a Certificate of Recognition

Claire’s responsibilities as a veterinary technician take her all across campus, where she partners with ULAM staff, researchers, and their teams to provide compassionate and exceptional care to the many animals she works with.

ULAM Faculty Veterinarian Dr. Tara Martin noted that, “I am always happy when I am paired with Claire. She has a strong work ethic and unparalleled organizational skills, both of which are put to great use in her patient care. As well, I know that Claire continues to develop her skills in companion animal medicine, and that she brings her knowledge of common laboratory animal species to that work (and vice-versa.) Claire’s cross-disciplinary work both within the university and outside of it helps us share knowledge across the veterinary field, which I feel is invaluable as we come up with innovative methods to improve animal care.”

Claire’s level of engagement, her commitment to learning new methods of animal treatment, and her dedication to sharing those skills and best practices with her ULAM colleagues, ultimately improves the entire U-M Animal Care & Use Program with her efforts.

Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, Claire, and thank you for your commitment and compassion to all of the animals entrusted in our care.

Cathy Luke – 2024 Research Community Winner

Cathy Luke, a Research Associate and Lab Manager for Dr. Peter Henke in the Conrad Jobst Vascular Research Laboratories (Jobst Lab), has been named winner of the 2024 Research Community Excellence in Animal Care & Use Award.

Photo of Cathy Luke standing in front of the Conrad Jost Laboratory sign, holding a certificate of recognition

Working alongside Drs. Henke, Andrea Obi, and Daniel Myers, Cathy is responsible for performing microsurgical models of deep vein thrombosis; she is also accountable for training laboratory staff, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduates in those models. 

Her passion for education, in addition to her exceptional 32-year career in animal care and research at the University of Michigan, led to Cathy’s nomination for this award. In this time, she has mentored dozens of undergraduate, medical, and postdoctoral students in compassionate animal care and rigorous scientific method(s). Her teaching ability and expectation that the highest standards of excellence are met have helped the Jobst Lab become a pioneer in the field of vascular research.

“Cathy has earned a reputation for her expertise and excellence in this field in her past 22 years in the Jobst Lab,” said Dr. Henke. “She is an extraordinary technician and has improved the care of our animals with refinement to our microsurgical techniques and her independent research into new methods for safety and harm reduction.”

Thank you for your dedication to education and animal care, Cathy. We are grateful and proud to recognize your achievements!

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