The University Record, June 7, 1993

Kathleen Sweet wins Ungerleider Award

Medical Center Public Relations

Kathleen A. Sweet, health science research associate, Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, has received the 11th annual Jody C. Ungerleider Memorial Award for her contributions to animal welfare. The award carries a $200 honorarium and plaque.

Among Sweet’s responsibilities are ordering animals, being present during surgery and making sure the animals are comfortable during the post-surgery period. Sweet works with dogs, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, mice and rats.

Faculty members who nominated Sweet noted that the surgical procedures, treatments and daily management of animal studies have been improved significantly by her constant advice, diligence and commitment to excellence.

“Kathy’s commitment to laboratory animal welfare can easily be recognized, said Steven A. Goldstein, director of the Orthopaedic Research Laboratories section of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“I have frequently observed her grooming and ‘training’ the animals used in our studies. She constantly inspects the facilities and routines maintained by the institution, and never hesitates to provide feedback or suggestions concerning animals under her direct care or animals under the care of other investigators.”

Sweet also is the person to whom graduate students, medical students and residents go to ask if proposed research can be done humanely and if a specific animal is the proper species for the surgery and research they are planning.

Sweet is a self-proclaimed animal lover who grew up in the country. She became a licensed veterinary technician in 1976 and before joining the U-M worked in large and small private veterinary practices.

She has had experience working with reptiles, birds, cows and pigs, among other animals. And, she believes in the necessity of animal biomedical research.

“I wish people could be a little more open-minded and see what goes on here. Many animals here are treated better than people’s pets, from what I saw in private practice.

“If an animal here is sick, there is no maximum cost for the care and expense to get that animal better,” Sweet said.

The Ungerleider Award, named for a U-M technician who worked with animals, is sponsored by the Committee on the Use and Care of Animals, the Biomedical Research Council and the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Nominees must demonstrate concern and compassion for animals, make efforts to improve the treatment of lab animals through research and technology, and work to educate researchers, animal handlers and the general public about the proper use of animals in biomedical research.