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May 28, 2024

Colleen Geary Joo and Lise Phaneuf Awarded the Gilles Demers Award for Excellence in Animal Care

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is pleased to announce that Ms. Colleen Geary Joo and Dr. Lise Phaneuf are the first winners of the CCAC’s new Gilles Demers Award for Excellence in Animal Care, which recognizes the great importance of individuals who have made exceptional contributions to institutional animal care and use programs, upholding high ethical standards and practices, and who actively champion the CCAC program within their organization.

Ms. Colleen Geary Joo

Ms. Colleen Geary Joo

Dr. Lise Phaneuf

Dr. Lise Phaneuf

Ms. Colleen Geary Joo is the senior manager and coordinator of animal care committees at the University of Calgary. For over 25 years, she has dedicated her career to providing and applying the highest standards of ethical care to animals throughout her organization. A strong advocate of continuing education, Ms. Geary Joo has contributed significantly to the development and execution of the University of Calgary’s Institutional Animal User Training Program, supporting veterinary, research, and animal care staff throughout the university, and providing advice and guidance based on sound knowledge and experience regarding best practices in animal care and use. She also plays a pivotal role in the development of institutional policies and procedures for the efficient operation and management of the university’s animal care and ethics program. Ms. Geary Joo is described as a wonderful role model to her team and colleagues. She empowers and uplifts those around her, emphasizing positivity in the workplace through teambuilding and works diligently to provide an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.

Dr. Lise Phaneuf is the senior director of animal resources and compliance at the Centre for Phenogenomics. As an experienced veterinarian and research facility administrator, Dr. Phaneuf endorses and gives priority to a culture of care and compassion for animals which includes best practices in animal welfare. She has been instrumental in ensuring the continued evolution and improvement of animal care standards and Three Rs practices throughout her organization, within other Canadian institutions, and around the world. Dr. Phaneuf’s leadership, dedication, and tireless efforts have transformed her institution into a leading mouse research facility, enabling groundbreaking scientific research while upholding the highest ethical standards in animal care. In fact, her pursuit of the elimination of sentinel mice and the development of alternative methods has resulted in the creation of a sentinel-free animal facility. As a member of several Three Rs and rodent health groups, and a regular contributor to the CCAC, Dr. Phaneuf consistently and generously shares her expertise and knowledge at home and around the world.

The CCAC’s Gilles Demers Award for Excellence in Animal Care is named for the late Dr. Gilles Demers, a long-time assessment director at the CCAC, who routinely worked with animal care experts across the country, where they collaborated to improve the assessment and certification process and promote high ethical standards of animal care and use. Dr. Demers’ legacy lives on most notably in having spearheaded the creation and implementation of the CCAC Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice®, a cornerstone of the CCAC program.

The CCAC received a significant number of nominations for this award. We would like to acknowledge all of the nominees for their extraordinary contributions to their institutions and the CCAC, and for their steadfast commitment to the ethical care and use of animals in science.

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