Conour named director of laboratory animal research, attending veterinarian

Conour, Laura

Laura Conour

Photo by Denise Applewhite

Laura Conour, a veterinarian with 15 years of laboratory animal expertise, has been named director of laboratory animal research and University attending veterinarian at Princeton. Her appointment was effective July 1.

Reporting to Dean for Research A.J. Stewart Smith, Conour's duties will include managing the University's animal research program, overseeing daily animal research operations and personnel, and providing veterinary care within research facilities.

Conour will be part of the University's continued efforts to strengthen its animal research program and to augment its oversight procedures of research facilities. She will be responsible for ensuring compliance with all federal, state and local regulations, as well as maintaining the University's accreditation with the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care.

"My colleagues and I are thrilled to welcome Dr. Laura Conour to Princeton," Smith said. "A nationally recognized veterinarian and administrator, Dr. Conour brings proven leadership, expertise and collegiality that will be especially valuable as researchers at the University continue to break ground in neuroscience, psychology, biology and other fields to benefit people and the environment."

An experienced manager of animal care and use programs in the research and pharmaceutical industries, Conour joins the University after working for almost 10 years at Charles River Laboratories in Massachusetts. She most recently was the company's senior director of U.S. laboratory animal medicine for preclinical services. Among the other positions Conour held at Charles River, she also served as senior director of veterinary services and attending veterinarian for preclinical services, where she ensured regulatory compliance and managed a 91,000-square-foot animal facility.

In addition to overseeing animal research operations at Princeton, Conour will advise investigators on the development and implementation of research studies, provide animal care training to research personnel and implement preventative veterinary health programs. Princeton's animal research facilities house mice, rats, fish, frogs, salamanders and about two dozen nonhuman primates.

Conour will serve as a member of several interdisciplinary committees charged with various aspects of animal care and use, including the University's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and Institutional Biosafety Committee.

"I'm looking forward to building strong relationships with the faculty at Princeton focusing on a program committed to the support of their research efforts, as well as the compassionate care, responsible use and continued welfare of animals used in research," Conour said. "The staff within the Office of Laboratory Animal Resources is capable and experienced, and I am confident that we will continue to fully support the animal care and use program together in our endeavors."

Before joining Charles River Laboratories in 2002, Conour worked as a manager and veterinarian in the laboratory animal science division of GlaxoSmithKline (formerly SmithKlineBeecham). She also has served as an instructor at institutions including Mount Ida College, Thomas Jefferson University, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Pennsylvania.

Conour earned her Bachelor of Science in veterinary medicine and her doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and became a diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine in 1999.