A Message on the Importance of Research
Chancellor Block reaffirms UCLA’s support for scientists conducting lifesaving research.
Last week, the Daily Bruin published an important and compelling column by a member of our faculty, psychology and psychiatry professor David Jentsch. In it, Professor Jentsch rightfully encourages our students to use their knowledge and skills for the betterment of our world, which includes engaging in important scientific research.
For many years, Professor Jentsch has conducted essential research aimed at understanding brain chemistry in order to treat the root causes of addiction, a disease that destroys lives and families. This work has required responsible animal research.
I think it’s important that everyone take the time to read this column. As someone who has continued his lifesaving work despite being a target of violence and harassment by animal rights activists for many years, Professor Jentsch offers a critical and unique voice on this subject. Unfortunately, he has not been the only faculty member targeted by activists. Several of our other faculty members who engage in animal research have been similarly targeted and yet have bravely persevered despite these shameless tactics. Our campus has worked through the legal system and with law enforcement to protect our researchers, and I want to use this occasion to make it clear that all members of the UCLA community who contribute to scientific and medical progress continue to have our support, respect and admiration.
Please always remember that animal research is closely monitored and subject to multiple stringent federal laws and university regulations. As Professor Jentsch writes, “Be a proud scientist… I stand with you.”
As UCLA’s chancellor, I stand with him and all those who are dedicated to improving health and saving lives.
Gene D. Block
Nov. 3, 2014