It is with deep sadness that ICLAS announces the death of Dr. Gilles Demers. Gilles passed away near Montréal, QC, on August 10, 2016. Dr Gilles Demers was ICLAS Secretary General from 1999-2003 and ICLAS President from 2003-2011.
During his service to ICLAS he put a lot of effort into many areas but particularly in the harmonization of the ethical use of laboratory animals around the world. His main contributions were:
As Secretary General of ICLAS between 1999 and 2003:
- Organization of the International Symposium on Regulatory Testing and Animal Welfare, Québec City, June 21-23, 2001. Proceedings published in ILAR Journal, Volume 43 Supplement, 2002.
- Dr Demers represented ICLAS during the meetings for the development of the European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals used for Experimental and other Scientific Purposes. CETS No.: 123
As President of ICLAS (2003-2011):
- implementation of the ICLAS Harmonization program
- organization of 5 International meetings (2004- 2005- 2007- 2008- 2010)
- Several publications including one in Science, May, 2006, one in Stal 2012 and several articles published in the FELASA proceedings.
- implementation in 2005 of a collaboration agreement with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) including:
- the signature of an agreement between OIE and ICLAS (2008) for the promotion of the veterinary profession and to highlight the importance of Laboratory Animal Veterinarians in science
- member of the OIE Ad hoc Group on Animal welfare (2007-2011) which led to the publication of Chapter 7.8 on the Use of Animal in Research and Education of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
- publication of an article entitled: Harmonizing Veterinary Training and Qualifications in Laboratory Animal Medicine: A Global Perspective (ILAR Journal, Vol 52, number 3, 2011)
- In 2003, Dr Demers initiated a process with National Laboratory Science Organizations to develop the ICLAS Guiding Principle on Reciprocity of Registration Fees for Scientific Meetings.
- In collaboration with the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS), he initiated in 2007 the revision of the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals 1985. The CIOMS-ICLAS Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals were completed in 2012.
- During his mandate with ICLAS, Dr Demers worked closely with several countries to help them implement a Laboratory Animal Science organization.
Since his death was communicated to ICLAS members and friends, numerous condolence messages have been received remarking how much he contributed to inspiring us to promote good laboratory animal welfare and good science and to help in the development of laboratory animal science in several countries.
His legacy will continue.