From the series President's Awards for Excellence 2021

2021 Excellence in Leadership (Classified)

Loren Prince

Loren Prince

Loren Prince, laboratory animal technologist, received the 2021 President’s Award for Excellence in Leadership (Classified) for her highly accurate and dedicated work in the Laboratory of Animal Resources. She goes above and beyond what is asked of her regardless of the job and is highly regarded by her colleagues.

Normally, a lab animal technician changes the cages, feeds mice and gives them water. The technician is not usually involved in research endeavors involving the animals. Research directors and animal care staff do not typically interact, but Prince has actively involved herself in work that greatly assists researchers.

Mark Rich, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neuroscience, cell biology and physiology and professor of neurology, said Prince is a vital part of his research team.

Along with her work caring for mice, Rich trusts Prince to select mice for breeding purposes. The job of breeding, he said, is deceptively simple and requires taking the results of genotyping and selecting mice with the correct genotypes and genders to match.

“I normally wouldn’t trust an animal technician with this critical job,” Rich said. “If an error is made this can set the research project back months. Loren has never made a mistake.”

Prince has also become a valuable member of Rich’s research team as she has learned to accurately identify weakness in mice. She made a key discovery of a genotype that often causes weakness. Rich said Prince is the most talented identifier of weakness in his lab.

“Through her central role in mouse breeding and her identification of weak mice, she has become a key player in my research team,” Rich said. “I want to stress this has never before happened with an animal technician in my 25-year research career.”

Recently, amid short staffing in the Laboratory of Animal Resources, Prince has stepped up to ensure that operations continue smoothly. She has worked extra weekends and multiple holidays and has done so without complaint.

“Prince’s work ethic, intelligence, dedication and upbeat outlook on life have played a key role in my recent success in publishing papers,” Rich said. “Due to her excellence, she has become a key member of my research team.”

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