Picture of Claire Johnson

Claire (Koss) Johnson


B.A. in Anthropology with minor in Biology, UMass Boston, 2012
M.S. in Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University, 2013


Current Position:
I am the Associate Director of Quality Assurance & Compliance and IACUC Chair at Mispro Biotech Services. Mispro is a contract vivarium organization offering co-working research space along with comprehensive animal care and compliance service in key life-science areas in the U.S. and Canada. In this role I oversee compliance and the activities of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Duties include pre-review of research documents, inspections of the facilities and animal use areas, protocol and proposal congruency reviews, policy creation and review, training of the investigative staff, and implementing post-approval monitoring visits. I have also become a certified Professional in IACUC Administration (CPIA).

What were you doing before entering the Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
Before I entered MAPP, I had just finished my bachelor’s degree at UMASS Boston. I was unsure of what career paths were open to me with a degree in Biological Anthropology that did not involve working in a museum or teaching. I began my search by entering keywords into Google of things I would like to do for a future career (i.e. enrichment, animals, policy, graduate school) and serendipitously stumbled upon MAPP.

What aspects of MAPP led to your decision to join the program?
Perhaps one of the biggest draws was that this program is one of a kind in its specialization and in preparing students to advance their careers. I loved that after completing the program I would have usable skills: policy analysis, research design, etc. When I originally looked at graduate schools, I did not want to undergo another 4+ years of education and then start working in the field. The fact that I could have my master’s degree in 1-2 years was huge, because I was ready to jump-start my career.

In what ways do you use your MAPP in your current position?
Almost every aspect of my position is based on the skills and education I gained from the program, whether it is policy creation for investigators on the humane use of animals in research or completing regulatory documentation to maintain compliance with federal and state regulations. The program positioned me to have the proper skill set in the IACUC administration field.

What did you like most about the MAPP program?
I loved that the program allowed me to learn and discuss many different facets about the animal welfare field. Prior to MAPP, I had no idea there were regulations pertaining to animals used in research. The laboratory animal module showed me just how regulated and well-protected the biomedical field is. Without MAPP, I would have never found the career path I am on today.

Is there anything else you would like to share with prospective MAPP students?
Come in with an open mind and willingness to participate in discussions! You will absolutely get out of the program what you put into it.

MAPP Capstone Research Project: Effects of Direct Human Interactions with Captive Tigers on Perceptions of Tiger Conservation Status