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Colorado State University Laboratory Animal/Comparative Medicine


There are two options for externship programs with Colorado State University (CSU) laboratory animal care program:

  1. A 10-12 week summer program is available for first or second year veterinary students as funds allow. This program will provide students with exposure to practical and clinical laboratory animal medicine and biomedical research. Students will be assigned a summer research project in an aspect of laboratory animal/comparative medicine. Stipends will be supported at student hourly rates or students may apply through the Merck-Merial summer program
  2. A 2-4 week externship opportunity for clinical year veterinary students with an interest in laboratory animal medicine (LAM) is also available. Candidates with an interest in a career in LAM will be given preference for these positions. Funds may be available to support externs through the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Career Pathways Committee (ACLAM CPC).


Associate Veterinarians and special expertise available

CSU Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) provides care for a diverse set of species and research programs located on three different Fort Collins, Colorado facilities. Facilities range from BSL 1-3 and serve investigators with programs in infectious disease, oncology, reproductive biology, exercise physiology, agricultural sciences and other disciplines. Veterinary student training programs are headed by the Director of CSU's ACLAM-approved Comparative Medicine Training Program. Comparative Medicine Residents and CSU LAR veterinary staff will provide guidance and mentorship to participants. There are currently three residents and four veterinarians (three ACLAM diplomates) on staff.

Educational Resources

Laboratory Animal Resources houses a library with specialty texts and journals. Students will have computer access privileges during the externship.


Students are expected to attend scheduled events, participate in clinical activities as available, complete a research project and give a presentation during the externship. The extern(s) will participate in the daily activities of the department, including assisting the veterinary technicians, facility managers and supervisor, staff veterinarians and post-DVM residents in the various daily activities. Typical tasks include:

  • Training in practical techniques
  • Disease surveillance
  • Pathology of laboratory animals
  • Clinical case workup
  • Husbandry and enrichment practices
  • Facilty design
  • Protocol and Standard Operation Procedure design
  • Regulatory oversight
  • Participation in management meetings as appropriate and relevant
  • Visitation of non-LAR and non-CSU facilities to gain an appreciation of animal care diversity
  • During the program, extern(s) will complete a project relevant to comparative/lab animal medicine that will be presented to the veterinary staff at the end of the externship.
  • The student must provide proof of a negative tuberculin skin test within 6 months of the start of the externship.

Student Supervision

Students will have approximately 2-4 hours/day direct supervision or attendance in scheduled activities. Veterinarians will be on site for consultation during the entire externship period.


A list of housing options will be provided.

Practice Information

Sue VandeWoude, DVM
Director, LAR
Professor of Comparative Medicine
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1619


Updated: 5/12/09
Signature on file: Sue VandeWoude, DVM, DACLAM

Fort Collins, CO
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