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Laboratory Animal Medicine

The Laboratory Animal Medicine Program within the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Office of Research at The Ohio State University (OSU) offers a residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine. This ACLAM certified training program is designed to provide Trainees with broad exposure to all facets of laboratory animal medicine for a multitude of careers in biomedical research. Trainees will spend a total of 3 years in the program and will complete a Master’s degree as part of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM). Responsibilities include providing biomedical research support to investigators and research staff, clinical support for a wide variety of species, serving as a liaison to IACUC staff, conducting a research project and preparing a manuscript. The Ohio State University is unique in having all the Health Sciences Colleges (Veterinary, Agricultural, Medical, Dental, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Allied Medicine) located on one campus. The Trainees have a unique opportunity to be exposed to a very diverse and vigorous research community. Columbus Ohio is a large metropolitan area providing a wide variety of cultural opportunities with a very affordable cost-of living.

Training Program Objectives

Trainees will:

  • Be familiar with the regulations and guidelines applicable to biomedical research
  • Be able to formulate a preventive medicine program as it applies to a laboratory animal population
  • Participate in a research project culminating in preparation of a first author paper and submission to a peer-reviewed journal
  • Have an understanding of the researchers' needs related to animal models
  • Be able to recognize clinical and pathologic changes of common laboratory animal diseases
  • Have an awareness of personnel management issues relating to laboratory animal medicine
  • Be familiar with resources related to laboratory animal medicine including publications, web sites, organizations, and continuing education

The clinical component will consist of rotations through an academic setting at OSU. Trainees will be expected to participate in clinical rounds at the OSU vivaria, consult with investigators, train personnel on animal handling techniques, learn husbandry procedures and management strategies, and assist in IACUC protocol review and meetings. In addition, they will rotate through the ULAR Quality Assurance Laboratory supporting the sentinel program and rodent necropsy, the Experimental Surgery Core, Operations and Special Projects, and Large Animal and Rodent Medicine. The clinical  rotations will provide experience in species specific medicine (diagnosis, treatment, preventive medicine programs, and surgical models), investigator interaction (training, IACUC protocol development, model development, trouble shooting), IACUC functions (protocol review, semi-annual inspection, reporting requirements), and management of the animal care program (personnel issues, SOPs, facility design, occupational health, biohazard management).

The research component will have the expectation that a primary author publication will result from this experience. Trainees will be expected to present an abstract at the National AALAS meeting and attend the Charles River short course or similar educational meeting during the training program.

Trainees will be evaluated by the research and clinical mentors through a formal written process every 6 months. The basis for the evaluation will be successful completion of the training program objectives, progress in the Role Delineation Document task acquisition, and general work performance. Satisfactory completion of both the research and clinical components are required in order to receive a training program "Certificate of Completion."

Institutional Information

ULAR has 9 centralized animal facilities (main campus) with over 170,000 net square feet of vivarium space. Other OSU animal facilities receive IACUC and ULAR oversight (not daily management responsibility) and include several off-campus facilities housing primarily livestock or aquatic species used in biomedical research. The Ohio State is fully accredited by AAALAC International. The range of species is extremely diverse including mice, rats, farm animals, primates, dogs, cats, and various exotics. The research programs are equally diverse and cover such areas as cardiovascular disease, cancer, immunology, genetics, virology, and neuropsychology. There are  approximately 750 active animal protocols and more than 325 principal investigators conducting animal research at OSU.

Faculty

Valerie Bergdall, DVM, DACLAM, Director, University Laboratory Animal Resources, ULAR Professor, Clinical, VPM

Dr. Bergdall joined the faculty of ULAR in 1994 after completing a training program in laboratory animal medicine at the University of Michigan. She was appointed as the Director of ULAR in 2008 and also serves as the Institutional Attending Veterinarian overseeing all animals used in biomedical research at The Ohio State University.   Dr. Bergdall obtained ACLAM board certification in 1995 and has served on the ACLAM Training Program Oversight Committee, Career Pathways Committee, Standard Setting Study Task Force, Minimal Competency Task Force, and Recertification Oversight committees. She is a member of AALAS and ASLAP and is the Attending Veterinarian for the IACUC at OSU.  She currently serves on the NCRR/NIH scientific review group, is a co‐investigator on an NIH grant investigating wound healing and an ad hoc consultant for AAALAC International. Dr. Bergdall provides fiscal, clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Ian Davis, DVM, PhD, Professor Tenured, Veterinary Biosciences (VBS)

Dr. Davis joined the faculty at OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006.  He is a member of AALAS, the American Physiological Society, American Thoracic Society, American Society of Virologists, and the APS Animal Care Panel.  Dr. Davis completed a Laboratory Animal Medicine training program and a PhD in Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2000. Dr. Davis is American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Board eligible. Dr. Davis is R01 funded and a recipient of the Giles F. Filley Award for Excellence in Respiratory Physiology and Medicine. Dr. Davis helps coordinate the research portion of the training program and has served as a research mentor for the Trainees.

Carrie Freed, MLAS, DVM, DACLAM Director, Operations and Special Projects, ULAR Professor Clinical, VPM

Dr. Freed joined the faculty of ULAR in 2005. She received her Master’s in Laboratory Animal Science through Hahnemann University in 2000.  She completed a training program in lab animal medicine at OSU in 2007. She is a member of the Board of Directors for ASLAP, a member of the ASLAP New book and Program Committees, and the ASLAP President elect. She is a member of the AVMA, CLATR and AALAS, is the Chair of the OSU IACUC Facilities Subcommittee, and is a BSL3 and select agent Veterinarian at OSU. She is a member on the OSU IACUC and as an ad hoc consultant for AAALAC International.  Dr. Freed is clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Director of Operations and Special Projects provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Judy Hickman‐Davis, DVM, PhD, DACLAM Director, Quality Assurance Laboratory, ULAR Director, Laboratory Animal Residency Program, Professor Clinical, VPM

Dr. Hickman‐Davis joined the faculty of ULAR in 2006. She completed a training program in laboratory animal medicine and received a PhD in Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998.  She is the faculty liaison and student advisor for ASLAP, a member of the AVMA, CLATR, ASLAP and AALAS, a Council member for AAALAC International and serves on the OSU IACUC, and is a member of the BSL3 Advisory Committee.  Dr. Hickman‐ Davis is clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Training Program Director provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Justin Kieffer, DVM, ACVPM, Director, Agricultural Animals, ULAR, Assistant Professor, Clinical Veterinarian Professional Practice, College of Agriculture

Dr. Kieffer joined the faculty of ULAR in 2015.  He completed his veterinary training at The Ohio State University in 2008 with an emphasis in food animal medicine. Dr. Kieffer was an Associate Veterinarian in Ohio from 06/2008 to 04/2015 providing veterinary support for dairy and beef cattle herds, horses, sheep, goats and swine.  Dr. Kieffer is a member of AVMA as well as the AVMA OH and AVMA MI branches. He is a member of AABP, the AVMA CPAC and is representative for the CPAC CBTA. He serves on the OSU IACUC. Dr. Kieffer holds a shared position with the College of Agriculture with 100% salary support from the Office of Research OAV for clinical care of agricultural animals used in teaching and research. Dr. Kieffer is clinical Veterinarian for OSU farm facilities and as the Director of Agriculture Animals provides clinical teaching support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Raphael Malbrue, DVM, MS, Director, Experimental Surgery, ULAR, Assistant Professor Clinical, VPM

Dr. Malbrue joined the faculty of ULAR in July 2017. He completed a training program in laboratory animal medicine and received an MS at the Louisiana State University in 2017. Dr. Malbrue is ACLAM board eligible. Dr. Malbrue is a member of the AVMA, AALAS, CLATR and ASLAP. He serves on the OSU IACUC. Dr. Malbrue is a clinical veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Director for the Experimental Surgery Core and Large Animal Medicine (ULAR) provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Stacey Meeker, DVM, PhD, DACLAM, Director, Rodent Clinical Medicine and Investigator Training, ULAR Assistant Professor Clinical, VPM

Dr. Meeker joined the faculty of ULAR in 2019. She completed a training program in laboratory animal medicine and received a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington, Seattle in 2015. She currently serves on the OSU Radiation Safety Committee and is the Chair of the IACUC Veterinary Subcommittee. Dr. Meeker is a member of AALAS, CLATR, ASLAP, AVMA and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She serves on the OSU IACUC. Dr. Meeker is a clinical veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Director for Rodent Clinical Medicine and Investigator Training (ULAR) provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Programmatic Information

Didactic Training

Trainees will participate in a weekly two-hour clinical seminar series (VPM 8850 series) which will follow the Laboratory Animal Medicine, 3rd edition by Fox et al., the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Good Laboratory Practices for Nonclinical Laboratory Studies (21 CFR Part 58), the Animal Welfare Act, USDA Policy Manual, The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching, Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Research Animals, Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, Strategies that influence cost containment in animal research facilities by NRC, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Guidebook, and other applicable references as listed in the Recommended ACLAM Board Preparation Materials. (Total contact hours: 198) In addition, Trainees are required to attend weekly Journal club (VPM 8895.01) which will discuss current articles and methodologies that are utilized in biomedical research (Total contact hours: 99). The research journal club is open to Trainees in other professional and graduate programs to encourage lively discussion of the material. Trainees will attend weekly Clinical rounds with the faculty veterinarians and Laboratory Animal Health Technicians (LAHT), monthly IACUC meetings, AALAS continuing education seminar and bi-weekly LAHT continuing education. Formal class work which is required of the Trainees includes PUBHBIO (Graduate Statistics, 30 contact hours), VCS 8781 (Grantsmanship, 11 contact hours), VPM 8891 (Graduate Seminar, 33 contact hours). The formal didactic training therefore is a total of 371 hours. Trainees who enter the program with a research degree and publication may be exempted from some required coursework upon consultation with the Program Director.

Supervised Practice of Laboratory Animal Medicine

Trainees will participate in all facets of clinical medicine at OSU during the course of their clinical rotations (2000 hours minimum). Examples of the species covered during the clinical rotation include mice, rats, dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, birds (includes poultry), pigs, sheep, ponies, horses, cattle, and various other "exotic" species such as bats, snakes, raccoons, opossums and turtles. In addition to working with the ACLAM veterinarians, Trainees will interact with LAHT's, Facility Team Leaders, Building Leaders, and animal care technicians in the animal facilities. During the time spent in the Quality Assurance Laboratory and Experimental Surgical Core, Trainees will interact with technicians in those respective areas. The clinical medicine rotation will provide experience in species specific medicine (diagnosis, treatment, preventive medicine), investigator interaction (training, IACUC protocol development, model development, trouble shooting), IACUC functions (protocol review, semi-annual inspection, reporting requirements), and management of the animal care program (personnel issues, SOPs, facility design, occupational health, biohazard management).

Mentored Research Experience

Trainees will spend a minimum of 12 months in selected laboratories for a mentored research experience. Selection of the research laboratory will be done by mutual consent of the Research Mentor (investigator), the Trainee, and the Program Director. The research project must include work with laboratory animals, be reasonable to complete within the expected timeline, and result in a first-author manuscript for the Trainee. Research laboratories include, but are not restricted to, faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine, Cancer Center and the College of Medicine and Public Health. Research mentors must have an active, externally-funded research program with a good publication record in research utilizing animals. Trainees may elect to complete a clinical research project under the direction of one of the ACLAM certified Veterinarians with the approval of the Residency Training Committee.

The Trainee is expected to perform the research project independently within the framework of her/his peers in the laboratory/clinic. This includes critical review of the literature, experimental design, collection and analysis of data and preparation of a manuscript. Trainees will spend at least 95% of their time performing research during the research rotations. In order to obtain certification for completion of the training program a manuscript must be submitted to the Program Director containing original research for peer review. A public seminar must be given to present the research results.

How to Apply

OSU participates in the match program via the VIRMP (www.virmp.org). The application submission process begins in October of each year and closes for laboratory animal programs in November. Applicants should be aware that the deadline for submission for consideration in laboratory animal is earlier than the posted December deadline for most programs. Applicants should check the VIRMP or ASLAP websites (www.ASLAP.org) for exact dates every year. Applications submitted past the deadline may not be considered.

Questions about this process or the OSU program may be directed to:

Dr. Judy Hickman-Davis
Professor-Clinical, Veterinary Preventive Medicine
Director, Quality Assurance Laboratory
University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR)
The Ohio State University
400 West 12th Avenue
Room 111 Wiseman Hall
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 688-4880
Fax: (614) 292-9282
lamresidency@osu.edu

Applicants must have a DVM or certification from the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Board certification in at least one of the United States is required. GRE scores are requested if available. Salary stipend is competitive.

The Ohio State University is an Equal opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.