The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, and the Weill Cornell Medical College are seeking federal funding to support three trainees in their Tri-Institutional Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine and Science (TTP-LAMS). The training program structure and the research environment and facilities utilized for training are unique and unparalleled. Trainees are mentored by highly experienced TTP-LAMS program faculty including board-certified laboratory animal veterinarians (6) and comparative pathologists (3), as well as specialists in biomedical imaging, vivarium operations and administration, regulatory affairs, monoclonal antibody production, and gene-targeting. Trainees are exposed to world-class faculty conducting biomedical research in diverse scientific disciplines. The tri-institutional faculty is among the most distinguished medicl and biomedical scientists in the world. The three institutions are the home for more than 37 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 8 Nobel laureates receiving more than 900 NIH awards totalling ~$ 300 M annually. Training is conducted within 14 state-of-the-art tri- institutional vivaria in which an average daily census of greater than 300,000 animals representing 14 species is maintained. The multi-disciplinary Laboratory of Comparative Pathology, providing anatomic and clinical pathology services, and various research core facilities are at the disposal of the trainee. The 3-year TTP- LAMS program is divided into two principal components: experiential and didactic. The experiential component is divided into two principal areas: Clinical, Management, and Administrative Training (CMAT) and independent Research Training. CMAT introduces trainees to all aspects of academic animal resource program management and operations as well as the clinical care and research utilization of laboratory animal species. There are nine CMAT rotations of varying lengths completed during 93 weeks. Research training (63 weeks) provides trainees the opportunity to apply the scientific method to a basic or clinical research project and to develop an appreciation for the process of scientific discovery. Didactic training includes the completion of graduate level courses offered by the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, attending various program sessions including weekly a clinical and pathology conference and a laboratory animal medicine and science seminar series (providing ~ 230 h total contact time), as well as biweekly biosecurity case conferences and journal club.
Laboratory animals are vital to basic and translational biomedical research activities in the United States. The discoveries made utilizing laboratory animals in numerous scientific disciplines have resulted in countless and far-reaching improvements to human as well as animal health and welfare. Laboratory animal veterinarians serve as stewards for this critical resource providing the necessary expertise to ensure the animals'health and well-being. Training in laboratory animal medicine is cursory, at best, in America's colleges and schools of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians seeking expertise in this discipline generally complete post- graduate specialty training at an academic, government or pharmaceutical biomedical research center in which laboratory animals are used in support of the research enterprise. This award will allow the tri-institutional consortium, consisting of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, and the Weill Cornell Medical College to provide post- graduate specialty training in laboratory animal medicine to three veterinarians.
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