Veterinarians who possess an advanced education in laboratory animal medicine are uniquely qualified to play pivotal roles conducting and supporting animal-based biomedical research in academia, government and industry. These roles include maintenance of laboratory animal health;animal resource operation and management;delivery of expert advice regarding animal models;regulatory compliance;collaborative research support, and focused research as a principal investigator. Individual veterinarians may perform some or all of these various roles at their perspective programs. The educational research program in laboratory animal medicine at Stanford is quite "young," having started in 2006, but has produced four (4) board eligible veterinarians to date. Of those, one (1) attained ACLAM certification in 2009, two (2) will take the certification exam in 2011 and one (1) in 2012. The training program for this application, which will be described later in detail, is supported by and administered by through Stanford's Veterinary Service Center (VSC) and currently trains approximately one (1) veterinarian per year, each participating in a three year postdoctoral training program. The faculty who direct and participate in the program, the administrative, animal holding and laboratory facilities, the varied research programs, the diverse housed species and an effective animal care and use program are already in place. The program is now well positioned to readily accommodate an additional three (3) participants. This training program provides clinical, resource management and research training to veterinarians who wish to pursue a career as laboratory animal veterinarians in research. Strengths of the program include a mentored research component leading to at least one first author publication in a peer-reviewed journal, intensive clinical exposure to a broad range of animal research models, in-depth training in anatomic, histological and clinical pathology, and didactic preparation for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) certification exam. The program is approved by the ACLAM Training Program Oversight Committee, and accepts applications via the newly-adopted Universal Application Process. It provides an educational experience that corresponds closely with the current R25 FOA. Of the four (4) veterinarians that have completed the training program, all have published first-author research papers and presented at national conferences, and all are currently employed full time in research support: three (3) at academic institutions and one (1) in industry. The success of the Stanford program has resulted in a rapid rise in the number of qualified applicants for the program. In 2010, seventeen candidates applied for two (2) positions that will begin in the summer of 2011.
There is currently a national shortage of laboratory animal veterinarians. Laboratory animal veterinarians play a critical role in research related to animal and human health. The goal of this project is to provide research education to laboratory animal veterinarians during the course of their residency and prepare them to perform collaborative research and support research activities.