This application is submitted by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to request funding to train additional veterinarians in laboratory animal medicine and translational research. UIC has an existing training program that graduates one laboratory animal veterinarian per year. This proposal will increase the number of trainees admitted to the program, resulting in an increased number of highly-trained laboratory animal veterinarians to support collaborative biomedical research programs. There are two facets of the training program, clinical training and research training. The clinical training portion takes place at the institution's core animal facility, the Biologic Resources Laboratory, which houses the majority of animals used on campus. The animal care and use program is large and complex, encompassing over 131,000 sq. ft. of space and housing over 91,000 animals, including a daily census of approximately 300 nonhuman primates. The translational research training component occurs at UIC's Institute for Personalized Respiratory Medicine, a large research program staffed by over 40 scientists, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and research technicians with almost 20 years experience training future scientists. The described program has the breadth and scope in both clinical veterinary medicine and translational research to provide an intensive and extensive level of training and increase the number of veterinarians available to support biomedical research.
The purpose of the training program in laboratory animal medicine is to prepare veterinarians to support translational research in an academic setting. Given the nature of their training, laboratory animal veterinarians complement the effort to translate basic research quickly and efficiently into medical practice and thus, expand the positive impact on public health. The UIC program provides optimal training to graduates in the concepts, practice, and management of laboratory animal and biomedical research programs.