The goal of this Research Education grant from the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is to increase the number of veterinarians (Participants) trained to provide veterinary care for research animals, to perform collaborative research and to lead programs of animal care and use. Penn's premier biomedical research environment with Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, strong group of academic laboratory animal veterinarians and outstanding translational research programs makes it an ideal program for this research education. Our PI/PD and other group members form the faculty of the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine in the Department of Pathobiology in Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine and are fully-functioning academic role models in addition to providing veterinary and husbandry care and regulatory support. Our administrative service group, University Laboratory Animal Resources reports to the Vice Provost for Research and provides services to 582 PIs with approximately 1,874 active IACUC protocols utilizing a daily census of more than 150,000 animals of more than 20 diverse species housed in more than 240,000 square feet of vivarial space. Veterinary Participants will gain knowledge through lectures and other structured didactic activities and hands-on experience in the use, biology, care and diseases of multiple large and small animal species of animals used for experimentation. Participants receive 1 year of mentored research training in selected laboratories designing and performing research using translational animal models under the guidance of highly successful scientists. Veterinarians completing this program will qualify to sit for certification by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). In addition to varied clinical medical rotations, specific additional rotations have been designed to educate Participants in administration of laboratory animal resource programs, facility management and regulatory support. The strengths of this application are: (1) a proven leadership team with extensive experience in laboratory animal medicine, resident training, research and directing major academic biomedical vivarial service programs;(2) sixteen outstanding Co-investigator Research Mentors with varied opportunities for veterinarians in translational research;(3) large and diverse colonies of research animals including many large animal models;(4) a proven, mentored training process which supports veterinarians during laboratory animal and research training;(5) experienced supplemental trainers in vivarial business and husbandry services;(6) training in diagnostic services and the pathology of laboratory animals from experts (7) training and experience in presentation skills and public speaking and (8) five additional diverse ACLAM- and ACVIM certified veterinarians to provide individualized side-by-side training in clinical laboratory animal medicine. We request funding to train 3 additional veterinarians in the upcoming 5 years.
Veterinarians will be trained using funds from the R25 grant in laboratory animal medicine, research and the skills needed to lead an animal use program. These veterinary specialists will contribute to public health by ensuring the health and welfare of research animals, by ensuring that healthy animals provide optimal scientific data and by performing translational research using animals.
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