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Laboratory Animal Medicine

Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency

The Laboratory Animal Medicine Program within the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Office of Research at The Ohio State University 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 2 or 3 years in the program depending on admissions to the Masters program. 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 participate in the veterinary pathology lab animal courses as well as be exposed to a very diverse and vigorous research community. Optional rotations (two-four weeks) will be available for residents to gain experience and exposure to primate research at Nationwide Columbus Children's Hospital or GLP/contract research at Battelle Memorial Institute. Columbus Ohio is a large metropolitan area providing a wide variety of cultural opportunities and 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 and optional offsite locations. The majority of the clinical rotations will occur 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 Suite, and the Comparative Pathology & Mouse Phenotyping Shared Resources.

The research component will have the expectation that a primary author publication will result from this experience. Trainees accepted to the program who already meet the publication requirement for ACLAM may discuss other options during this timeframe. Trainees will be encouraged to present an abstract at the National AALAS meeting and attend the Charles River short course/Camp ACLAM 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

The animal facilities at The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) encompass 17 separate buildings with 200,000 square feet of animal space. A majority of the facilities are supported by the University of Laboratory Resources (ULAR) which are fully accredited by AAALAC International. The range of species is extremely diverse including mice (many genetically engineered 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 639 active animal protocols and over 335 principal investigators conducting animal research at OSU.


Valerie Bergdall, DVM, DACLAM
Director, University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR)
Professor-Clinical, Veterinary Preventative Medicine (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 serves on the ASLAP Veterinary Student Liaison Committee. She currently serves on the NCRR/NIH scientific review group and is a co-investigator on an NIH grant investigating wound healing. Dr. Bergdall provides fiscal, clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Dondrae Coble, DVM, DACLAM
Assistant Professor Clinical VPM
Dr. Coble joined the faculty of ULAR in 2011. He completed a small animal medicine and surgery internship prior to practicing veterinary emergency medicine for several years. He completed residency training in laboratory animal medicine at Emory University and a nonhuman primate clinical medicine residency at Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Dr. Coble obtained ACLAM board certification in 2011. He currently serves on the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee, IACUC, and the ASLAP Program Committee. Dr. Coble is a member of AALAS, ACLAD, ASLAP, ASP, and APV. Dr. Coble is a Clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Carrie Freed, DVM, MLAS, DACLAM
Director, Rodent Clinical Medicine ULAR
Assistant 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 ASLAP and AALAS, serves on the IACUC, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and is a BSL3 Veterinarian at OSU. Dr. Freed is a Clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Director of Rodent Clinical Medicine 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
Assistant Professor-Clinical, VPM

Dr. Hickman-Davis joined the faculty of ULAR in 2006. She completed a training program in lab animal medicine and received a PhD in Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1998. She is a member of ASLAP and AALAS, serves on the IACUC, Radiation Safety Committee, BSL3 Advisory Committee, and the Institutional Biosafety Committee at OSU. Dr. Hickman-Davis is a Clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Training Program Director provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

Stephanie Lewis, DVM, MS, DACLAM
Director, Experimental Surgery ULAR
Director, Large Animal Clinical Medicine ULAR
Assistant Professor-Clinical, VPM

Dr. Lewis joined the faculty of ULAR in 2007. She completed a training program in lab animal medicine and received a Master's of Science in Immunology at Louisiana State University in 2007. She is a member of ASLAP and AALAS, She serves as ASLAP Faculty Liaison, serves on the IACUC at OSU and at the Veterinary Institute at Bradford. Dr. Lewis is a Clinical Veterinarian for OSU facilities and as the Director of Large Animal Clinical Medicine provides clinical and didactic support for the Laboratory Animal Residency Program.

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

Dr. Davis joined the faculty at OSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. He is a member of the AALAS, American Physiological Society, American Thoracic Society and the American Society of Virologists. Dr. Davis completed a Laboratory Animal Residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2000 and is American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine Board Eligible. Dr. Davis helps coordinate the research portion of the training program and has served as a research mentor for the trainees.

Programmatic Information

Didactic Training

Trainees will participate in a weekly two-hour clinical seminar series which will follow the Laboratory Animal Medicine, 2nd edition text 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: 192) In addition, trainees are required to attend weekly Journal club (Total contact hours: 96) and Clinical rounds with the veterinarians and Laboratory Animal Health Technicians (LAHT), monthly Laboratory Animal Pathology rounds, IACUC meetings, AALAS continuing education seminar and LAHT Medicine seminar. Formal class work which is required of the trainees includes IBGP 805 (Research Technique course, 24 contact hours), VBS696 (Veterinary Laboratory Animal Pathology, 24 contact hours), VM800 (Research Methods, 36 contact hours). The formal didactic training therefore is a total of 372 hours. Trainees who enter the program with a research degree and publication may be exempted from the IBGP 805, VBS 696, and VM800 course work if comparable graduate coursework has already been completed.

Supervised Practice of Laboratory Animal Medicine

Trainees will be participating in all facets of clinical medicine at The Ohio State University during the course of their clinical rotation (2000 hours minimum). The species covered during the clinical rotation will include mice, rats, dogs, cats, primates, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, calves, and various other "exotic" species such as bats, snakes, raccoons, opossums and turtles. In addition to working with the ACLAM veterinarians, the trainees will interact with the other clinical veterinarians, LAHT's, Facilities Managers and staff in the animal facilities. During the time spent in the Quality Assurance Laboratory, Comparative Pathology & Mouse Phenotyping Shared Resource and Experimental Surgical Suite the trainees will interact with the technicians in those respective areas. The majority of time in clinical medicine will be spent at the main OSU campus and will be at least 11 months in duration. Rotations through the other two optional sites (Battelle Memorial Institute and Nationwide Columbus Children's Hospital) will be scheduled based on availability of clinical experiences and supervisory oversight. The rotation will provide experience in species specific medicine (diagnosis, treatment, preventive medicine programs, clinical & anatomical pathology), 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, GLP requirements).

Mentored Research Experience

Trainees are required to spend a minimum of 12 months in selected laboratories for a mentored research experience. They are strongly encouraged, but not required, to extend their 12 month research experience by completing a Master's thesis. Selection of the 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 have the potential to result in a first-author manuscript for the trainee. Research laboratories include, but are not restricted to, faculty participating in the T35 and T32 training grants of both the College of Veterinary Medicine 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. Alternatively 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 doing research during the 12 month research rotation. 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 and a public seminar be given to present the research results. In addition to the laboratory experience, trainees will participate in a research journal club led by faculty members which will discuss current articles and methodologies that are utilized in biomedical research. The research journal club is open to trainees in other professional and graduate programs as well in order to encourage lively discussion of the material.

How to Apply

Beginning October 15, 2015, OSU will be an available institution on the VIRMP website

Dr. Judy Hickman-Davis
Assistant 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

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 preferred. 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.