Skip to main content

University of Washington Department of Comparative Medicine


The University of Washington (UW) is a top-tier, public university located in beautiful Seattle. Since 1971, the UW has received more federal research funding per year than any other American public university. Past and present UW faculty members include six Nobel Prize winners, five Lasker Award winners, and 53 members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM) is one of 12 basic science departments in the UW School of Medicine. The mission of the DCM is to advance knowledge and improve the health and welfare of humans and animals through excellent service support, biomedical research, and teaching. The DCM employs approximately 175 individuals who provide a comprehensive range of services including animal husbandry, clinical veterinary medicine, research support (i.e. transgenic and gene targeting), and diagnostic pathology and laboratory services for an AAALAC International (Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International) -accredited animal care and use program supporting over 500 principal investigators.

DCM faculty members, post-doctoral research fellows and veterinary residents (in laboratory animal medicine and pathology) also conduct basic and clinical research in a wide range of areas including the comparative aspects of infectious disease and immunology, aging, cancer biology, and genetics.

A four-week clerkship for senior veterinary students is designed to:

  1. acquaint the student with the field of laboratory animal medicine
  2. provide an opportunity to learn restraint, physical examination, administration of medications, venipuncture, anesthesia and euthanasia of laboratory animals
  3. familiarize the student with the roles and opportunities of the veterinarian in biomedical research as a member of a multidisciplinary research team
  4. provide experience at anatomic pathology and the correlation of clinical findings with gross and microscopic changes
  5. acquaint the student with the regulations which govern the humane care of laboratory animals


Associated Veterinarians and special expertise available

Selected Participating Veterinarians
  • Thea Brabb, DVM, PhD, DACLAM
  • Renee Hukkanen, DVM, MS, DACVP
  • Brian Iritani, DVM, PhD
  • H. Denny Liggitt, DVM, PhD, DACVP
  • Annie Minard, DVM, MS, DACLAM
  • Robert Murnane, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP
  • Lillian Price, VMD, PhD
  • George Sanders, DVM, MS
  • Sally Thompson, DVM, PhD
  • Piper Treuting, DVM, MS DACVP
  • Ida Washington, DVM, PhD
  • Benjamin Weigler, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACLAM

Educational Resources

Students have access to the University of Washington libraries, laboratory animal texts and journals, CMED courses, clinical and pathology rounds, and ACLAM laboratory animal medicine training CDs. Students will be provided with computer access.


The clerkship program is typically customized to fit student interests, and includes participation in veterinary clinics and surgery, necropsy and histopathology services, transgenic resources, rodent health monitoring, and classroom instruction offered through the Department of Comparative Medicine. Also included are rotations through the Washington National Primate Research Center (WNPRC), visits to a local biotechnology company and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), and a presentation of a clinical or research seminar to the Department.

Student Supervision

Students have access to one or more veterinarians a minimum of 40 hours per week, Monday through Friday. Additionally, on-call veterinarians are available on after-hours and on weekends.


None reported.

Practice Information

Brian Iritani, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Cecil Mancebo
Assistant to the Chair

Department of Comparative Medicine
School of Medicine
University of Washington
Box 357190
Seattle, WA 98195-7190

Ph: (206) 543-8047
Fax: (206) 685-3006


Updated: 8/7/09
Signature on file: Dr. Brian Iritani


Seattle, WA
Elective categories: