Laboratory Animal Medicine

The core mission within the Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM) in the Department of Pathobiology is divided into four specific activities:

1. Veterinary Clinical, Pathology, Diagnostic Services and Regulatory Support: Pathobiology faculty and staff within University Laboratory Animal Resources (ULAR) provide veterinary and diagnostic support to investigators throughout the University of Pennsylvania. Our veterinarians and other staff are also expert in the needs and health care for a wide variety of other animal species, including non-human primates, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, birds and amphibians. A total of ten DVMs/VMDs/PhDs are responsible for the clinical veterinary care, preventative medicine and diagnostics of all research and teaching animals housed at the University of Pennsylvania. Of these, five staff veterinarians and three veterinary faculty members are focused in clinical veterinary care (of which seven are ACLAM boarded). One boarded (ACVP) staff veterinary pathologist provides necropsy and histopathology services for all research animals. A faculty scientist specialized in rodent virology is in charge of the bio-surveillance of all rodents (which comprise >95% of the case load) at the University of Pennsylvania. For this service role, both ULAR staff and Pathobiology Faculty report to the Vice Provost for Research. This is required to meet legal mandates and federal guidelines for the care and maintenance of laboratory animals. Today, ULAR employs over 200 people and oversees a daily census of over 150,000 animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish.

In addition, our faculty and staff veterinarians oversee housing and husbandry of research and teaching animals, ensure the health quality of research animals, assist in constructing and renovating vivaria and have input into regulatory affairs and protocol review for experimental animals.

A team of twelve veterinary technicians under the supervision of the Associate Director for Veterinary Care (Dr. Raimon Duran-Struuck) assist the veterinarians in the care of research animals and are available for fee-for-service assistance to scientists. These technicians have expertise in veterinary medical care and anesthesia of a wide variety of species.

2. Training of Veterinary Students: Faculty and staff from our group teach veterinary students about laboratory animal biology and diseases by providing didactic courses in the Veterinary School. Additional opportunities for veterinary students include:

a. Summer internships: We offer summer internships to first and second year veterinary students who want to learn about laboratory animals and their care. The application deadline is approximately end of January.

b. Work-study: We also offer work-study opportunities for Penn pre-veterinary students.

Please contact Dr. Jim Marx or Dr. Duran-Struuck for questions about any of these opportunities.

3. Training of Veterinary Residents: Beginning in the summer of 2006, our academic role expanded with the initiation of a three-year residency training program in laboratory animal medicine within the Department of Pathobiology. This training program meets all the criteria for recognition by the AVMA specialty organization, the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). A total of two residents per year are accepted into our very competitive program.

For more information please contact Dr. Raimon Duran-Struuck and visit:

a. American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners ttps://www.aslap.org/Search/residencies/details?id=30

b. ACLAM website: https://www.aclam.org/education-and-training/training-programs#PA

We welcome queries about residency training or short rotation opportunities for veterinary students from Penn or other veterinary schools contact Dr. Jim Marx (veterinary student opportunities) or Dr. Raimon Duran-Struuck (for residency queries).

4. Biomedical/Clinical Research and Consulting for Investigators in Animal Modeling: Our faculty and clinical veterinarians consult and advise scientists in methods to improve their experimental models and may participate in collaborative research projects. Major areas of research interest include pathogenesis of infectious disease, improvements in the anesthesia of rodents, large animals and amphibians, musculoskeletal physiology, rodent virology, improvements in research animal husbandry, veterinary care of immunodeficient small and large animals, novel cellular therapies for development of immunological tolerance and transplantation immunobiology.

Our Faculty