New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Laboratory Animal Medicine

Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine (LAM)

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

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.

ULAR cares for its animals

Our faculty veterinarians are experts in the needs and health care for a wide variety of animal species, including rodents (mice and rats), non-human primates, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, birds and amphibians.

A total of eleven 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. All of our veterinary specialists are boarded by their specialty colleges, either ACLAM (9 veterinarians) or ACVP (2 veterinarians).

Oversight for Penn’s rodent diagnostic services and biosecurity mission is overseen by a dedicated veterinary pathologist, and our second veterinary pathologist provides necropsy and histopathology services for all research animals.

Training veterinary students to care

For these institutional service roles, all ULAR veterinarians receive faculty support through the Department of Pathobiology and directly report through the Executive Director of ULAR & Associate Vice Provost for Research to the Senior Vice Provost for Research/Institutional Official. 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, ULAR 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.

Our team of talented veterinary technicians, under the supervision of the Director for Veterinary Care and the Veterinary Technician Manager, assist the animal research community 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 and Residents: Faculty and staff from our group teach veterinary students about laboratory animal biology, medicine, and diseases by providing didactic courses in the Veterinary School. Learn more about training for students and residents...

3. 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.


Laboratory Animal Medicine - Residents

Alyssa ChalminAlyssa Chalmin, VMD

Alyssa completed her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Johns Hopkins University and graduated from Penn Vet in 2023. Her interests include translational medicine, neurobehavior, and anesthesia.

Dr. Kristen EssanasonKristen Esannason, DVM

Dr. Esannason graduated from Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2022. She has worked with all common laboratory animal species throughout her time in veterinary school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Cornell University, Emory University, NIH, and Cornell Weil Medical School.

She is interested in nonhuman primate medicine, animal welfare, behavior and pathology.

Dr. Jeffrey FrankelJeffrey S. Frankel, VMD  

Dr. Frankel graduated from Penn Vet in 2021. He received a BA in Biological Anthropology from Northwestern University in 2017. He is currently completing his residency in laboratory animal medicine at Penn.

His interests include nonhuman primate medicine; dermatology; analgesia; cytopathology; and safety pharmacology and toxicology.

Dr. Alessandro LamacchiaAlessandro P. Lamacchia, VMD

Dr. Lamacchia is a 2022 graduate of Penn Vet.

He is interested in laboratory animal behavior, welfare, and enrichment. 

imani-nicolis-smImani Nicolis, DVM

Dr. Nicolis is a 2020 graduate of Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. She completed a specialty internship in laboratory animal medicine and surgery at Tufts University prior to her residency training.

She is interested in novel therapeutics for infectious disease and public health epidemiology.   


Sheridan O'ConnorSheridan O'Connor, DVM

Sheridan graduated from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in May 2023. She received her BS in Biology from Boston College in 2018. She has worked with rodent, swine, and non-human primate animal models in her past research experiences. She is looking forward to exploring new research interests and developing her clinical reasoning skills as a new veterinarian.

Contact Laboratory Animal Medicine

Director's Office
215.898.2433 (office phone)
215.573.9999 (office fax)

University of Pennsylvania
University Laboratory Animal Resources
3800 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104