The Program in Comparative Medicine, established in 1989, studies the characterization of animal models of human disease for biomedical research and the use of such models to advance understanding of disease or biological processes.
Comparative medicine contributes to the School of Medicine by providing accredited services for laboratory animal care through Veterinary Resources, collaborative research, professional development of veterinary physicians and staff, formal training of veterinarians in residence and a resource for information and instruction on the use of laboratory animals in research.
Services We Offer
The staff of Veterinary Resources will provide technical services such as blood withdrawal, administration of anesthetics, animal transportation, etc. to support investigators in their research activities. Services may also be provided for surgery, pathology and radiology. Certain services are provided on a fee-for-service basis. Inquiries and prior arrangements for these services can be arranged by contacting our office. Through pre-research consultations, budgeting for these services can be included in research grant applications.
The program, through its faculty, has as one of its missions the provision of information and advice regarding:
- Special caging or experimental techniques.
- Selection of appropriate animal species to carry out specific animal techniques.
- Animal models of human diseases.
- Anatomical and physiological peculiarities of animals used in research.
- Techniques of anesthesia, analgesia, chemical restraint, and dosages.
- Techniques of blood and other sampling and drug or chemical administration.
- Pathological and clinical effects of intercurrent animal disease.
- Estimates of animal purchase prices and future per diem rates.
We encourage such consultations prior to the preparation of grant and contract applications.
When an investigator, research staff member, student, technician or any other person associated with institutional animal use believes an animal is abnormal, sick, in discomfort or otherwise requiring aid, a call should be placed to Veterinary Resources. A staff veterinarian will respond and take appropriate action in consultation with the investigator. It is essential that clinical calls be initiated by the investigator, student, fellow or technician at the earliest sign of the abnormality. Veterinary Resources maintains complete animal diagnostic laboratories, two aseptic surgical suites, treatment and radiographic facilities.
Veterinary Resources also performs diagnostic pathology for the purpose of identifying intercurrent disease in the animal population and to assist investigators in identifying protocol-related problems which may affect animal health and impact on successful research endeavors. Inquiries should be directed to the diagnostic laboratory. Animals should be submitted to the necropsy room on the ground floor of the MSTF Building as soon as possible after death or preferably for euthanasia. Carcasses must not be frozen; refrigerate instead. A complete description of the animal's history should be included. A preliminary diagnosis will be available following the gross examination. A final diagnosis will follow as soon as possible after histopathology, microbiology and other diagnostic procedure results are available.