Experiential Learning

Supervised experiences will be split into multiple clinical rotations. The resident will rotate through these rotations during the 1st and 3rd year of the program. The aims of these rotations are for the trainee to:

  • Prevent, control, diagnose, and treat diseases of laboratory animals
  • Recognize and minimize pain and distress
  • Develop enrichment programs for various species
  • Provide veterinary services to support research including surgical models
  • Perform and manage animal husbandry
  • Consult with investigators on protocol development and selection of animal models
  • Provide necessary investigator and personnel training
  • Understand the regulatory role of the Attending Veterinarian by reviewing  IACUC protocols, attending IACUC meetings/semi-annual inspections and IBC meetings

Small Animal Biology, Biosecurity, Medicine, and Surgery Rotation

 

This rotation focuses on the biology, biosecurity, medicine, and surgery of the following small animal species: mouse, rat, hamster, guinea pig, and birds. The trainee should become adept in handling these species as well as in the different methods of substance administration and sample collection. The trainee should understand their primary uses in research and become familiar with their normal biology, nomenclature and genetics. The trainee should be able to assess these animals clinically and should be sufficiently familiar with their diseases to institute proper treatment both on an individual basis as well as part of colony health management. He/she should understand the concept of preventive medicine and be familiar with zoonotic diseases associated with these laboratory animal species. The trainee should know how to properly anesthetize these species and be able to conduct routine surgical procedures. The trainee should have knowledge of their nutrition as well as husbandry requirements. He/she should understand the concept of health monitoring, importation and quarantine and biologics testing.

Large Animal Biology, Medicine, and Surgery Rotation

 

The primary focus of this rotation is the study of medicine and surgery of included species (rabbits, ferrets, pigs, dogs, sheep, and monkeys) as it relates to their use as animal models. The trainee should develop a full appreciation for the normal behavioral, physical and physiological characteristics of each species in the research facility environment, so that abnormal findings can be discerned. The trainee should acquire the basic skills required to diagnose and treat common medical conditions, and perform routine surgical procedures.

Aquatics Biology, System Maintenance, and Research Techniques Rotation

 

This rotation focuses on the biology, system maintenance, and research techniques of aquatics species housed at U of C, including Xenopus laevis, Danio rerio and a variety of fresh and saltwater fish species

Animal Facility Management and Operations Rotation

 

The primary focus of this rotation is to gain an appreciation of how animal resource programs operate from both an operations and administrative perspective.  The trainee will develop an understanding of the processes and equipment used to meet the husbandry needs of a variety of species; will perform hands-on animal care for the various species housed at the differing facilities; will work within each facility’s cage wash centers to become acquainted with the various types of automated equipment utilized, their function, and their routine use and maintenance; review standard operating procedures (SOPs) to gain insight into the operating principles institutions employ to limit cross contamination and in cases of disease outbreaks, special procedures employed for containment; how specialized rodent models are maintained; will work alongside key management and administrative personnel to develop an understanding of their job roles and responsibilities; be exposed to cost accounting principles, budgeting, and recharge systems; and understand how information sciences are employed to manage animal resource program activities.  The trainee will also gain insight into the development and operation of an occupational health and safety program to protect animal care and research staff.  Be familiar with the regulations pertaining to the handling and disposal of regulated medical waste as well as understand the principles and conduct of an environmental health program. Two weeks of this rotation will involve in-depth experience in the mouse gnotobiotics animal facility.

Regulatory Compliance Rotation

 

This rotation focuses on all aspects of the IACUC and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) process that you will be expected to perform as a lab animal vet. These activities occur throughout the 3-year residency program. The trainee will become familiar with performing veterinary pre-review of IACUC protocols, attending monthly IACUC full committee meetings, and participating in post-approval monitoring and semi-annual inspections. Finally, the resident will attend monthly IBC meetings and yearly annual select agent and biosafety training.

Offices of Shared Research Facilities and Research Safety Rotation

 

The purpose of this rotation is to expose the trainee to the various technologies and services provided through research core facilities on campus. Core Facilities that may be included in the rotation include:

  • Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource
  • Animal Microsurgery Core
  • Rodent Behavioral Core
  • Transgenics and Embryonic Stem Cell Facility
  • Human Tissue Resource Center
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility
  • Functional Genomics
  • Advanced Electron Microscopy
  • Integrated Light Microscopy
  • Cytometry and Antibody Technology Facility
  • Organoid and Primary Culture Research Core
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiation, and Laser Research Safety

Industry Experience

  • Second year residents act as a veterinary consultant for a local Contact Research Organization (CRO)
  • Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) Standards taught during laboratory animal didactic seminars
  • Experience with GLP studies performed on campus
  • Option of industry experience during off-campus externships, including two established sites in the Chicagoland area

Experience Training Element: 1st Year Schedule

Rotation Length
Orientation and Training 1 week
Small Animal Biology, Biosecurity, Medicine, and Surgery 11 weeks
Large Animal/Nonhuman Primate Biology, Medicine, and Surgery 12 weeks
Facilities Management & Operations: includes gnotobiotics 4 weeks
Aquatics Biology, System Maintenance, and Research Techniques 4 weeks
Large Animal/Nonhuman Primate Biology, Medicine, and Surgery 10 weeks
Small Animal Biology, Biosecurity, Medicine, and Surgery 10 weeks

Experience Training Element: 3rd Year

Schedule

Rotation Length
Large Animal/Nonhuman Primate Biology, Medicine, and Surgery 17 weeks
Small Animal Biology, Biosecurity, Medicine, and Surgery 17 weeks
Off-campus Externships 6 weeks
Offices of Shared Research Facilities & Research Safety 8 weeks
Facilities Management & Operations: includes gnotobiotics 4 weeks