Training encompasses two years and prepares residents for certification by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM). Successful completion of the program is recognized by a certificate from the Yale School of Medicine.
Seminars provide more than 200 hours covering the biology, care, diseases and use of laboratory animal species, including:
- Mice and Rats
- Other Rodents
- Non-human Primates
- Other Species
- Diagnostic Laboratory Procedures
- Animal Resource Administration
- Regulatory Training
Diagnostic Laboratory Training
Anatomic and Clinical Pathology
Trainees serve as laboratory diagnosticians, for gross and microscopic pathology under the supervision of faculty pathologists. They carry assigned cases through laboratory diagnosis and present diagnostic findings at the weekly clinicopathologic conference.
Additionally, the pathologists conduct weekly pathology slide sessions to help trainees prepare for the practical portion of the ACLAM board examination.
Clinical pathology training includes hands-on experience in microbiology, parasitology, virology, serology, molecular diagnostics and clinical chemistry. Trainees learn principles of serological and molecular diagnosis and perform and interpret diagnostic tests such as immunofluorescence assays, enzyme immunoassays and PCR.
Discussions with faculty and staff emphasize quality control and factors that can produce false-positive or false-negative results.
Trainees are introduced to the concepts and methods of producing genetically engineered mice, antibody production and other aspects of animal-related biotechnology.
Residents serve as primary clinicians for therapeutic and preventive medicine under the guidance of ACLAM-certified faculty clinicians. In doing so they apply and extend didactic training with hands-on experience of more than 2,000 hours in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease in laboratory species.
Additionally, they gain experience in research-related activities such as experimental surgery and post-operative care, and develop skills for communicating with investigators about animal care and use.
Their clinical experience is enhanced by daily case reviews, weekly clinicians’ meetings and weekly clinicopathologic conferences. These meetings also provide continuing exposure to clinical cases during research training.
In addition to regulatory seminars, residents attend monthly IACUC meetings. They also gain mentored, practical experience and instruction in review and critique of animal use protocols.
Six to nine months is allotted for independent research. Residents choose a research mentor early in the second year, and designs and performs hypothesis-driven research on a topic relevant to laboratory animal science or comparative medicine.
Bi-weekly research-in-progress (RIP) seminars are attended by all faculty, trainees, research fellows and staff. Trainees and faculty present and discuss research proposals and results from ongoing research.
Additionally, a semi-monthly writing seminar hones skills essential for the preparation of research applications, manuscripts and visual aids for oral presentations.
In addition to the dedicated six-month research period, residents are encouraged to pursue clinical research during their rotations.