Institution TypeUS Government Agency
Is there a medical school?No
Is this a land-grant institution?No
Vivarium DirectorDr. Nathaniel Powell
Program DirectorNathaniel Powell, DVM, DACLAM
Who to ContactKristin Mayfield
AddressCDC, Comparative Medicine Branch, 1600 Clifton Road, H23-2, Atlanta, GA, 30333  
Phone(404) 639-1753

Vivarium Information

Vivarium NameComparative Medicine Branch
Is the facility AAALAC accredited?Yes
Describe management structure2-3 Administratively distinct vivaria
Describe the extent to which your facilities are centralizedAnimals are housed at two campuses – one centralized facility at CDC headquarters and a smaller campus in the metro Atlanta area
Vivarium Square Feet353,000 sq ft and 80 acres which includes the main campus and satellite facility
Summarize the nature of the animal population and the predominant types of clinical activities

CDC’s laboratory animals are used for infectious disease biomedical research in the broad classification categories of virology, bacteriology, mycology, immunology, and parasitology. Predominate clinical activities include scheduled physicals, surgical research support, and general veterinary procedures to ensure the health and well-being of the research animals.

Number of Veterinarians in program14 (4 senior staff, 2 pathologists, 8 residents).
Number of ACLAM Diplomates in program4
Number of Boarded Pathologists2
Number of Other Boarded Veterinary Specialists0
Number of necropsies/week in the veterinary unit2
Number of surgical cases/week in the veterinary unit3

Training Program Details

Is this program recognized by ACLAM?Yes
Does this program participate in the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program (VIRMP)?Yes
Number of concurrent residents8
How many residents/trainees have completed this program?16
Of these, how many have subsequently become ACLAM Diplomates?14
In what year did the program accept its first trainee?2008
How many years are required to complete this program (residency only)?4 total; 2 years to complete the ACLAM recognized laboratory animal medicine residency program followed by 2 years of additional clinical training and experience at the CDC.
Is formal coursework offered?Yes
Is a degree program associated with this residency?No
If yes, what degree(s)? 
Which departments most commonly grant degree(s)?N/A
Give an overview of this program, describing its particular strengths and any unique aspects that are not addressed in any of the other sections

The CDC program is unique because it is partnered with a major academic institution and specialized training in biocontainment is part of the core program. The program is best described as a stacked 2 plus 2 program. The first two years are dedicated to completing the ACLAM recognized laboratory animal medicine residency program. After completion of the residency program, individuals are required to complete an additional two years of training in which they sit for ACLAM boards, gain further biocontainment experience, and refine their clinical and leadership skills. Opportunities for external rotations at other facilities (such as CROs, NPRCs, other federal agencies, etc.) are supplementary to the regular training program and may be available with approval by the program director.

Describe any unique research interests of your faculty

Critical to the mission and organization of CDC is the Coordinating Center for Infectious Disease (CCID) and within CCID, the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). NCEZID provides national leadership in the identification, investigation, diagnosis, prevention, and control of infectious diseases. As the national infectious disease laboratory of the public health service, NCEZID conducts research in the definition, characterization, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of those infectious diseases that are considered public health priorities. NCEZID has developed expertise in detecting rare, exotic, or unusual diseases and is recognized for extensive capabilities in vector-borne diseases. NCEZID also provides reference laboratory services, laboratory surveillance, technical assistance, and epidemiological aid to states and nations throughout the world in the diagnosis, control, and prevention of infectious diseases. NCEZID internationally-recognized research scientists, physicians, veterinarians, and others are engaged in research training, and control activities that are both national and worldwide in scope. The animal care and use program in the Atlanta area is closely aligned with the NCEZID. CDC’s laboratory animals are used for infectious disease biomedical research in the broad classification categories of virology, bacteriology, mycology, immunology, and parasitology. Approximately, 108 research protocols are approved for animal research by 55 principal investigators (PIs) in two Atlanta-area locations.

Give a few literature citations of publications completed by trainees during their tenure in this program

Genzer SC, Welch SR, Scholte FEM, Harmon JR, Coleman-McCray JD, Lo MK, Montgomery JM, Nichol ST, Spiropoulou CF, Spengler JR. Alterations in Blood Chemistry Levels Associated With Nipah Virus Disease in the Syrian Hamster Model. J Infect Dis. 2020

Crystal H. Johnson, Congrong Miao, Elisabeth G. Blanchardb, Hayat Caidib, Gertrud U. Radub, Jennifer L. Harcourtb, Lia M. Haynes:
Chemokine Receptor CX3CR1 Deficiency Alters Innate Cell Recruitment Following Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

Jessica D Ayers, Paul A Rota, Marcus L Collins, and Clifton P Drew. Alternatives to Retro orbital Blood Collection in Hispid Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus)

Johnson CH, Skinner BL, Dietz SM, Blaney D, Engel RM, Lathrop GW, Hoffmaster AR, Gee JE, Elrod MG, Powell N, Walke H. Natural infection of Burkholderia pseudomallei in an imported pigtail macaque (Macaca nemestrina) and management of the exposed colony. Comp Med. 2013;63(6):528-35.

Tansey C, Zhao C, Hopkins A, Ritter JM, Fakile YF, Pillay A, Katz SS, Pereira L, Mitchell J, Deyounks F, Kersh EN, McNicholl JM, Vishwanathan SA. A Nonhuman Primate Model for Rectally Transmitted Syphilis. J Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 13;217(7):1139-1144.

Where will vacancies be advertised?Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program
What month does the program begin?Late June/ Early July

Living and Working

Starting Annual Salary$57,755 (US Government General Schedule Grade 9, Step 1 for Atlanta locality)
To what extent is travel to meetings, etc. paid for?Attendance to one National AALAS Meeting is included with the residency program. Travel to other meetings/trainings is dependent upon funding.
Is individual health insurance provided?Yes
Is family health insurance provided?Yes
Describe any fees or tuitionThere are no fees or tuition charges
Describe the residents' responsibilities for night, weekend, and holiday coverageResidents are responsible for on-call duties. An on-call roster is published and residents rotate through 2 week on-call and back-up on call duties. Senior Clinical Veterinarians are available for consultation as needed.
How many annual vacation days are given?13 and federal holidays
How many annual sick days are given?13
Briefly describe the community

CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.

Institutional, facility, or training program web site and CDC - Comparative Medicine Branch - Division of Scientific Resources

Rev. 11-23-2022