City of Hope/Beckman Research Inst and Univ of Southern California

Institution TypeNon-Profit Research Institute
Is there a medical school?Yes
Is this a land-grant institution?No
Vivarium DirectorRichard Ermel (COH/BRI)/Donald Casebolt (USC)
Program DirectorRichard Ermel (COH/BRI)/Donald Casebolt (USC)
Who to ContactRichard Ermel (COH/BRI)/Donald Casebolt (USC)
AddressCity of Hope/Beckman Research Institute, Division of Comparative Medicine , 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA, 91010-3000 
Phone(626) 301-8270
Fax(626) 301-8804

Vivarium Information

Vivarium NameDivision of Comparative Medicine (COH/BRI)/Dept Animal Resources (USC)
Is the facility AAALAC accredited?Yes
Describe management structure2-5 Administratively distinct vivaria
Describe the extent to which your facilities are centralizedAnimals housed in 2-5 separate locations
Vivarium Square Feet100,000
Summarize the nature of the animal population and the predominant types of clinical activities

The Residency and Graduate Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine provides clinical services and veterinary care to the centrally administered support service for animal research and teaching programs at the City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute (COH/BRI) Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) Animal Resources Center (ARC) and University of California (USC) Department of Animal Resources (DAR) animal facilities.

The COH/BRI animal care and use program supports approximately 75 principal investigators and over 220 approved protocols involving the use of animals.
The major types of studies include:
Cancer research (mice, rats, and rabbits)
Diabetes and metabolism (mice and rats)
Transgenics, knock-outs, and gene therapy (mice)
Immunology (antibody production in mice and rabbits)
Molecular biochemistry and genetics (mice, rabbits, and chickens)
Radiation research (mice and rats)
Neuroscience (mice and rats)
Stem Cell Biology (mice)

The USC animal care and use program supports 264 principal investigators with approximately 760 approved protocols involving the use of animals. Research and teaching programs include the following disciplines:
Cancer and cancer therapeutics (mice and rats)
Cardiovascular disease and surgery (mice, rats, and swine)
Diabetes (mice, rats, and dogs)
Alcoholism (mice and rats)
Ophthalmology (mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, and nonhuman primates)
Genetics and gene therapy (mice and rats)
Immunology (mice and rats)
Biochemistry and metabolism (mice, rats, and birds)
Neuroscience and behavior (mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, amphibians, reptiles, and birds)
Gerontology (mice and rats)
Craniofacial development and molecular biology (mice and rats)
Pharmacology (mice, rats, rabbits, and amphibians)
Exercise physiology (mice and rats)
Gastrointestinal surgery (mice, rats, and swine)
Physical therapy (mice, rats, and rabbits)
Orthopedic surgery (mice, rats, and rabbits)
Obstetrics and gynecology (mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and swine)
Medical devices and laparascopic surgery (swine)
Vascular surgery devices (swine)
Advanced trauma life support (swine)
Marine biology (fish)

Number of Veterinarians in program7
Number of ACLAM Diplomates in program5
Number of Boarded Pathologists1
Number of Other Boarded Veterinary Specialists0
Number of necropsies/week in the veterinary unit40
Number of surgical cases/week in the veterinary unit2

Training Program Details

Is this program recognized by ACLAM?Yes
Does this program participate in the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program (VIRMP)?No
Number of concurrent residents4
How many residents/trainees have completed this program?6
Of these, how many have subsequently become ACLAM Diplomates?4
In what year did the program accept its first trainee?2003
How many years are required to complete this program (residency only)?3
Is formal coursework offered?Yes
Is a degree program associated with this residency?Yes
If yes, what degree(s)?PhD
Which departments most commonly grant degree(s)?COH/BRI Graduate School of Biological Sciences
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 City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute (COH/BRI) Graduate School of Biological Sciences and the Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) Animal Resources Center (ARC) in conjunction with the University of Southern California (USC) Department of Animal Resources (DAR) offer the COH/BRI and USC Residency and Graduate Training Program in Laboratory Animal Medicine. The 3-year residency training component (primarily at USC - laboratory animal medicine resident) and 5-year combined residency and graduate training component (primarily at COH/BRI - laboratory animal medicine fellow) are designed to support preparation toward American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) board certification and to prepare individuals for research careers in the biomedical sciences and comparative medicine research.

Residency training includes clinical laboratory animal medicine, laboratory animal resources and facilities management, comparative and diagnostic laboratory animal pathology, and methods and practice of biomedical research. Laboratory animal medicine residents/fellows are centered in the DAR/DCM and scheduled primary clinical rotations through the COH/BRI and USC animal facilities. Graduate training consists of a combination of graduate course work, laboratory rotations, seminars, journal club, and scholarly research leading to the PhD in Biological Sciences. Graduate work is administered through the COH/BRI Graduate School of Biological Sciences and provides ample opportunities for specific training in the development of biomedical models and research methodology as well as in other areas important for ACLAM board certification. The training program also includes a full spectrum of clinical rounds, seminars, and special projects pertaining to laboratory animal medicine. Potential candidates must have a DVM/VMD or equivalent degree.

Describe any unique research interests of your faculty

The City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute, an innovative biomedical research, treatment, and educational institution, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases, guided by a compassionate patient-centered philosophy and supported by a national foundation of humanitarian philanthropy.

The City of Hope (National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center) is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics, and one of the world’s leading research and treatment centers for cancer and other life-threatening diseases, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The City of Hope Graduate School of Biological Sciences grants a PhD degree in Biological Sciences with emphasis in chemical, molecular, and cellular biology. Research being conducted spans the range from the most fundamental studies of molecular structure through patient care and treatment.

City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute is one of the nation's premier centers for pioneering biomedical research. Founded in 1951, it was endowed by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in 1983 and renamed the Beckman Research Institute-the first of only five Beckman institutes in the United States.
The mission of City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute is to support innovative and creative research and to educate future scientists in the biological sciences. The collegial atmosphere and close interaction between Beckman scientists and City of Hope physicians provides unique opportunities for translational research. In this stimulating environment, basic science may be quickly developed into life-saving treatments or cures.

Beckman scientists undertake fundamental investigations in molecular genetics and cellular biology. They study normal and abnormal biological processes, including mutagenesis and DNA repair, cell differentiation and early development, inter- and intracellular signaling, RNA processing, and genome structure. Scientists at the Beckman Research Institute have achieved major advances in recombinant DNA technology, monoclonal antibodies, gene therapy, and radioimmunotherapy.

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

1) Role of Ceacam1 in VEGF induced vasculogenesis of murine embryonic stem cell-derived embryoid bodies in 3D culture. Gu A, Tsark W, Holmes KV, Shively JE. Exp Cell Res. 2009 Jun 10;315(10):1668-82.

2) TGF-â activates Akt kinase through a microRNA-dependent amplifying circuit targeting PTEN. Kato M, Putta S, Wang M, Yuan H, Lanting L, Nair I, Gunn A, Nakagawa Y, Shimano H, Todorov I, Rossi JJ, Natarajan R. Nature Cell Biology, 2009 Jun; 11(7): 881-889.

3) Effects of Cholesterol tagged small interfering RNAs targeting 12/15-lipoxygenase on parameters of diabetic nephropathy in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes. Yuan H, Lanting L, Xu ZG, Li SL, Swiderski P, Putta S, Jonnalagadda M, Kato M, Natarajan R. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2008 Aug; 295(2):F605-17.

Where will vacancies be advertised?JAVMA; ASLAP; ACLAM
What month does the program begin?July

Living and Working

Starting Annual Salary$39,264
To what extent is travel to meetings, etc. paid for?AALAS annual meeting; Charles River Short Course
Is individual health insurance provided?Yes
Is family health insurance provided?Yes
Describe any fees or tuitionTuition waived/$50 registration fee per semester
Describe the residents' responsibilities for night, weekend, and holiday coverageLaboratory Animal Medicine Fellows/Residents participate in the rotational veterinarian on-call night, weekend, and holiday coverage.
How many annual vacation days are given?21
How many annual sick days are given?10
Briefly describe the communityCity of Hope/Beckman Research Institute (COH/BRI) is located in Duarte, California, a residential community of 22,000 in the San Gabriel Valley. Duarte is just 10 miles east of Pasadena and 20 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Ideally located, the COH/BRI is close enough to take advantage of the benefits of city life, but far enough to enjoy living in a peaceful environment.

Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel mountains, Duarte is a serene community in which to live and work. Within close proximity to a variety of recreational activities, you can enjoy a day at the beach and skiing in the mountains in a single weekend. The subtropical and semi-arid climate offers year-round outdoor activity. The San Gabriel Mountains are lined with hundreds of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. An hours drive in different directions can take you to ocean beaches, snow skiing, or desert camping. As might expect, many of our students and scientists are avid outdoorsmen and several ride their bikes to work.

In this ethnically diverse region, one can explore the food and culture of peoples from different countries. Likewise, the City of Hope campus has an international, cosmopolitan atmosphere, attracting talented scientists from all over the world who feel at home here. Additionally, Southern California is home to many great universities, and City of Hope and Beckman Research Institute scientists collaborate with their colleagues at nearby institutions including Caltech, USC, and UCLA.

Living in Southern California places you at the center of local tourism and the entertainment industry, where each year millions of tourists visit Disneyland, Magic Mountain, and Universal Studios, or a major motion picture studio. Here one finds a thriving cultural center, with wonderful museums including the Getty Center, Norton Simon Museum, Huntington Library, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the California Science Center. Stand-up comedy, jazz, rock and comedy clubs are sprinkled throughout the area. Nearby Pasadena hosts the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day and exciting street life in Old Town Pasadena.

Sports fans can enjoy professional baseball (Dodgers and Angels), basketball (Lakers and Clippers), hockey (Kings and Ducks), and soccer (Galaxy). There are also outstanding collegiate sports teams.

For more information, go to:

City of Duarte
Duarte Chamber of Commerce
Pasadena Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
L.A. Insider
Institutional, facility, or training program web site