Institution TypePublic University
Is there a medical school?Yes
Is this a land-grant institution?No
Vivarium DirectorDr Debra Hickman
Program DirectorDr Robin Crisler
Who to ContactDr Robin Crisler
Address975 W. Walnut St, IB008, Indianapolis, IN  46202
Phone(317) 278-0251
Fax(317) 274-1969

Vivarium Information

Vivarium NameIndiana University School of Medicine
Is the facility AAALAC accredited?Yes
Describe management structureMore than 5 administratively distict vivaria
Describe the extent to which your facilities are centralizedAnimals housed in 5+ separate locations
Vivarium Square Feet90,000
Summarize the nature of the animal population and the predominant types of clinical activities

Please note that we will not be accepting resident applications in the 2017-2018 or 2018-2019 VIRMP cycle.

The Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) is the second largest medical school in the United States. IU SOM prepares physicians, scientists and other health care professionals in an intellectually rich environment where research forms the scientific foundation for teaching and optimal health care. IU SOM actively supports both basic and clinical research programs, with the goal of improving the health and welfare of individuals and society.

The IU SOM houses predominantly rodents, but also houses a number of other species on campus. Although no NHPs are on-site, there are opportunities to obtain NHP experience at other institutions in collaboration.

The ultimate objective of the IU SOM training program is to prepare veterinarians for careers in laboratory animal medicine through a three year Master of Science (MS) graduate student/residency program to meet this critical need. Objectives for each trainee are to: (1) complete the requirements for a MS degree from Indiana University; (2) conduct a basic or applied research project, either individually or on a collaborative basis, and to prepare and publish a report of the findings; (3) obtain didactic and experiential exposure to clinical, managerial, and administrative experiences in the fields of comparative medicine and laboratory animal science. Meeting these objectives will complete the training and mentored research experience requirements for eligibility for the certifying examination of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM).

Number of Veterinarians in program6
Number of ACLAM Diplomates in program3
Number of Boarded Pathologists0
Number of Other Boarded Veterinary Specialists1
Number of necropsies/week in the veterinary unit10
Number of surgical cases/week in the veterinary unit5

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 residents2
How many residents/trainees have completed this program?1
Of these, how many have subsequently become ACLAM Diplomates?0
In what year did the program accept its first trainee?2009
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)?MS, option for PhD
Which departments most commonly grant degree(s)?Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Pathology, Toxicology, Pharmacology
Give an overview of this program, describing its particular strengths and any unique aspects that are not addressed in any of the other sections

Please note that we will not be accepting resident applications in the 2017-2018 or 2018-2019 VIRMP cycle.

Program contains a blend of clinical rotations, seminars on laboratory animal subjects, formal academic didactic instruction, and mentored research. Each trainee is assigned a Program Advisor (who will be a member of the IUSM LARC veterinary staff) upon entering the program. During the first six months of the program, with the assistance of the Program Advisor, the trainee will meet with faculty members from a variety of disciplines in order to identify a laboratory that can support the goal of a short-term project for the trainee to perform in their second year. During the second six months of the program, the trainee will select a Graduate Committee comprised of at least 3 faculty and/or professional staff. The Graduate Committee evaluates the student's curriculum and research project and monitors the progress of the training and research, meeting at least twice a year. The Research Mentor will be a member of the Graduate Committee.

Activities during the first year consists of clinical rotations (three months in each of the LARC operational units as described below), seminars on laboratory animal subjects, formal academic coursework, selection of a research project, and mentored evaluation of the scientific literature surrounding the selected research project. The second year is designed to provide a year of mentored research training while maintaining clinical skills. During the third year, clinical skills and management skills are again emphasized by a second set of clinical rotations through each of the four operational units. Third year students may also take a one to two month training block at another institution with the approval of the Program Advisor and Graduate Committee.

Describe any unique research interests of your facultyDr. Debra Hickman maintains a laboratory that examines the welfare of animals used in biomedical research using a combination of behavioral and physiological assessments.

Potential Research Mentors are approved on the basis of outstanding research, current or potential funding, and proven track record, or likely potential for new investigators. It is the philosophy of this program that trainees should be given wide latitude in the type of research training they pursue because of the breadth of the role of laboratory animal medicine veterinarians and the variable research interests of trainees. Thus, Research Mentors may range from behaviorists to those who are highly specialized in molecular biology. It is the philosophy of this program that training of laboratory animal medicine veterinarians in a wide variety of research areas enhances the ability of the trainees to interface with multiple specialties in the future. During the first six months, each trainee will have opportunities to meet with various mentors and identify one whose research interests most closely match his or her own. With the assistance of the Program Advisor, the trainee is expected to choose a mentor from the list of approved mentors and select a Graduate Committee by the end of 9 months. The specific project will be developed by the trainee with guidance by the Research Mentor and the Graduate Committee.
Give a few literature citations of publications completed by trainees during their tenure in this program

Paster, EV, KA Villines, and DL Hickman. 2009. “Endpoints for Mouse Abdominal Tumor Models: Refinement of Current Criteria.” Comparative Medicine 59(3): 234-241.

Paster, E and DL Hickman. 2008. “Does feeding an alfalfa-based diet predispose laboratory rabbits to hypercalcemia and renal disease?” JAALAS 47(5): 80-81.

Paster, E, K Villines, and DL Hickman. 2008. “Endpoints for mouse subcutaneous tumor models: refinement of current criteria.” JAALAS 47(5): 80.

Hickman, DL, M Swan, R Luksic, B Bustamante, and E Paster. 2008. “Characterizing a body condition scoring technique and scale for rats.” JAALAS 47(5): 39.

Hickman, D, E Paster, and E Tonsfeldt. 2008. “Protocol review: Collaborative studies and animal reuse.” Lab Animal 37(2): 23.

Johnson, J, R Crisler-Roberts, and D. Hickman. 2010. "Protocol review: Major or minor surgery?" Publication pending Lab Animal

Hickman, D, E Tonsfeldt, J Ueda, M Swan, C Webb, and D Hinrichs. 2009. “Assessment of pain and distress associated with footpad injections of Complete Freund Adjuvant in Lewis rats.” JAALAS 48(5): 555-556.

Where will vacancies be advertised?VIRMP & ASLAP websites
What month does the program begin?July (flexible)

Living and Working

Starting Annual Salary
To what extent is travel to meetings, etc. paid for?One meeting per year is supported
Is individual health insurance provided?Yes
Is family health insurance provided?No
Describe any fees or tuition$5,500 (resident); $15,000 (non-resident)

Note: All applicants must be licensed in good standing to practice veterinary medicine in at least one state in the United States of America. Must be eligible to obtain a visa in the US for employment. Must be able to obtain an Indiana Controlled Substance Registration and DEA license.
Describe the residents' responsibilities for night, weekend, and holiday coverageResidents are expected to assist the veterinary staff in the weekend and holiday emergency care of the animals. Frequency is approximately once per month.
How many annual vacation days are given?10
How many annual sick days are given?10
Briefly describe the communityIndianapolis is a vibrant community with many recreational and cultural opportunities. Additional information of the town can be found at
Institutional, facility, or training program web site