Institution TypeAcademic
Is there a medical school?Yes
Is this a land-grant institution?No
Vivarium DirectorAlbert Leclair
Program DirectorPhil Richter, DVM, PhD, DACLAM
Who to ContactKent Osborn, DVM, PhD

Animal Care Program
University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr., #0614
La Jolla, CA  92093-0614


Vivarium Information

Vivarium NameAnimal Care Program
Is the facility AAALAC accredited?Yes
Describe management structureCentrally managed campus-wide program with an ACLAM-boarded veterinarian as director, and a senior management group that include three associate directors (all are veterinarians), a Chief Administrative Officer and an Operations Manager
Describe the extent to which your facilities are centralizedCentralized Management (including veterinary care, veterinary research services, diagnostic services, business operations and husbandry operations) overseeing multiple (25+) facilities located throughout a large academic/research campus
Vivarium Square Feet~165,000
Summarize the nature of the animal population and the predominant types of clinical activitiesWe provide daily care of approximately 250,000 animals which include 34 different species of mammals and birds and over 100 different species of fish. The unit is directly involved in many of the approximately 1000 approved animal research protocols and procedures. In descending order of relative numbers: Mice (predominant), zebrafish, rats, amphibians, rabbits, pigs, marmosets, hamsters, jerboas, guinea pigs, starlings, chinchillas, gerbils, stickle back fish, little blue penguins, various ocean fish species. Clinical activity is primarily involved with population health (preventive medicine and apparent health problem investigation), but also includes individual medical workups and care for a variety of species, from larger animals to aquarium specimens (Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography). Research-supporting imaging facilities operated by ACP include microCT, radiography, and DEXA. 
Number of Veterinarians in program5 plus  3 residents
Number of ACLAM Diplomates in program2
Number of Boarded Pathologists1 board eligible
Number of Other Boarded Veterinary Specialists0
Number of necropsies/week in the veterinary unit0-5
Number of surgical cases/week in the veterinary unit0

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 residents2 to 3
How many residents/trainees have completed this program?7 (two within the last two years)
Of these, how many have subsequently become ACLAM Diplomates?2
In what year did the program accept its first trainee?2010
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?No, but opportunities for PhD work are present on campus, and might be pursued on an individual basis. See link below:
If yes, what degree(s)?NA
Which departments most commonly grant degree(s)?Biomedical Sciences
Give an overview of this program, describing its particular strengths and any unique aspects that are not addressed in any of the other sectionsThe UC San Diego Animal Care Program (ACP) facilities include over 25 sites, including many standard lab animal facilities as well as certain specialized areas (barrier facilities, ABSL-2 suites, aquatic animals – fish and amphibians), plus specialized service and educational support services and facilities (rodent phenotype core, axenic mouse production core, gnotobiotic animal services, diagnostic services laboratory, imaging facilities and irradiation facilities). Among the unique facilities that are served is the School of Medicine’s Center for the Future of Surgery (CFS), the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (BAS) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) – both of the latter housing and using marine vertebrate and invertebrate species. The ACP operation also includes the Center for Automated Equipment Processing (CAEP) for research equipment sanitation and processing serving multiple research facilities, and a central Animal Operations Center (AOC) for in-vivo research program operational coordination and management 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
Describe any unique research interests of your facultyGnotobiotic research (primarily in mice), bioengineering, stem cell applications in medical treatment (e.g. – genetically modified autologous cells to correct heritable disease), developmental biology with unique species (e.g. – jerboas), marine biology and aquatic conservation biology, associations with work done at nearby zoological institutions (San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Sea World)
Give a few literature citations of publications completed by trainees during their tenure in this program

Makowski KN, Kreisman MJ, McCosh RB, Raad AA, Breen KM. Peripheral interleukin-1β inhibits arcuate kiss1 cells and LH pulses in female mice. J Endocrinol. 2020 Aug;246(2):149-160. doi: 10.1530/JOE-20-0165. PMID: 32464599; PMCID: PMC7371262

Moody LV, Miyamoto Y, Ang J, Richter PJ, Eckmann L. Evaluation of Peroxides and Chlorine Oxides as Disinfectants for Chemical Sterilization of Gnotobiotic Rodent Isolators. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2019 Sep 1;58(5):558-568. doi: 10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-18-000130. Epub 2019 Jul 18. PMID: 31319899; PMCID: PMC6774453.

Fernandez C, Lubar AA, Vinetz JM, Matthias MA. Experimental Infection of Rattus norvegicus by the Group II Intermediate Pathogen, Leptospira licerasiae. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2018 Aug;99(2):275-280. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.17-0844. Epub 2018 Jun 21. PubMed PMID: 29943708; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6090328.

M Torres, J Frohlich. Successful Treatment Of Chronic Swim Bladder Distension in a leather bass (Dermatolepis dermatolepis) at the Birch Aquarium. Drum and Croaker. 2018; 49:18-25

Frohlich JR, Alarcón CN, Toarmino CR, Sunseri AK, Hockman TM. Comparison of Serial Blood Collection by Facial Vein and Retrobulbar Methods in C57BL/6 Mice. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2018 Jul 1;57(4):382-391. doi:10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-17-000134. Epub 2018 Jun 15. PubMed PMID: 29907166; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6059217.

Hockman TM, Cisternas AF, Jones B, Butt MT, Osborn KG, Steinauer JJ, Malkmus SA, Yaksh TL. Target engagement and histopathology of neuraxial resiniferatoxin in dog. Vet Anaesth Analg. 2018 Mar;45(2):212-226. doi: 10.1016/j.vaa.2017.10.005. Epub 2017 Dec 5. PubMed PMID: 29361418.
Where will vacancies be advertised?AALAS Careerline; California Laboratory Animal Medicine Society (CLAMS) listserv, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) website
What month does the program begin?July

Living and Working

Starting Annual Salary$50,000
To what extent is travel to meetings, etc. paid for?~ one meeting a year. More if the resident has a presentation (poster or platform) accepted for the meeting.
Is individual health insurance provided?Yes
Is family health insurance provided?Yes
Describe any fees or tuitionnone
Describe the residents' responsibilities for night, weekend, and holiday coveragerotates with the rest of the veterinarians – generally once every 5 to 7 weeks
How many annual vacation days are given?15
How many annual sick days are given?12
Briefly describe the community

San Diego is the 8th largest US city. The southwest coastal setting and year-round mild weather support a variety of outdoor activity. Culturally, San Diego is the home to a variety of cultural venues and activity, including internationally- and nationally-recognized museums and regional theatres, college and professional sports, zoological conservation and exhibition institutions, etc. The food and brewing community is vibrant and exciting as it continues to thrive and grow.

Besides UC San Diego, multiple other other large to medium universities and highly productive and respected research institutes are present in the area. With the presence of those research institutes and universities, the laboratory animal medicine community includes a number of laboratory animal veterinarians, and has multiple opportunities for informal and formal consultation and communication.
Institutional, facility, or training program web site