Institution TypePrivate University
Is there a medical school?Yes
Is this a land-grant institution?No
Vivarium DirectorGeorge Langan, DVM, DACLAM
Program DirectorKerith Luchins, DVM, DACLAM
Who to ContactKerith Luchins, DVM, DACLAM
Address5841 S. Maryland Ave, Rm. P-110, MC1030, Chicago, IL  60637
Phone(773) 702-6756
Fax(773) 702-9152

Vivarium Information

Vivarium NameUniversity of Chicago Animal Resources Center
Is the facility AAALAC accredited?Yes
Describe management structureOne central vivarium with an off-site ABSL3 facility
Describe the extent to which your facilities are centralizedAnimals housed in 5+ separate locations
Vivarium Square Feet139,000
Summarize the nature of the animal population and the predominant types of clinical activities

U of C has 6 central animal facilities (info below) and 6 satellite facilities (mostly aquatics) with total square footage of ~139,000 sq. ft.

Gordon Center for Integrative Science is a 21,261 NSF mouse barrier facility equipped with 5 housing suites and a cage wash facility. Each suite contains 1-2 procedure rooms and 3-4 animal housing rooms. There is also an irradiator room and the facility houses the Transgenic Mouse Production Core.

Howard T Ricketts Regional Biocontainment Laboratory is an off-site 13,111 NSF ABSL3 Select Agent rodent vivarium with a cage wash facility, 6 animal holding rooms, two procedure rooms, an aerosol exposure room, and a tissue processing/necropsy room. Mice, guinea pigs, and rats arehoused in this facility.

Carlson Animal Research Facility is a two floor 49,666 NSF facility with a 3,000 NSF receiving facility and houses rodents and large animal species. It contains an ABSL2/3 containment facility, a USDA species surgical facility, a rodent quarantine facility, and a cage wash facility. Located within this facility are portions of the Integrated Small Animal Imaging Research Resource Facility which mostly rodent imaging modalities such as MRI, Xenogen IVIS 200 Imaging System, a MicroPET/SPECT/CT and rodent ultrasound.

Culver is a 2,525 NSF facility housing a variety of non-traditional species such as birds and fish. It contains 7 animal rooms and a cage wash area. The facility houses zebra finch and starlings, zebrafish and other fish species (occasionally present).

Biopsychology Research Building is a 9,653 NSF vivarium with rooms for rats, hamsters, zebra finch and mice. The vivarium is equipped with a cage wash facility and multiple procedural rooms designed for behavioral studies.

Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery is a 22,291 NSF rodent barrier facility with 30 animal housing rooms, 14 procedure rooms, and a cage wash facility. In addition to general mouse housing, it houses the Gnotobiotic Research Animal Facility. The Gnotobiotic Research Animal Facility currently occupies 2007 sq. ft. of space divided among 5 room and currently has 47 isolators. There are separate rooms to allow some isolators to be on an alternate light cycle for specific research studies. Average census is 1638 germ free and gnotobiotic mice. An autoclave and materials processing area are located within and dedicated to the facility.

Number of Veterinarians in program5
Number of ACLAM Diplomates in program5
Number of Boarded Pathologists0
Number of Other Boarded Veterinary Specialists0
Number of necropsies/week in the veterinary unit5
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 residents3
How many residents/trainees have completed this program?1
Of these, how many have subsequently become ACLAM Diplomates?N/A
In what year did the program accept its first trainee?2016
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
If yes, what degree(s)? N/A
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 University of Chicago Laboratory Animal Medicine Training Program is a 3-year non-degree seeking American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) recognized residency program intended for veterinarians who want to pursue a career in the laboratory animal medicine field. The principal aim of the program is to provide the trainee with the knowledge and technical skills necessary to develop a successful career in laboratory animal medicine and science in an academic or industry setting.  Five board certified ACLAM diplomates participate in the program and the trainee will be matched with one veterinarian who will act as a mentor throughout the residency. The trainee will be involved in all aspects of animal care and use at the University of Chicago, one of nation's leading biomedical research facilities, which is comprised  of 6 central animal facilities and 6 satellite facilities with a total square footage of ~139,000 sq. ft.

The program goals are met through the following 3 training elements:

Experience: The supervised experience will be split into multiple clinical rotations these various specialties: Small Animal (including gnotobiotics), Large Animal/Nonhuman primate, Aquatics, Facilities/Operations, IACUC/IBC (throughout all 3 years), Small Animal Imaging Core, Transgenic Mouse Core, Microsurgery Core, and other university research core facilities. The resident will rotate through these rotations during the 1st and 3rd year of the program. The aims of these rotations are for the trainee to:

  • Prevent, control, diagnose, and treat diseases of laboratory animals
  • Recognize and minimize pain and distress
  • Develop enrichment programs for various species
  • Provide veterinary services to support research including surgical models
  • Perform and manage animal husbandry
  • Consult with investigators on protocol development and selection of animal models
  • Provide necessary investigator and personnel training
  • Understand the regulatory role of the Attending Veterinarian by reviewing IACUC protocols, attending IACUC meetings/semi-annual inspections and IBC meetings

Didactic: The didactic portion will cover all 3 years of the program and involve formal laboratory animal didactic lecture series, journal club, pathology rounds and various other educational seminars. The goals are to:

  • Understand and interpret the laws regulations and guidelines for the humane care and use of animals in research
  • Learn basics of laboratory animal biology and diseases
  • Become prepared for the certifying examination of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

Research:  The research project, which will occur during year 2, will either be a collaborative project in the lab of a U of C faculty member or a clinical laboratory animal medicine project within the department. The aims are for the trainee to:

  • Conduct individual and collaborative research
  • Complete research project that involves writing an IACUC protocol, performing literature searches, developing hypotheses, collecting data, performing statistical evaluations, writing and submitting a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Present research findings or other topics at local/national meetings
Describe any unique research interests of your facultyU of C is one of the nation's leading private universities. The Biological Sciences Division has cutting edge facilities for both teaching and research with almost 4 million gross square feet of space. Research activities span the broadest spectrum of the biological sciences, and animal research and training occurs in almost all departments from field-based research in the Department of Ecology and Evolution to the training of future surgeons in latest techniques using animal models. The Division has approximately $286 million in research expenditures. The research project for the trainee will either be a collaborative project in the lab of a U of C faculty member or a clinical laboratory animal medicine project within the department.
Give a few literature citations of publications completed by trainees during their tenure in this program 
  1. Luchins KR, Bowers CJ, Mailhiot D, Theriault BR, Langan GP. 2020. Cost Comparison of Rodent Soiled Bedding Sentinel and Exhaust Air Dust Health-Monitoring Programs. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 59:508-511.
  2. Pach NM, Luchins KR, Kim GH, Langan GP, Theriault 2020. Unexpected Cardiomyopathy and Cardiac Dysfunction after Administration of Sulfadiazine-trimethoprim Medicated Diet to ICR mice (Mus musculus). Comp Med 70:384-389.
  3. Luchins KR, Mailhiot D, Theriault BR, Langan GP. 2020. Detection of Lactate Dehydrogenase-Elevating Virus in a Mouse Vivarium Using an Exhaust Air Dust Health Monitoring Program. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 59:328-333.
  4. Mailhiot D, Ostdiek AM, Luchins KR, Bowers CJ, Theriault BR, Langan GP. 2020. Comparing Mouse (Mus musculus) Soiled Bedding Sentinel Health Monitoring with Exhaust Air Dust Surveillance Programs. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci 59:58-66
Where will vacancies be advertised?ASLAP, VIRMP
What month does the program begin?July

Living and Working

Starting Annual Salary$52,704 or greater, paid monthly. Compensation, based on the NIH Scale, takes into account relevant post-DVM//VMD experience. Increase yearly based on NIH experience and fiscal compensation.
To what extent is travel to meetings, etc. paid for?

Support to attend regional and national scientific meetings, off-campus didactic courses, and off-campus externships.

Dues for national and local AALAS memberships and state license are covered.
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 coverageOn-call Vet Responsibility (throughout program, approx. monthly): After rotating through small and large animal rotations, the resident will share on-call weekend/holiday coverage with the veterinary staff.
How many annual vacation days are given?10
How many annual sick days are given?12
Briefly describe the communityThe University of Chicago is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, which is ten miles south of downtown and located on the lakefront. Bookended by two of the city's most significant cultural institutions, The University of Chicago to the west and The Museum of Science and Industry to the east, Hyde Park is an incredibly popular South Side neighborhood for locals and visitors. The Museum of Science and Industry is the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere and boasts more than 2,000 exhibits. The University of Chicago is a Victorian Gothic-clad, Nobel Prize factory with one of the country's most scenic campuses to boot. Not far from the fabled school, you will find the home of President Barack Obama.
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