Residency Program in Laboratory Animal/Primate Medicine

The Laboratory Animal/Primate Medicine Service will have 2 open positions; 1 position with Laboratory Animal Medicine focus, and 1 position with Primate Medicine focus.  Recruitment wll be through the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program (VIRMP).  To register and receive information about the matching program, please visit:

Objectives of the program:
The Laboratory Animal Medicine/Primate Medicine (LAM) combined residency-training program at the University of California Davis is designed to prepare veterinarians for a career in LAM and fulfill partial eligibility requirements for the certifying examination for the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. The 29 program objectives provide the training opportunities described below for additional details refer to the ACLAM Role Delineation Document at: The program is best suited for trainees who already have good clinical skills and have completed a master's degree or acquired research experience to allow them to focus on program content rather than acquisition of entry level veterinary skills.

The program's objectives are to:

  1. Participate as the clinical attending veterinarian on the UCD campus in the prevention, diagnosis, control and treatment of disease of laboratory animals including, but not limited to, mice, rats, rabbits, dogs, cats, pigs, ruminants and nonhuman primates.

  2. Provide and perform diagnostic services to campus investigators, through participation in the Comparative Pathology Laboratory and the Primate Pathology Laboratory services including anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, microbiology, serology, and molecular diagnostics.

  3. Work with the campus veterinarian to provide consultation and advice on compliance with animal welfare laws, regulations and standards to campus investigators.

  4. Provide consultative services and instruction to campus investigators and students on aspects of laboratory animal medicine and science including, animal restraint, sample collection, aseptic surgery, anesthesia and analgesia, and alternatives to minimize, alleviate or prevent pain and distress.

  5. Participate with the staff of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) in animal use protocol preparation and review.

  6. Work with facility managers in the development and management of animal husbandry programs and the design of animal facilities.

  7. Design, implement and publish an investigative project under the guidance of a research mentor.

The need for specific training:
There continues to be a need for laboratory animal veterinarians and primate clinicians across all spectra of the specialty, both nationally and internationally. The desire to support animal research while addressing animal welfare needs is a common motivation to seek this specialty by veterinarians with experience in other clinical disciplines. Many laboratory animal veterinarians can perform roles in collaborative research, education, and research resource administration.

Courses and activities:
The clinical duties vary with the trainee’s focus, either in traditional laboratory animals or non-human primates. Full-time service when on clinical rotations throughout the program with regularly scheduled (at least one week/month) evening/weekend/emergency on-call duties (See the table below). The equivalent of one year of full-time clinical service is required to meet expectations of the training program.

The scope of clinical duties varies with focus and on-going research projects. The traditional laboratory animal focused trainees may see any type of vertebrate species used in research while assigned on service to Campus Veterinary Services. The Center for Laboratory Animal Science houses many vertebrate species used in research for investigators within the College of Biological Science, School of Medicine and School of Veterinary Medicine. Veterinary staff also perform facility visits to research animals housed at facilities managed by the Animal Science Department (incl Avian Science and Environmental Toxicology & Nutrition), College of Psychology, Center for Neuroscience, Feline Nutrition and Petcare Center, Center for Comparative Medicine, Mouse Biology Program, the Institute for Regenerative Cures, along with other offsite locations. The clinical activities at CVS are balanced by veterinary reviews for newly submitted animal research protocols, program administration activities such as laboratory visits, semi-annual facility inspections and post-approval monitoring of selected animal use protocols. These non-clinical activities are done in conjunction with senior veterinarians at CVS and the Institutional Care and Use Committee’s staff. Other activities include post-operative cases (in sheep, rabbits, frogs, non-human primates and sometimes swine). Primate medicine focused trainees will work with macaque species (rhesus & cynomolgus) and one New World species (Titi monkeys). There are daily clinical and surgical cases both spontaneously occurring illness as well as research driven projects at the California National Primate Research Center. Due to the scope of the program, trainees already confident in entry level veterinary skills can translate their skills to the host of species they encounter here.

Coursework includes classes focused on medical primatology, non-human primate zoonoses, laboratory animal seminars 8 months/yr, monthly training days devoted to sharing information with other trainees in the region, touring facilities, participation in wetlabs (primate, rodent anesthesia techniques, swine interventional techniques & handling, ferret techniques, etc), seminars, case reports, short topic presentations at weekly rounds, guest speaker presentations, comparative pathology rounds, non-human primate pathology rounds, various rounds and seminars at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital as well as the School of Medicine. Trainees practice teaching skills to veterinary students on elective laboratory animal and primate medicine rotations, undergraduate students, classroom continuing education for animal care staff and veterinary technicians, along with presentation of assigned materials for the laboratory animal seminars.

There is a diversity of opportunities for trainees to develop research skills in the laboratories of NIH funded researchers across campus. While working on a research project under a faculty member’s oversight, the trainees learn research methodologies along with all the skills necessary to complete a project. Seminars for graduate students on research design, statistical analysis and grant writing are offered each year. There are opportunities for grant submission throughout the program depending on interest and writing ability. Off campus activities are possible with local biotech companies in the Sacramento region in particular.

The combined training program (Traditional Laboratory Animal/Primate Medicine) incorporates rotations between units including Campus Veterinary Services, Comparative Pathology Laboratory, California National Primate Research Center, Mouse Biology Program with options to take Fish Health and Management as well as take in activities during training days, hosted seminars on and off campus (Center for Comparative Medicine, National AALAS, Association for Primate Veterinarians, Sacramento Valley-AALAS, District 8 AALAS regional meeting, California Laboratory Animal Medical Society meeting).

Structure and organization: 
The program is organized around a series of block rotations in the first 13-14 months, while the balance of training (15-16 months) allows for more flexible duties to execute research, write up results and obtain additional skills including veterinary reviews of research protocols, as determined in consultation with the co-Directors and associated mentors where indicated. Trainees will have office space and a computer dedicated for their use. For their optimum time management, trainees should maintain personal internet service at home in order to manage demands of the program with life balance.

LAM Resident Training Program Effort Allocation in months

Rotation 1st yr* 2nd/3rd yrs (17 months total)
Traditional focus
2nd/3rd yrs
Primate focus
CVS 3 3 - 4  
CPL 3 3* 1-2*
CNPRC 3   8-11
MBP 1    
Primate Pathology 1    
  6-10 (minimum)
May be done in 
concurrent with 
CPL & protocol reviews
w/clinical work
Fish Health   1 (elective) 1 (elective)

*Only 11 months in the first 2 years are accounted for as 1 month is used up for required vacation each year. Research time is available concurrent with the CPL activities in the 2nd/3rd years. Residents consistently request additional time in lab animal pathology so this allows them to have additional opportunities to review study materials while completing their research project.

Faculty participating in direct support of the program:

Kari Christe, DVM, DACLAM-Manager of Primate Medicine@CNPRC-co-Director of resident training program and full-time clinician at CNPRC, seminar, clinical primate medicine research project mentorship
Laurie Brignolo, DVM, DACLAM-Co-Director of resident training program.  Senior Veterinarian at Campus Veterinary Services-Full-time clinician,
Rhonda Oates-O’Brien, DVM, MPVM, DACLAM-Senior Veterinarian @ CVS-Full-time
Angela Colagross-Schouten, DVM, MPVM, DACLAM-Senior Veterinarian@ CNPRC-Full-time clinical primate medicine mentor
Laura Summers, DVM, DACLAM-Senior Veterinarian @ CNPRC-Full-time primate medicine clinical mentor
Victor Lukas, DVM, DACLAM-Attending Veterinarian @ UC-Davis-CVS rounds, IACUC activities, facility inspections & improvement projects, mentor for animal care and use program activities involving regulatory mandated documents as well as AAALAC accreditation oversight
Kristin Evans, DVM, PhD, DACLAM-Vivarium Manager @ Mouse Biology Program -1 month rotation at mutant mouse production facility, mentor during MBP rotation
Stephen Griffey, DVM, PhD, DACVP-Director @ Comparative Pathology Laboratory-CPL rotations, rodent health surveillance screening program, comparative path rounds and path seminars, mentor during CPL rotations,  research mentor for some trainees
William Ferrier, DVM-School of Medicine-Large Animal Research Surgery Support , selected seminars on surgical research models, minimally invasive surgical techniques, avian medicine
Marie Jose- Lemoy, DVM-Senior Veterinarian @CNPRC Full-time primate clinical mentor

Process of Evaluation:
Rotation objectives discussed on a monthly basis during clinical rotations. Veterinary school evaluations are submitted after 6,12, and 29 months. Appointments after the 1st and 2nd years are contingent on satisfactory performance during the preceeding year.

In order to meet program requirements to obtain a certificate of resident training the following must be completed:

  • Satisfactory performance evaluations as determined by the faculty involved with training the residents during their clinical activities (residents are required to maintain a case log to document the number and kinds of cases they complete)

  • Achievement of passing grades in all required didactic courses (Medical Primatology (VME 413), Zoonoses of Nonhuman Primates (PHR 420), Pathology of Laboratory Animals (PMI 287), Journal Seminar (VME 442R), +/- Statistics (MPM 402), +/- Fish Health (VME437R)

  • Instructing veterinary students and technicians both clinically and didactically

  • Submission of a grant application (travel, training, research, or intramural)

  • Presentation of their research project at the House Officer Training Day sponsored by the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine

  • Presentation at a conference (typically residents attend the California Laboratory Animal Medicine Society (CLAMS) or District 8 and AALAS +/- APV)

  • Completion of a research project and submission of a paper prior to end of the 29 month program

State Licensure:
Must be licensed in at least one state in the US or meet all eligibility requirements.

Advanced degree during residency: 
Not permitted during the resident training program due to clinical training needs. It is sometimes possible for trainees to obtain positions in PhD programs after finishing their resident training.

California Driver’s License: 
The ability to drive a university owned vehicle is required, so residents must obtain a California Driver’s license, and participate in the DMV pull notice program.


  • Graduated from a college or school of veterinary medicine accredited by the AVMA; or are legally qualified to practice veterinary medicine in some state, province, territory, or possession of the United States.

  • Have demonstrated unquestionable moral character and professional behavior.

Requirements for foreign applicants:
In addition to the minimum qualifications above, foreign graduates must also meet the following requirement.

  • Must be eligible for a TN (Mexico and Canada) or J-1 visa with no bars or home country requirement.

Service/Board requirements:


  • Internship/ Equivalent Experience Required? No

  • California Driver’s License Required?  Yes

Average Cases in Direct Support of Program

CNPRC-80 outpatient cases/day, 100 inpatients daily, various procedures and surgeries daily, emergencies daily
CVS-Post-operative monitoring cases 12-20 daily, outpatient cases-variable across campus & research projects-majority are rodent species, large animal or rabbit surgeries almost daily, rare emergencies and in-clinic hospitalized patients

This residency program is part of the Veterinary Internship/Residency Matching Program, selection will be made in accordance with the guidelines of this program.  Register at  Applicants must be able to be licensed in one state in the U.S.A.  Applicants must be available to begin the program on July 1, 2015.

If you have further questions, contact Kari Christe ( 530 752-2514 or Laurie Brignolo ( 530 752-1390.

All residents are encouraged to obtain a California driver's license within the first year of the residency program.