All entries by this author

MU Researchers Believe Discovery Could Lead to Testing that Displaces Colonoscopies

Mar 11th, 2014 | By

Predicting colon cancer in mice could eventually benefit humans (Story originally posted by the University of Missouri News Bureau.) COLUMBIA, Mo. – Nobody enjoys colonoscopies, including mice. University of Missouri researchers are excited about the potential of using genetic biomarkers to predict colon cancer caused by inflammation. A new method developed at the MU Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory (RADIL) could eventually lead to a method that might eliminate colonoscopies altogether. Read the whole story at the University of Missouri News Bureau.



Noninvasive Detection of Inflammation-Associated Colon Cancer in a Mouse

Mar 11th, 2014 | By

by  Aaron C. Ericsson, Matthew Myles, Wade Davis,, Lixin Ma, Michael Lewis, Lillian Maggio-Price and Craig Franklin  Abstract Helicobacter bilis–infected Smad3−/− mice represent an attractive model of inflammation-associated colon cancer. Most infected mice develop mucinous adenocarcinoma (MUC) by 6 weeks post inoculation (PI); however, approxi- mately one third do not progress to MUC. The ability to predict the development of MUC in mice used in therapeutic studies would confer a considerable saving of time and money. In addition, the inadvertent use of mice without MUC may confound therapeutic studies by making treatments seem falsely efficacious. We assessed both magnetic reso- nance imaging (MRI) and fecal biomarkers in Helicobacter- and sham-inoculated mice as methods of noninvasively detecting MUC before the predicted onset of disease. Non–contrast-enhanced MRI was able to detect lesions in 58% of mice with histologically confirmed MUC; however, serial imaging sessions produced inconsistent results. MRI was also a labor- and time-intensive technique requiring anesthesia. Alternatively, inflammatory biomarkers iso- lated from feces at early time points were correlated to later histologic lesions. Fecal expression of interleukin 1β, macrophage inflammatory protein 1α, and regulated on activation, normal T-cell expressed, and secreted at 3 weeks PI correlated significantly with lesion severity at 9 weeks PI. For each biomarker, receiver-operator characteristic curves were also generated, and all three biomarkers performed well at 1 to 3 weeks PI, indicating that the develop- ment of MUC can be predicted based on the early expression of certain inflammatory mediators in feces. Neoplasia (2010) 12, 1054–1065 Download the complete PDF here.



The Laboratory Animal Veterinarian: More Than Just a Mouse Doctor

Mar 11th, 2014 | By

by Cynthia G. Alvarado, DVM & Lonny M. Dixon, DVM Laboratory animal veterinarians have become irreplaceable contributors to the advancement of medical and scientific knowledge through their involvement in collaborative and independent research that ultimately benefits both humans and animals. Abstract Use of animals in research is strictly regulated by federal laws that define how the animals can be humanely housed, studied, and sold. Veterinary care for these animals is also required. Laboratory animal veterinarians serve as a unique bridge between the humane use of laboratory animals and the advancement
of scientific and medical knowledge. Introduction It is not common knowledge that laboratory animal veterinarians and their support staff work every single day monitoring the health
and welfare of the animals used
in biomedical research. The role
of laboratory animal veterinarians
as multi-disciplinary contributors
to biomedical research has grown significantly over the past fifty
years. This article will give our colleagues and the general public a glimpse into the realm of laboratory animal medicine and the role that veterinarians play to ensure the welfare of animals used in research while also contributing to discoveries that benefit both humans and animals. The History of Laboratory Animal Medicine The history and development of the veterinary specialty of laboratory animal medicine began in 1915, when a veterinarian, Simon D. Brimhall, VMD, was employed by the
Mayo Clinic.(1) As the first veterinarian appointed to a research animal management position at an American medical research institution, Dr. Brimhall’s role at that time mirrored some of the same responsibilities
of present day laboratory animal veterinarians: providing veterinary care to research animals, overseeing animal husbandry, managing animal facilities and breeding colonies, studying animal diseases, and performing collaborative and independent research. However, until the 1940s Dr. Brimhall continued to be one of only a handful of veterinarians involved in laboratory animal medicine. In 1944, Congress passed the Public Health Service Act, which resulted in the post-war expansion of biomedical research by increasing funding to the National Institutes
of Health (NIH). As the NIH
grew to become the largest federal funder of biomedical research, the demand for veterinarians in research also increased.2 Although veterinarians of that time
were well-versed in the care of common domestic and agricultural animals, their knowledge was minimal regarding proper husbandry, veterinary care, and diseases common in research animals, especially rodents. In an effort to formalize education, training, and research in laboratory animal medicine, a group of approximately 20 dedicated veterinarians sought approval from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) for a new specialty board. In 1957, the American Board of Laboratory Animal Medicine became the third veterinary specialty to be recognized by the AVMA. The Board, now known as the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM), establishes standards for training and board certification in laboratory animal medicine, organizes continuing education opportunities, and promotes research in laboratory animal science and medicine.(2) The History of Animal Welfare Regulations Although biomedical research surged in the 1940s, federal laws regulating animal use were not passed until many years later. In 1965, Sports Illustrated featured the story of Pepper, a pet Dalmatian that was stolen from her family in Pennsylvania and was sold by her dognappers to a New York hospital where she died during an experimental surgery. Soon after, Life published an article exposing the neglectful treatment of animals by a Maryland dog dealer. These incidents prompted the public to lobby for legislation for

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Biological Patches Developed at MU

Mar 11th, 2014 | By

Modified vascular tissue patches developed in a bioengineering lab at Mizzou and implanted into pigs showed better integration than existing commercially available biological patches. The results have potential to improve such material currently being used in human surgical procedures. The biological patches, constructed from arterial tissue, were “decellularized,” removing the DNA components but leaving behind the cellular framework. Gold nanoparticles, which have been shown to have such positive effects as encouraging cell growth, reducing bacterial growth and preventing inflammation, are then added. To read the whole article, courtesy of MU’s Engineering Department, use the link below: http://engineering.missouri.edu/2013/12/biological-patches-may-treat-diseased-blood-vessels/



Program Advantages

Mar 11th, 2014 | By
  • The MU CMP couples a residency program with a research program that leads to either an MS or PhD degree.

  • The first year of the program consists of laboratory animal medicine residency activities. In years two and three, the trainee is involved primarily in research activities (at least 40 hours/week) combined with 10-15 hours/week of laboratory animal medicine activities. The latter activities complement training gained in the first year and are part of an individual development plan generated in consultation with program faculty to facilitate pursuit of specific career goals. MS students complete their residency and degree program after three years, while PhD students complete their residency after three years and their degree program after approximately five years.

    CMP trainees may also elect to pursue a more clinically oriented program consisting of 1.5 years of residency activities in laboratory animal medicine followed by 1.5 years of research coupled with additional laboratory animal medicine activities at an approximately 50:50 split. Students pursuing this program generally pursue MS degrees but may switch to PhD degree programs. A maximum of one trainee/year can pursue this option.

  • Training is designed to prepare individuals for a variety of careers including comparative medicine research, clinical and administrative laboratory animal medicine and comparative and diagnostic laboratory animal pathology.

  • Students may pursue either a MS or PhD. Research opportunities are available in several areas including infectious disease, pathology, molecular biology, mouse biology and cardiovascular physiology.

  • Resources available include the University of Missouri Office of Animal Resources (OAR), IDEXX BioResearch, as well as the Mutant MouseRat and Swine Resource and Research Centers.