Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Animal Use in Biomedical Research


The goal of this course is to provide you with an understanding of how and why animals are used in biomedical science. We will focus on the humane care and treatment of laboratory animals in research, including, but not limited to, such topics as laws and ethics, animal behavior, animal modeling, and the animal activist movement. Course topics will also include: what advances have been made as a result of the use of animals in research; who conducts animal research; predominant animal species used in biomedical research; facts and myths; the regulation of biomedical research; housing and care of laboratory animals; why must new drugs be tested; animal use in stem cell research, cancer research, and genetically engineered mice; and career choices in biomedical research. The goals are to engage you in the important issue of animal use in biomedical research and to stimulate their interest, understanding, and participation in biomedical science.

The lab sessions use an integrated interdisciplinary approach, best described as developmental neuroethology, to address issues in human and animal well-being. It focuses on two closely related issues: (1) Developing methods and underlying psychobiological principles to predict and prevent abnormal behavior (in animals) and mental disorder (in humans); and (2) Identifying the general reasons why animal models often fail to predict human outcomes, and providing solutions to improve the efficacy and well-being of animal models. 


Meet the Instructor(s)

Megan Albertelli

Megan Albertelli is an assistant professor in comparative medicine. She is a laboratory animal veterinarian who collaborates with investigators to develop and refine animal models of human disease. Her focus area is cancer, particularly rodent models of glioblastoma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.