Comparative Medicine Residency Combined MS/PhD Program

The Colorado State University Laboratory Animal Resources, in conjunction with the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, offers post-DVM graduate training position in comparative animal medicine. The core program includes residency training in laboratory animal medicine and graduate research, and is designed to culminate in both American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (ACLAM) board certification eligibility, and an MS or PhD degree in the department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology.

Laboratory Animal Resources also supports externship opportunities in comparative/laboratory animal medicine that are further described at the externships webpage.

Residency Component

CSU’s Comparative Medicine Training Program has been recognized as an approved training program by ACLAM since 2001. The residency training program has a 3-year funding base and admits one new student every 1-2 years.

Animal Care Program

CSU’s Laboratory Animal Care program is AAALAC-international accredited and houses a diverse spectrum of species and animal model systems. Five Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence utilize animal models of research and are supported by CSU LAR. Facilities range from state of the art BSL3 rodent biocontainment facilities to outdoor paddocks and pastures housing livestock. Colorado State University has established a Regional Center of Excellence (RCE) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases research and training, which expands CSU’s longstanding expertise in laboratory animal resource biocontainment capabilities, providing a fertile ground for clinical residency training. Students will obtain hands-on clinical experience in these facilities, interact with investigators, and be involved in laboratory animal management considerations and IACUC functions.

Adjunct Training Opportunities

Participants will have the opportunity to receive additional training in veterinary pathology, microbiology, and anesthesiology by interfacing with the facilities available within the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and CSU State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Training in nonhuman primates is provided through a 4 week externship at institutions such as one of the National Research Primate Centers. Trainees are afforded opportunities for learning at the CDC’s Vector Borne Disease Laboratory. CSU IACUC reviews approximately 350 new protocols/year with approximately 100 PI’s utilizing animal models. Residents will have opportunities to interface with the IACUC and will receive instruction in veterinary ethics and regulatory compliance. Opportunities to participate in national meetings and CE sessions will be provided approximately once/year.

Faculty and case load

The Training Program Coordinator/LAR Director, LAR Associate Director, and the CSU University Veterinarian are ACLAM diplomats. The LAR Director, Associate Director and Clinical Veterinarian have over 25, 15, and 10 years of experience in the field of laboratory animal medicine. Approximately 10 veterinary pathologists, all ACVP diplomates, conduct and supervise anatomic and clinical pathology section activities. Approximately 2400 laboratory animal morbidity and mortality reports and 500 necropsies are reviewed within the animal care program annually; average daily census is approximately 10,000 animals.


A required core curriculum consists of courses for meeting both ACLAM board certification eligibility and graduate degree requirements.

Teaching Opportunities

The Program Director is responsible for coordination of all nondomestic animal coursework in the professional veterinary medicine curriculum. Trainees will be responsible for helping to administer didactic and well as practical courses for third and fourth year veterinary students taking these courses. Residents will participate in administration of several graduate level courses in comparative medicine and in veterinary student externships and rotations. Trainees participate in weekly research and clinical rounds and Departmental seminars and conferences.

Resident Research Projects

In addition to scholarly research publications, trainees frequently have opportunities to prepare clinical or management publications. Such activity provides valuable experience in critical writing and interpretation as well as participation in a collaborative effort.

Research Component

Graduate research training utilizes modern scientific methodology and encourages independent thought with an emphasis on experimental design, data interpretation, and development of written and oral communication skills. Research opportunities include, but are not limited to, the study of bacterial and viral pathogenesis, mycobacterial diseases, arthropod borne infectious disease, retrovirus pathogenesis/therapy, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, immunoparasitology, malarial molecular biology and immunology, vector biology, and cancer biology. Students will begin investigations of prospective laboratories in which to conduct their research beginning in year 1. Years 2-3 are structured to provide time for increasing research activities and coursework required for culmination of the graduate degree. Students electing to complete an MS degree typically matriculate at the end of year 03. PhD graduate studies typically continue for an additional 2-3 years at which time stipends are funded by other sources. For additional information about the MIP departmental T32 post-DVM PhD training grant see our Biomedical Research Training for Veterinarians webpage.

Additional information regarding residency programs at CSU can be found in the “Helpful Links” section.


The CSU Comparative Medicine Residency Program participates in the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program.  Applicants must submit applications and upload required material to the VIRMP site.

PLEASE NOTE:  The application deadline for laboratory animal/comparative medicine training programs is earlier than other internships and residency programs to ensure sufficient time for programs to schedule interviews with prospective candidates, please refer to the VIRMP website for dates.  (  As this deadline is distinct from other residency specialties participating in the VIRMP, applicants are encouraged to contact their references and registrar to ensure letters of support and transcripts are submitted ahead of the deadline.

For further information, please contact:

Lon V. Kendall, D.V.M., Ph.D., ACLAM
Director Laboratory Animal Resources
Colorado State University
Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology
[email protected]