Veterinary Medicine

photo: Interaction

The Division of Veterinary Medicine is responsible for all aspects of care, husbandry and management of the animal colonies. This responsibility includes the provision of clinical veterinary medical care, development and implementation of the nonhuman primate enrichment program, maintenance and development of the animal records database, research support, and collection of biological specimens. The Division administers the Veterinary Resources program through eight individual units that work in conjunction to accomplish Division objectives. The units are the Office of the Associate Director for Veterinary Resources and Chair of the Division, Clinical and Research Medicine, Research Resources, Animal Resources, Environmental Enrichment, Compliance and Training, Genetics and Genome Banking Core and Biomedical Engineering.

The Division consists of approximately 150 members including 10 full-time faculty, two laboratory animal medicine residents, veterinary and animal care technicians, and administrative staff. In addition, the Division administers a Laboratory Animal Medicine residency program for veterinari`ans and trains approximately five veterinary student interns each year. Dr. Rudolf P. Bohm, Jr., Associate Director for Veterinary Resources at the TNPRC and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Tulane School of Medicine, is Chairman of the Division.

The functions of the Division can be divided into three main areas:

  1. Research Programs
  2. Research Resources
  3. Education & Training Opportunities.

Research Programs

The research component of the Division encompasses collaborative and independent work in a number of areas. Research focuses on behavioral biology, diagnosis and treatment of spontaneous disease in nonhuman primates (NHP), infectious disease, and development of new animal models and research techniques in NHP.

Behavioral Biology: Tailoring behavioral management to rearing and research.

Research must keep pace with elaborations to environmental enhancement programs in order to guide program evolution toward optimal benefit for the individual primate. This project provides direct benefit to the well-being and management of the Tulane National Primate Research Center colony, as well as to the Center's ability to make science-based management decisions. Rhesus macaques are being studied due to their widespread use in biomedicine and the need for enhanced management of monkeys with varied rearing and research backgrounds. Project aims focus on social grouping and human interaction as enrichment. This project will provide valuable information for decisions relating to our ever-expanding and evolving environmental enhancement program.

Clinical Research

Clinically based research is performed in the Division of Veterinary Medicine to investigate improved diagnostics and treatment modalities for naturally occurring disease in nonhuman primates. The information that is generated in these studies improves the quality of life of animals at this and other institutions. In addition, clinical research is performed to develop new animal models and to improve the usefulness of current animal models. Several studies are ongoing and include: the use of alternative anthelmintics to treat common intestinal parasites of nonhuman primates, the development of minimally invasive (endoscopic) surgical techniques for research and clinical use, the development of strategies to prevent and treat tetanus, and the assessment of the efficacy of new analgesic therapies.

Infectious Disease Research

AIDS comprises the largest component of the infectious disease research program within the Division of Veterinary Medicine. Research projects involving nonhuman primate models of AIDS and other infectious disease models are performed in collaboration with principle investigators from other Divisions and outside institutions. Current directions of research in infectious disease involve HIV breast milk transmission, HIV pathogenesis, HIV infection and alcohol abuse, West Nile virus disease pathogenesis and vaccine development, and SARS vaccine development.

The TNPRC is a division of Tulane University (985) 871-6201