Animal Lab

Nothing can replace real hands-on experience. Our Animal Lab provides you with unique research and lab opportunities that will impact your career success.

The Longaker Animal Lab was established to provide student with hands-on experiential learning opportunities. Mostly used for housing a rat colony, the lab also has facilities for frogs, crickets, and mice depending on student research needs. 

Located inside Gillmor Hall, it is close to the anatomy, physiology, and microbiology labs where the animals are typically used. Students can conduct independent research and faculty members can supplement their teaching with labs using live animals. The lab is an excellent resource for independent student research and also to teaches students proper techniques in animal handling, breeding, anesthetizing and collecting specimens.

Safety and Ethics First

The lab is under the supervision of the University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), with Dr. Pamela Faber serving as the chair.  Course laboratory protocols have been cleared through this committee, and all student research projects must be proposed to and approved by the committee.  Heidelberg University is committed to the humane and ethical treatment of animals.  

How to Get Involved

Biology 363: Human Anatomy and Physiology

This course utilizes rats as a model to study female reproductive hormones. Students in this lab have the opportunity to provide routine care to the rat colony, and help to monitor their well being under the direction of the Animal Laboratory Coordinator.   

Honors 455: Senior Honors Project

Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry students who are in the Honors Program have often chosen an animal project as their Senior Honors Project. Students in other academic areas are encouraged to propose animal projects to the IACUC.  Projects are typically funded by Hammel and Pepsi grants. Projects have included the measurement of basal metabolic rates in pregnant and lactating rats, wound healing facilitated by a new type of patch, mouse maze navigation, and the effect of alcohol on maternal behaviors. 

Course Honors Projects

With faculty permission, students in BIO 363 or 364 can sign up for course honors and do a project of 30 hours of effort. Such projects include investigating herbal contraceptive use in rats, alternate enrichment devices (toys) for rats, and development of an edible treatment containing treat for herbal studies. 

HYPE 300/400 Credit

Under the direction of the Animal Laboratory Coordinator, a limited number of students can get more involved with the rat colony, and can take part in record keeping, development and implementation of breeding calendars, support for on-going research projects, serving on the IACUC, prospective student tours and the supervision of student volunteers. These resume-building experiences are especially helpful for pre-veterinary students.  

Volunteer Hours

Students can request volunteer hours in the Animal Lab assisting with the routine tasks and/or serving as junior researchers on another student’s project.

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