Program in Comparative Medicine
Director: Louis J. DeTolla Jr., VMD, PhD
Associate Professor, Departments of Pathology, Medicine, and Epidemiology & Public Health
The Program in Comparative Medicine, established in 1989, studies the characterization of animal models of human disease for biomedical research and the use of such models to advance understanding of disease or biological processes. Comparative Medicine contributes to the School of Medicine by providing accredited services for laboratory animal care through Veterinary Resources, collaborative research, professional development of veterinary physicians and staff, formal training of veterinarians in residence, and a resource for information and instruction on the use of laboratory animals in research.
A specialty training program in laboratory animal medicine is offered to prepare veterinarians for board certification in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Trainees must have the DVM degree or equivalent from an AVMA listed school of veterinary medicine, full-time clinical practice experience, demonstrated interest/experience in laboratory animal species and research aptitude/experience. The program trains veterinarians in clinical laboratory animal medicine, surgery, pathology, laboratory diagnostics, husbandry, administration, legal aspects of animal care and use, and biomedical research, and includes assignment to clinical and laboratory rotations, coursework, seminars and contributions to scientific meetings. Research endeavors include vaccine development, transgenic animal production, infectious diseases, gene therapy, diagnostics and medical primatology.
The program also provides veterinary medical services to the Dental School, the School of Pharmacy, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Baltimore Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In addition, there are active working relationships with the Baltimore Zoo,Towson University and the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA/NIH). The Director serves as a member of the Animal Policy Committee of the National Aquarium in Baltimore and directs an externship program for senior veterinary students of the Virginia/Maryland Regional School of Veterinary Medicine. The director also serves as director of the University of Maryland, Baltimore Veterinary Resources program and is currently the principal investigator for the non-human primate core of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is funded by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Faculty have primary academic appointments in Pathology and secondary appointments in Comparative Medicine and in various clinical and basic science departments.