Faculty Profiles in Excellence
Stanford Medicine faculty are at the cutting edge of patient care, research, and education.
Who are these amazing individuals and what do they do at Stanford?
One of the things that I feel very strongly about is that animal use in biomedical research is a necessary thing, but we need to make sure that the animal’s welfare is something that we’re considering all of the time.
Megan Albertelli, PhD, DVM
I am a clinical veterinarian for the research animals on campus. This involves seeing animal patients and working with investigators to help them work with animal subjects. I also do collaborative research. This can involve helping labs identify appropriate animal models, working with people that want to develop a new animal model, discussing experimental design with animal models, and assisting researchers with the different techniques involved in working with their animals.
Another project I’m involved in is developing a new animal model, which is the mouse lemur: a small prosimian that lives in Madagascar. I’ve travelled to Madagascar to study this animal with the intent of applying our findings to studying human diseases. Secondarily to this, we realized that there was a great opportunity to help train the next generation of scientists in Madagascar. One of our teaching projects involves working with the University of Antananarivo with students training to be secondary school teachers in Madagascar. We put on workshops to help them learn hands-on techniques in molecular biology and genetics. This year, we’re starting a new project with high school students to bring scientific training to the high school setting.
One of the things that I feel very strongly about is that animal use in biomedical research is a necessary thing, but we need to make sure that the animal’s welfare is something that we’re considering all of the time. If we can maintain a high standard of welfare for these animals, this will ultimately result in better research and better quality data for the researcher. Through an introductory seminar that I teach for undergraduates, I want to inform undergraduates about the regulations governing animal use in biomedical research, the steps we take to maintain animal welfare, and allow the students to draw their own conclusions about animal use in biomedical research.
In the next few years, I hope to continue working with the mouse lemur as a new animal model and bring together an international community to learn more about this new and exciting animal model.