Department and MLAS News

Under the leadership of Dr. José Vilches-Moure, Stanford trainees [a Fellow in the Department of Comparative Medicine (DCM), Master of Laboratory Animal Science (MLAS) Candidates, and Stanford Undergraduates] showcased a series of impressive presentations at the 2024 Annual West Coast Veterinary Pathology (WCVP) Conference. This annual conference is organized by the Anatomic Pathology Department at UC Davis and the Davis-Thompson Foundation for the Advancement of Veterinary Pathology. The planning committee includes faculty from UC Davis, Washington State University, Stanford University, and Genentech. The WCVP Conference is attended by career pathologists (both academic and industry), and includes veterinary pathology residents and trainees.

Stanford Presentations:

  • Dr. Wencke Reineking, Comparative and Experimental Pathology Fellow, DCM:
    "Multiple bilateral interstitial cell tumors and lymphoma in a Fischer 344 rat."
  • Christine Goodermuth, MLAS Candidate, DCM:
    "Characterization of a presumptive thoracic scent gland tumor in an aged Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus)."
  • Emily Chen, MLAS Candidate, DCM:
    "Pancreatic metastasis of a chemically-induced tumor in a Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus)."
  • Ryann Ray, MLAS Candidate, DCM:
    "Melanomacrophage center distribution in wild-caught red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans)."
  • Ariana MacAuley, Stanford Undergraduate, Biology:
    "Lymphoma and multiple intussusceptions in a New Zealand White rabbit."
  • Jude Wolf, Stanford Undergraduate, Biology:
    "End-stage kidney disease and anasarca in a nude mouse."

Audience Feedback:

"Their command of the terminology, the lesions, and pathophysiology was fantastic!"

"These presentations really added a lot of value to the conference. It was great to see individual cases used as a way to introduce biomedical research."

Fostering Collaborations:

Our exceptional MLAS students caught the attention of faculty in the audience, leading to inquiries about potential collaborations on their projects. This recognition speaks volumes about the quality of our students and sets the stage for exciting partnerships in the future.

Congratulations to the WCVP Conference presenters and Dr. Vilches-Moure on a successful event!

Faculty News

New Chair of Comparative Medicine

Stanford School of Medicine Dean Lloyd Minor recently announced the appointment of Megan Albertelli, DVM, PhD, professor of Comparative Medicine, as the new chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine beginning April 1. Dr. Albertelli succeeded Sherril Green, DVM, PhD, who recently retired after 29 years of dedicated and impactful service at Stanford. Read his letter to the Stanford community here.

Megan Albertelli earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Michigan State University and her doctorate in human genetics from the University of Michigan. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. Dr. Albertelli has been a valued member of Stanford Comparative Medicine since 2009. She has published many articles on animal models of human diseases and has taught numerous undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral scholars. Not only an outstanding researcher and educator, Megan Albertelli is also a compassionate leader dedicated to advancing the field of laboratory animal welfare.

We are very grateful for Dr. Green's leadership and her extraordinary legacy. The department is excited to support and implement Dr. Albertelli's vision for Comparative Medicine's future and growth.

Congratulations Dr. Albertelli, and thank you Dr. Green!

Animal Welfare Postdoc Joins Comparative Medicine

The Department of Comparative Medicine is excited to welcome Dr. Ratuski to Stanford.

Anna Ratuski, PhD, joined the department on November 1, 2023. Dr. Ratuski comes to us from the prestigious animal welfare science program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver, having worked on both enrichment and euthanasia in rats and mice.

Dr. Ratuski, our new postdoctoral researcher in laboratory animal welfare science, will help lead our animal welfare efforts and the Beyond 3Rs program, which is under development. The 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement) principles were developed over 50 years ago, providing a framework for performing more humane animal research. Dr. Ratuski will work with Dr. Joseph Garner to modernize the current 3Rs to enhance animal welfare and well-being.

Comparative Medicine Welcomes a New Comparative and Experimental Pathology Fellow

The Department of Comparative Medicine, in collaboration with the Department of Pathology, is delighted to welcome our new Comparative and Experimental Pathology Fellow, Dr. Wencke Reineking!

Before coming to Stanford, Dr. Reineking was a postdoctoral researcher and resident in the Department of Pathology at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany. She is an experienced veterinary anatomic pathologist and has worked on animal experiments under BSL-3 conditions.

Under the supervision of Dr. Jose Vilches-Moure and the mentorship of Dr. Kerriann Casey, Dr. Reineking will assist with diagnostic and experimental anatomic pathology support for Stanford’s AAALAC-accredited animal facilities, will participate in training rounds and other educational opportunities in Comparative Medicine and Pathology, and will provide collaborative research pathology support for investigators at Stanford University’s School of Medicine and Stanford University at large.

Faculty Promotion

The Department of Comparative Medicine is delighted to announce the promotion of Dr. Megan Ann Albertelli from Associate Professor to Professor 

Dr. Albertelli serves as the Associate Chair of the Department of Comparative Medicine and is the Director of the Laboratory Animal Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Megan Albertelli’s research program focuses on animal models of human diseases with a special emphasis on non-human primate models that utilize rhesus macaques, squirrel monkeys, and the mouse lemur, a highly specialized new animal model of aging. She has been a critical contributor as a veterinarian to study the mouse lemur. Her research has required several trips to Madagascar to study this species in its native habitat and to record its basic biological traits. Dr. Albertelli’s contributions to understanding the life cycle and physiology of this species as a new animal model have been critical to advancing translational research on aging and the establishment of a small colony of mouse lemurs at Stanford.

Faculty hire

The Department of Comparative Medicine is delighted to announce the hiring of Dr. Katherine Gates as Clinical Assistant Professor, effective 8/1/2023.

Dr. Gates will have oversight of satellite operations of the Veterinary Service Center (VSC) at the Stanford Research Park. Additionally, she will be assisting with the commissioning and oversight of the Animal Biosafety Level 3 housing unit and providing clinical support to the large animal surgery at the Veterinary Service Center (VSC).

Dr. Gates is familiar to many in the department because she has recently finished her residency in Laboratory Animal Medicine in the Department of Comparative Medicine. Dr. Gates passed the 2023 specialization board certification exam at the end of June, earning her the title of Diplomate in the College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.

Faculty hire

The Department of Comparative Medicine is delighted to announce the hiring of Dr. Katherine Heng as Clinical Assistant Professor, effective 6/16/2023.

Dr. Heng will be the Director of Large Animal Services at the Veterinary Service Center (VSC). She will be involved in direct clinical activity at the VSC’s large animal services and oversee the clinical care of non-human primates.

Dr. Heng has been part of the Comparative Medicine family when she was a Laboratory Animal Medicine Resident before joining the Stanford Neurosciences program to earn her PhD. 

Department of Comparative Medicine Awards and Recognition

2023 Honorees

At the annual December holiday event, the Department of Comparative Medicine holds an award ceremony to honor those who have been nominated by colleagues and clients for their exemplary work.

  • Animal Care Technicians of the Year Award -Carlos Davila, Glenn Cunningham DeVere 
  • Charron Award - Jerome Geronimo
  • Community Service Award - Claire Pham
  • Outstanding Clinician Award - Renee Cotton
  • Teaching Award - Claude Nagamine
  • MLAS Research Proposal Award - Krystal Tien

Faculty Award

Congratulations to Dr. Kerriann Casey, a finalist for the 2023 Art of Science competition. 

The Art of Science competition is a campus-wide event to celebrate the aesthetic beauty of science and explores the interconnected nature of science and art. Organized by the Stanford Materials Research Society, Dr. Casey’s piece was selected as a finalist for the twelfth annual Art of Science Exhibition held on May 12, 2023 in the Huang Foyer. 

Newt Sperm by Kerriann Casey, Comparative Medicine

The image is a photomicrograph (hematoxylin and eosin stain, 40x magnification) of testicular tissue from an adult male newt found deceased by Stanford’s Land Use and Environmental Planning Conservation Program. Hematoxylin stains the nucleic acid-rich head of the sperm dark purple, while eosin stains the protein-rich tail of the sperm bright pink. The linear anatomy of the sperm, coupled with the anatomic arrangement within the testicle, mimics the appearance of paint brush strokes.


Congratulations to Kyna Byrd,
MLAS alum! 

Under the mentorship of Dr. Joseph Garner, Kyna Byrd, MLAS graduate of 2023, published with PLOS ONE their MLAS research project, Pebble to the Metal: A Boulder Approach to Enrichment for Danio rerio.

"This is the first work to show the benefits of pebble-photo enrichment for zebrafish in real-world conditions, and is a huge step for zebrafish husbandry and welfare" said Dr. Garner. 

The Department of Comparative Medicine congratulates Kyna, Dr. Garner and everyone involved in this publication.

Faculty News

Congratulations to Dr. José Vilches-Moure!

Please join us in congratulating Dr. José Vilchés-Moure on his promotion to Associate Professor of Comparative Medicine, effective June 1, 2024.

Dr. Vilchés-Moure earned his DVM from Purdue University and his PhD in Comparative Pathology from the University of California Davis, where he also completed his residency in Anatomic Pathology. His is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists.

This well-deserved promotion is a testament to his exceptional dedication and contributions to our department and the broader academic community. Dr. Vilches-Moure's commitment to excellence and tireless efforts in teaching and mentorship truly exemplify the values and mission of our department. His expertise and leadership continue to enrich our academic environment and inspire those around him. We are fortunate to have Dr. Vilches-Moure as part of Comparative Medicine, and we eagerly anticipate the continued impact of his work in advancing our field.

Faculty News

Congratulations to Dr. Karen J. Parker!

Dr. Karen J. Parker, professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, is the inaugural Truong-Tan Broadcom Endowed Professor. See the announcement of the investiture here.

Dr. Parker holds a courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Comparative Medicine. She collaborates and co-advises with Comparative Medicine faculty Dr. Joseph Garner and is currently accepting Master of Laboratory Animal Science advisees for the Fall 2024 term.

Dr. Parker, the principal investigator of research projects sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Simons Foundation, Department of Defense, and other foundations, is also an affiliate scientist at the California National Primate Research Center. Details about Dr. Parker’s research here.

Faculty News

Comparative Medicine Faculty Wins ACVP’s 2023 Wendy Coe Leadership Award

Dr. José Vilches-Moure was selected to receive the 2023 Wendy Coe Leadership Award, a national award from the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). The award is in tribute to past ACVP Executive Director, Wendy Coe, who was an exemplary role model and took great pride in the organization. Nominations for the award were generated by the Board of Directors for ACVP members or committee chairs in recognition of outstanding ACVP committee support. Dr. Vilches-Moure was recognized for his significant contributions to the ACVP DEI Committee.

ACVP presented the award to Dr. Vilches-Moure at the 2023 ACVP/ASVCP Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, during the Awards and Recognition Event on October 31, 2023.

Residency News

Welcome to our new residents, Dr. Emily Mocarski and Dr. Milaan Waters!

The Department of Comparative Medicine is delighted to announce the postdoctoral appointments of two new Laboratory Animal Medicine Residents, Dr. Emily Mocarski and Dr. Milaan Waters. Their appointments will begin on September 1, 2023.

Dr. Mocarski earned her DVM from Iowa State University in 2021 and has been working as a specialty intern at the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital in Mesa, Arizona. Dr. Waters earned her DVM from the University of Georgia in April, 2023.

Please join us in welcoming them to the DCM.

Congratulations to Dr. Katherine Gates!

Dr. Gates’s research has been published in the Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: Gates KV, Alamaw E, Jampachaisri K, Huss MK, Pacharinsak C. Efficacy of Supplemental Diet Gels for Preventing Postoperative Weight Loss in Mice (Mus musculus). J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2023 Jan 1;62(1):87-91.

Congratulations to Dr. Justin Arthur!

Dr. Arthur's research has been published in the Journal of American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: Arthur JD, Alamaw ED, Jampachairsri K, Sharp P, Nagamine CM, Huss MK, Pacharinsak C. Efficacy of 3 Buprenorphine Formulations for the Attenuation of Hypersensitivity after Plantar Incision in Immunodeficient NSG Mice. J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2022 Sep 1;61(5):448-456


The Department of Comparative Medicine is delighted to announce the acceptance of five (5) candidates for the 2023-2024 Autumn quarter.

Fei Ge received her BA degree in Communications from the University of California, San Diego.

Emily Chen received her BS degree in Genetics and Genomics from the University of California, Davis.

Christine Goodermuth received her BS degree in Animal Science from Louisiana State University.

Dr. Jose Vilches-Moure will be their master’s research project advisor.

Yuey Jin received her BS degree in Animal Science (Applied Animal Behavior) from Cornell University. Dr. Joseph Garner will be her master’s research project advisor.

Victor Lujan received his BS degree in Biology from Grand Canyon University. Drs. Joseph Garner and David Bentzel will co-advise Victor for his master’s research project.

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Fei, Emily, Christine, Yuey, and Victor!

Faculty Award

Congratulations to Dr. Joseph Garner and his team for receiving an honorable mention award at the first Stanford Program on Research Rigor & Reproducibility (SPORR) 2023 Colloquium.

The honorable mention is in recognition of Dr. Garner and his lab’s track record in reproducibility and rigor metascience, the science of doing science.

SPORR highlighted his Nature article, Introducing Therioepistemology: the study of how knowledge is gained from animal research.

Dr. Garner would like to acknowledge his Stanford team -  former postdocs, Jamie Ahloy-Dallaire and Elin Weber, Stanford staff, Michael Guiterrez, and his current and past trainees who have contributed over the years.