Training Leaders in Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Research

Veterinarians play a critical role in biomedical research. To support and encourage careers in veterinary biomedical science, the Department of Comparative Medicine offers courses and training opportunities at the undergraduate, pre-veterinary, graduate, postdoctoral, and professional levels.

The department has a strong tradition of advising Stanford undergraduates interested in a veterinary career. Stanford undergraduate students can register for Pre-Veterinary Advisory (CompMed 110) to experience comprehensive mentoring from our veterinarian faculty.

The Department of Comparative Medicine offers a PhD T32 training program that funds graduate tuition, stipend, and other training expenses for up to three years of research. The T32 program also accepts postdocs who are not seeking enrollment in a PhD program but wish to pursue postdoctoral research training at Stanford.

We also offer an ACLAM-approved, three-year residency program in laboratory animal medicine to veterinarians and 4-6 week AVMA-registered externships to junior and senior veterinary students who are interested in laboratory animal medicine and/or comparative pathology.

A Sample of our Award-Winning Courses

The Department of Comparative Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine offers an exciting array of classes to captivate your curiosity and expand your understanding of animals and biomedical and translational research. Here are some course descriptions that may pique your interest:

COMPMED 80N: Animal Behavior: Sex, Death, and Sometimes Food!

Behavior is what makes animals special (thirsty plants don't walk to water), but why do animals behave the way they do? What does their behavior tell us about their inner lives, and about ourselves? What do lipstick and cuckoos and fireflies have in common? Why would nobody want to be a penguin? What do mice say to each other in their pee-mail? Learning how to think about questions like these gives us a unique perspective on the natural world.

COMPMED 87Q: Laboratory Mouse in Biomedical Research

What is a nude mouse and why is it used in cancer research? Why do my mouse pups have a different coat color than their parents? What is a knockout mouse? Answers to these and more are in this introduction to the laboratory mouse, one of the most widely used models in biomedical research. We will explore the natural history and origin of the laboratory mouse; the ethics and regulations on the use of mice in research; the characteristics and nomenclature of commonly used mouse strains; the anatomy, physiology, and husbandry of mice; common mouse diseases and their effects on research; mouse coat color genetics and its relevance to human diseases; immunodeficient mouse models and their uses in research; and the technology for genetically engineering mice (e.g., transgenic mice). Hands-on laboratories will include mouse handling and biometeorology, necropsy and tissue sampling and anesthesia and surgery.

COMPMED 81Q: Aardvarks to Zebras: The A to Z of Animal Anatomy

Ever wonder what cats and narwhals have in common? Maybe you haven't, but despite their seemingly different lifestyles and habitats (i.e. sleeping on couches versus swimming in oceans), they are both mammals! In this seminar, students will gain an appreciation for basic mammalian anatomic and physiologic principles that span across multiple species while emphasizing key differences that render each species unique. Through student projects, we will explore evolutionary adaptations that have driven the success of a variety of species within the context of their natural environments. In addition to a weekly lecture, anticipated laboratory sessions will reinforce anatomic principles through a combination of rodent cadaver dissection, organ and bone specimens, and use of virtual reality demonstrations.

To access the most up-to-date and comprehensive list of Comparative Medicine courses at Stanford University, visit the official Stanford Bulletin ExploreCourses website. There, you'll find detailed information about course requirements, the number of units, class schedules, and more.