FEB 09, 2017 10:30 AM PST

Combining practical training with virtual training in the continuous development of lab animal vets

  • Head of Section, Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Section of Experimental Animal Models University of Copenhagen
      Axel Kornerup Hansen graduated in 1985 as DVM from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Copenhagen, Denmark. After two years in a small animal hospital, he became head of laboratories at Møllegaard Breeding Center, today part of Taconic Ltd. In 1993 he became associate director at the Department of Experimental Medicine at the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Copenhagen. In 1996 he was awarded the degree of Dr. Vet. Sci. based upon his thesis on the impact of bacteria in laboratory rats. From 1997 he has been professor in laboratory animal science and welfare under the University of Copenhagen (formerly Royal Veterinary and Agricul¬tural Universi¬ty). In 2000 he was made charter diplomat and was together with six others founding the European College of Laboratory Animal Medicine. His research area has primarily been on how the microbiota has an impact on laboratory animal models for inflammatory diseases and how this works in conjunction with the diet. He has published 158 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals, and 36 other papers in books, proceedings or popular journals.


    DATE: February 9, 2017
    TIME: 10:30am PT, 1:30pm ET

    During the last 50 years the claims for continuous development and training of laboratory animal staff has been progressively developing. In the same period competent veterinary support has become an increasingly integrated part of running high-tech laboratory animal facilities and performing state-of-the-art experiments in respect of the 3Rs. At present, the laboratory animal science community is faced with new challenges to meet the objectives of the new Directive 2010/63/EU. Although, the more detailed demands issued on the basis of the directive is generally to regarded as a positive input, because it has created an opportunity to further advance laboratory animal science training and education, it is also a challenge, because time and resources put a natural limit on the possibilities for lab animal vets to receive the proper training. Already today, not enough LAS programs are available across Europe, and new courses with a more flexible content need to be developed on the various levels of animal experimentation jobs. Online courses can help dealing with these challenges, as they are available anywhere at any time and are not limited to a certain number of participants. Theoretical knowledge and practical aspects of LAS can be taught online line at a students’ own study pace. Web-based programs offer the advantage of the option of multi-lingual training approaches within the same platform. Also it offers more flexibility for both teacher and student. For vets, it is obvious that there is also a need for practical training. However, if the hiring policy of the company or institution is directed towards securing a mixture of generations among vets, or if smaller organisation collaborate to secure this, the practical training is far more easy and probably also wiser to establish on-site rather than leaving this part to larger educational institutions such as the universities. In the future, the universities should, therefore, offer easily accessible online teaching programmes available globally to cover the needed curriculum, while the facilities themselves should collaborate on a more local scale to establish the practical training. The large non-governmental organisations in laboratory animal science and medicine, such as the veterinary unions, the laboratory animal science societies and the diplomat collages should then take on them to quality assure and accredit these programs. 

    Learning Objectives:

    • A basic understanding of the need for post graduate education of laboratory animal veterinarians
    • An introduction to the potentials of blended learning for global teaching programs

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