FEB 03, 2016 01:30 PM PST

In-house development and implementation of surgical animal models

  • Global Head, Animal Welfare and Compliance Training, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research
      Dr. Szczepan Baran is the Global Head, Animal Welfare and Compliance Training at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.

      Dr. Baran received a Bachelor of Science in Pre-Veterinary Medicine from the University of Delaware, a Veterinary Medical Doctoral degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a Master of Science in Comparative Medicine from the University Of Washington School Of Medicine.

      In 2005, he joined Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center where he was a member of the team that discovered the first canine embryonic stem cells. Then in 2007 Dr. Baran founded and became COO of the Veterinary Bioscience Institute before his current employment at Novartis.

      Dr. Baran founded the LinkedIn group "Laboratory Animal Science and Medicine," the largest group in this field. He also served as, Graduate Course Director, Drexel University College of Medicine, Assistant Professor at Delaware Valley, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Wake Forest School of Medicine and most notably as Director at Large for the Academy of Surgical Research as well as a Board Member of Americans for Medical Progress.

      His research interests include use of microfluidics in safety pharmacology and toxicology, the development and validation of online surgical training programs, and the development and validation of rodent endoscopic procedures. Dr. Baran's hobbies include boxing, micro-facial expressions and psychology of adolescent communication.


    Surgerized animals play a crucial role in preclinical research aimed at drug and medical device discovery into treatments for humans. When implementing new in-house surgical models to perform preclinical in-vivo studies, the models are not always straightforward and their implementation often comes with many challenges. Most surgical animal models have been executed by other institutions, however too often they have not been published and if they are, the methods are poorly described. Additionally, failures and mistakes during model development are typically not reported. This makes it difficult, even for experienced surgeons to read a published paper and incorporate the model. Furthermore, many scientists, especially when it comes to rodent surgical models, do not have a strong enough surgical background to make a case for a well-described surgical model. This presentation describes the process, validation and cost of implementing in-house surgical animal models.     

    Learning objectives:

    • Participants will learn steps required for successful implementation of in-house surgical animal model. 
    • Participants will learn the benefits and disadvantages of developing in-house surgical models versus outsourcing the work.

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