FEB 08, 2017 03:00 PM PST

Management of a research colony of woodchucks (Marmota monax)

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  • Principal Veterinary Scientist / Associate Director, Veterinary Sciences, Bristol-Myers Squibb
      Peg achieved her veterinary degree in 1987 and Board Certification in Laboratory Animal Medicine in 1997. Her veterinary experience has included private pet practice, academic research, and pharmaceutical research. She has contributed both as a laboratory animal veterinarian and as a researcher. Peg currently works for Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Principal Veterinary Scientist. Her roles include serving on the Animal Care and Use Committee as Attending Veterinarian, providing clinical care of research animals, collaborating with researchers, developing surgical animal models, and overseeing the animal health assurance program.


    DATE: February 8, 2017
    TIME: 3:00pm PT, 6:00pm ET

    The Eastern woodchuck (Marmota monax) is a large, burrowing rodent with native territories throughout parts of the US and Canada. Woodchucks are susceptible to infection with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV), a hepadnavirus that is endemic in certain wild populations. The epidemiology and course of disease of WHV infection demonstrates numerous similarities with another member of the hepadnaviridae family, human hepatitis B virus (HBV), including a high rate of progression to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These characteristics have led to the use of WHV–infected woodchucks as a valuable and highly translatable animal model of viral hepatitis and oncogenesis. Despite the clear utility of this species for these and other research applications, housing and maintenance of woodchucks in a laboratory setting is relatively uncommon and information regarding their care requirements and technical procedures is limited. In this presentation, we will give an overview of our facility’s approach to husbandry, management, health care, and experimental methods in this unique laboratory rodent.

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