Stephanie Adamczyk

Major: Biology
Purdue School of Science
Supervisor: Debra Hickman, DVM, MS, DACLAM, DACAW
Department: Indiana University School of Medicine Laboratory Animal Resource Center

Changing Housing to Improve Laboratory Rodent’s Welfare

Animal welfare refers to the state of the well-being of an animal. In terms of treatment, this includes animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment. The objective of my research at the Laboratory Animal Resource Center (LARC) is to evaluate the well-being of Sprague Dawley rodents in a variety of commercially available individually ventilated caging systems. I am conducting this type of research to minimize the stress and anxiety in laboratory rodents. At LARC, we are dedicated to providing exceptional animal care which exceeds the needs of Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine and its research staff. The key features to determine the assessment includes: elevated plus maze, forced swim test, open field test, weights, blood collection, and measurement of organ weight (thymus, spleen, adrenal). The research is in progress. Evaluating the well-being of rodents will determine the status of their welfare. Rodents can experience physical and/or psychological stress that can cause depression and anxiety. This is indistinguishable to depression and anxiety in humans. Researchers can utilize their data in rodents to discover new antidepressant drugs in human medicine. LARC contributes to and enhances the service and collaborative efforts of medical research at the IU School of Medicine.