Another career option

I read the June/July 2019 issue from cover to cover, as usual. This time, though, I was struck with the realization that laboratory animal science is a completely overlooked specialty for both veterinary professionals and paraprofessionals.

I read with particular interest “The Road Ahead” [Getting Technical column] but was dismayed that laboratory animal science wasn’t mentioned. The career paths are outstanding for both professionals and paraprofessionals looking to make a difference in human and animal health — and looking for exciting, challenging and rewarding work. Our field includes health care, husbandry, pathology lab, materials management, administrative, construction and design, and so much more. Our facilities are full-service hospitals with researcher clients; in fact, my facility is better equipped than most human hospitals.

I have an MS in animal behavior and am a certified manager of animal resources, but I started life as a veterinary assistant. Over the course of my career in laboratory animal science, I have climbed a career ladder with considerably more rungs than if I’d stayed in private practice (and have better benefits, too!).

As a department administrator, I am essentially a practice manager with 11 veterinarians and 140-plus staff. Check out the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science at to learn more about career options.

Stacy LeBlanc is research department administrator in the department of veterinary medicine and surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Protection Status