Debra L. Hickman, DVM, MS, DACLAM, DACAW

Director, Laboratory Animal Resource Center
Associate Research Professor, Laboratory Animal Resource Center
Adjunct Associate Research Professor, Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology

Diplomate, American College of Animal Welfare (2014)
Diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (2003)
MS, University of Illinois, Urbana (1998-2001)
DMV, University of Illinois, Urbana (1994-1998)
BS, Zoology, University of California, Davis (1990-1993)

Research is focused on the understanding of affective states and how they can be manipulated for preventative and therapeutic purposes for humans and animals.  The overall goal of the research is to use multidisciplinary evaluation approaches to assess the well-being of animals used in research.  The results of our studies are added to the body of knowledge that is used by regulatory agencies to make recommendations regarding husbandry and biomethodology.  Currently, the main focus of the laboratory is assessment of changes in rat well-being in a vary environmental housing conditions.

Funding Support:
  • Evaluation of the well-being of rats euthanized with low versus high flow carbon dioxide (2014)
  • Use of a rotational environmental enhancement strategy to improve the well-being of rats in the laboratory (2013) 
  • Evaluation of the welfare of rats housed in red-tinted caging, Johns Hopkins CAAT (2012)
  • Use of cognitive bias to assess welfare of rats housed in cages with altered dimensions, AALAS Grants for Laboratory Animal Science (2008)
  • Assessment of pain and distress associated with footpad injections of complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA), ACLAM Foundation (2008)
  • Characterization of body condition score as a method of assessing health status in rats, AALAS Grants for Laboratory Animal Science (2007)
  • Body condition scoring as an endpoint for tumor growth studies, Johns Hopkins CAAT (2005)

Stark Neurosciences Research Institute | Neuroscience Research Building | 320 West 15th Street | Indianapolis, IN 46202 | Phone: (317) 278-5848 | FAX: (317) 231-0203