Benjamin Weigler: Improving technologies and procedures for animal care and a state-of-the-art vivarium

Benjamin Weigler

Title

Updating ATP-Luciferase Based Procedures for Animal Care and Support Spaces in a State-of-the-Art Vivarium

Mentor

Benjamin Weigler, Ph.D.

Department

Animal Resources and Campus Attending Veterinarian

Bio sketch

Benjamin Weigler oversees the campus wide programs of animal welfare compliance, veterinary care, husbandry, and research support for animals used in teaching and research, and advisor to faculty programs in the appropriate and humane use of vertebrate animals to comply with university policies, federal laws, and contemporary standards of practice. Weigler is a nationally recognized research expert in several areas, including zoonotic disease epidemiology, occupational health and safety in animal research environments, applied biostatistics, and animal welfare compliance. He completed a preceptorship in pathology at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and was a Fulbright research grant recipient to the University of Queensland, Australia where he studied the epidemiology of Chlamydia in free-ranging koala populations. While in veterinary school, he worked for the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Project overview

This project will examine the relationship between traditional microbiological culture assays and an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) based bioluminescent assay to help establish threshold limits for validating the efficacy of cleaning and storage procedures for housing systems and other supplies used by the office of Animal Resources. New technologies have become available to help perform these tests faster and with more sensitivity than ever before, so the student will be helping the University of Nevada, Reno to lead the way in quantitative, performance-based standards and thereby contribute positively to the animal care program in general. The student will participate in staff meetings and work alongside the veterinary technician and the veterinarians in developing this project, obtaining the measurements, performing an analysis of the findings, and preparing the report with recommendations for best practices. Students enrolled in majors such as microbiology, biochemistry, and veterinary science would be most applicable for this project.