19766-Hickman, Debra

Debra Hickman, DVM, MS

Director, Laboratory Animal Resource Center

IB 008
Indianapolis, IN


Diplomate, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine (2003)

Diplomate, American College of Animal Welfare (2014)


Academic Appointments

2009-present: IUSM Laboratory Animal Resource Center, Director and Associate Research Professor

2009-present: IUSM Dept of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Adjunct Associate Research Professor

2001-2009: Veterinary Medical Unit, Portland VA Medical Center, Chief of Veterinary Services

2005-2009: Dept of Comparative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Associate Professor

2001-2005: Dept of Comparative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Assistant Professor


Professional Societies

American Association for the Laboratory of Animal Science

American Association for Veterinary Medical Officers

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine

American Society of Laboratory Animal Practitioners

American Veterinary Medical Association

International Society of Applied Ethology

Society for Psychophysiological Research

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare



Ron Orta Humanitarian Award, District 8 AALAS (2009)

Pravin Bhatt Young Investigator Award, AALAS (2011)

Research Excellence Award, ASLAP (2012)


Titles & Appointments

  • Director, Laboratory Animal Resource Center
  • Senior Research Professor, Laboratory Animal Resource Center
  • Adjunct Senior Research Professor of Anatomy, Cell Biology & Physiology
  • Education
    2001 MS University of Illinois
    1998 DVM University of Illinois
    1996 BS University of Illinois
    1993 BS University of California, Davis
  • Research

    Research Objective


    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 vary environmental housing conditions.


    Funding Support


    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)

    Evaluation of the well-being of rats euthanized with low versus high flow carbon dioxide (2014)

    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)

Research Labs

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Faculty Labs