The Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory (ARBL) is an integral part of the Department of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Sixteen departmental faculty members are associated with the ARBL and devote full-time to the area of reproductive biology. In addition, one member of the Department of Clinical Sciences and three members of the Department of Animal Sciences are considered integral members of the ARBL due to their interactive commitments and expertise. Faculty members in other departments, colleges, and universities contribute to joint research projects.
One outstanding feature of the faculty members associated with the ARBL is their breadth and ability to interact with each other in a wide variety of sub-disciplines of animal reproduction and reproductive biology. Thus, a team approach is used to brainstorm problem areas and to conduct research. Dr. Thomas Hansen serves as Director of the ARBL.
In addition to the faculty members, 4 to 8 postdoctoral trainees or postdoctoral research associates, 30 to 35 graduate students, and many technical and secretarial staff members contribute to the activities of the laboratory. Because of the large number of trainees involved, unique interactions are possible and openings for highly qualified postdoctoral trainees and graduate students usually exist.
Personnel and facilities of the ARBL are located at the Foothills Campus. The Foothills Campus also includes pasture and housing for the hundreds of cattle, horses, sheep and laboratory animals used for research. Construction of a 22,000 square foot laboratory/office building was completed in 1995, and an adjacent 15,000 square foot building, which houses the gamete preservation and embryo transfer laboratories, also underwent extensive renovation in 1995. This new facility allows most personnel of the program to be housed at a single location, and enhances interactions among faculty and students. The new laboratory includes specific facilities for cloning, sequencing and characterization of genes; measurement of hormones, receptors, and other compounds of biologic interest; transmission electron microscopy; isolation and culture of cells; immunology and immunochemistry; production of transgenic animals; semen analyses; and cryopreservation of sperm and embryos. The facilities have been designed to allow maximum flexibility in teaching, research and service programs.
The faculty, students and staff of the ARBL are devoted to solution of important problems in animal production and human health. Scientists associated with ARBL use research techniques and animal species that are appropriate to answer the questions being asked.
Funding for research comes from a number of sources. As is true at all land-grant universities, the Cooperative State Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture provides partial funding for research on domestic animals. ARBL scientists also have research support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Competitive Grant Program of the United States Department of Agriculture. Fees for reproductive services, particularly with horses, and gifts, grants, and contracts from individuals and companies also contribute to the laboratory's broad financial base for research and service.
Personnel of the ARBL strive to provide superior instruction to baccalaureate, graduate and professional veterinary medical students and to conduct basic and applied research regarding fundamental reproductive processes. ARBL personnel have recognized, since the program's inception, the importance of presenting research results to peers throughout the world. Consequently, the ARBL is well known for its short courses and continuing education classes, and faculty members are frequently invited to speak at other universities and at national and international meetings.
ARBL faculty are particularly concerned about recruitment of minority pre- and postdoctoral trainees.
As teaching, research and service expanded, the Animal Reproduction Laboratory (ARL) was established to bring together scientists with a common interest in reproductive physiology of cattle and horses. The ARL attained an international reputation for research and short courses on cattle and horse reproduction. In 1972, Colorado State University recruited additional faculty and dedicated facilities to the area of reproductive endocrinology
In 1986, the ARL completed a refocusing of objectives. Faculty had concluded that greater emphasis should be given to research leading to new principles in reproductive biology. In keeping with this new commitment, the name of the laboratory was changed to the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory (ARBL) in 1989.
Five new faculty members with expertise in cellular and molecular biology were recruited. Production of transgenic animals became a major research tool.
In 1989, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education selected the ARBL to be a state supported "Program of Excellence." The University named the ARBL as one of the first eleven "Programs of Research and Scholarly Excellence." The ARBL also is a WICHE (Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education) Regional Graduate Program, allowing in-state tuition to students from WICHE states.
Researchers associated with the ARBL have international reputations, having received over 20 major awards for excellence in research and service and have been elected as officers of major professional societies. One is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Many serve on the editorial boards of major journals devoted to reproductive biology and reproductive endocrinology and sit on national review boards for research funding.