Workshop Reports

Review the meeting summaries and reports below to find out what happened at events related to ORIP's mission and programs.

Comparative Medicine and Resource Related Reports

View the latest comparative medicine and resource related reports to see how animal models are furthering clinical and translational research and Resources are managed to maximize efficiency. Visit Archived Workshop Reports to view reports from before the last 5 years.


Virtual Seminar Series: “Validation of Animal Models and Tools for Biomedical Research”

January 19, 2021

The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) presented a virtual workshop on “Validation of Animal Models and Tools for Biomedical Research”. The workshop was organized by ORIP in collaboration with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), and was held as a series of sessions from November 17, 2020 to January 19, 2021.

This workshop provided a venue to discuss the status and needs regarding the validation and rigor/reproducibility of animal models used in biomedical research. The focus of this workshop series was on identifying obstacles, technology and resource gaps, and new approaches for assessing the value and limitations of animal models used to address basic science questions and/or to study human diseases.



Modernization of Biomedical Research Facilities Workshop – Tools for Biomedical Research

August 25, 2020

PDF file Workshop Report388 KB

The Modernization of Biomedical Research Facilities Workshop was held on August 25, 2020, to gather feedback from the biomedical research community on how modern equipment supports operations and enhances the research-support functionality of shared resource facilities. The discussion was divided into three topics: (1) advanced equipment to improve management through automation of shared facilities, (2) advanced equipment to improve care and maintenance of research animals, and (3) advanced equipment to improve research-supporting functions of core facilities. Throughout the Workshop, several common themes emerged: equipment (e.g., upgrades, maintenance, automated monitoring, and small equipment purchases), data management, coordination across facilities, digitization, and training.

Pre-meeting to the Workshop on Validation of Animal Models and Tools for Biomedical Research

May 29, 2020


Current Status and Future Enhancements to Animal Models for AIDS Research

September 23, 2019 to September 24, 2019

The Office of AIDS Research (OAR) and the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) co-sponsored a two-day highly focused, high-level workshop of experts in Animal Models for HIV research. These invited individuals provided the necessary background and latest perspectives to understand the status of existing and emerging animal models, as well as gaps in knowledge and resources that limit or circumscribe their use in HIV research. Through a process of summary presentations and discussion groups, these experts provided leadership to develop recommendations for NIH and the research community regarding current, emerging and potential enhancements to animal models for AIDS research.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Identify the most important enhancements to existing animal models to support HIV research
  • Identify the best animal models for specific HIV research goals (e.g., stage of infection, age groups)
  • Identify new and emerging animal models that merit further development and support
  • Determine how best to apply new technologies to improve and support animal models of HIV infection
  • Promote sharing of models and samples



Twelfth Comparative Medicine Resource Directors Meeting: Strengthening Research Resources: Integration, Innovation, and Standardization

August 7, 2018 to August 8, 2018

“Strengthening Research Resources: Integration, Innovation, and Standardization,” the Twelfth Comparative Medicine Resource Directors Meeting, was held August 7-8, 2018 in Rockville, MD. All Resource Directors funded by the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP)/Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM) were invited to attend. This biennial meeting offers a forum for the exchange of information among grantees and NIH Program Officers provide useful information to DCM-funded Resource Directors and for developing synergistic working groups, interactions, and collaborations. A primary objective was to generate broad interests in Resources, discuss “lessons learned,” and to convey a sense of what’s been done and what can be done in the future. Another important objective was to allow Resource Directors the opportunity to discuss optimization of administrative processes. ORIP Program Officers and others from various NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices (ICOs) contributed to scientific discussions to further enhance national use of DCM-funded resources.

Expert Panel Forum on Challenges in Assessing Nonhuman Primate Needs and Resources for Biomedical Research

August 23, 2018 to August 24, 2018

To augment and expand upon the findings of the Nonhuman Primate Evaluation and Analysis Part 1: Analysis of Future Demand and Supply study report, which was derived from historical analyses, supplier interviews, and user surveys, an expert panel forum was convened by the NIH on “Challenges in Assessing Nonhuman Primate (NHP) Needs and Resources for Biomedical Research.” A forum was conducted August 23-24, 2018 and brought together program officers from the NIH ICOs that sponsor the majority of NHP studies, leading researchers who use NHPs and represent a broad spectrum of scientific areas, and NHP resource managers from the academic, government, and commercial sectors. The objectives of the meeting were to:

  • Forecast the future uses of NHPs in biomedical research
  • Discuss and determine the scientific advances that are driving the future research
  • Define the relevant and emerging NHP models that will be required for future biomedical advances
  • Assess the capabilities of the existing resources and their ability to adapt to future needs, including an examination of the timeframe needed for expansion and, if expansion is not possible, what additional resources or infrastructure would be required
  • Address the challenges in the resource planning process

The forum was designed with the assistance of an organizing committee comprised of experts in NHP research and resource management and was intended to examine demand and supply from the perspective of each of the three groups of attendees: program sponsors who broadly generate demand based on their funding priorities, researchers who have specific NHP needs, and resource managers who must manage their breeding colonies and provide specialized populations and research capabilities to meet the needs of researchers. The discussions and potential solutions identified by forum participants were further evaluated by the organizing committee after the conclusion of the meeting and synthesized into a set of key recommendations for NIH consideration.

Defined Reference Diets for Zebrafish and Other Aquatic Biomedical Research Models: Needs and Challenges Workshop

July 30, 2018

On July 30, 2018, the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) convened a workshop on “Defined Reference Diets for Zebrafish and Other Aquatic Biomedical Research Models: Needs and Challenges”.  Aquatic animal species, such as zebrafish (Danio rerio), are powerful models for studying human development, behavior, genetics, and disease. The ability to produce transgenic and mutant lines provides biomedical researchers with many options for developing models of human diseases and for developing relevant therapeutic approaches. Different facilities and laboratories use a variety of diets and feeding protocols to maintain these models. In many laboratories zebrafish are reared with a combination of live feed (ex vivo) and/or one of many undefined commercial diets. Commercial diets used in zebrafish husbandry differ significantly in ingredient and nutrient composition and often contain preservatives, lakes, dyes, antinutritional factors, or bioactive food compounds. Studies indicate that the length, weight, sexual maturation, fecundity, and mortality of zebrafish can vary significantly with different diets. Unfortunately, impacts of diet on zebrafish health and behavior and corresponding implications for zebrafish research outcomes are not well described. Currently, the daily dietary nutrient requirements of almost all nutrients have not been investigated. There is also no consensus among aquatic facilities, researchers, and commercial vendors on nutritional requirements at various life stages (i.e., larval, juvenile, and adult) or for particular research applications to minimize husbandry variations among aquatic facilities or laboratories. Complicit in this lack of consensus is a community-wide lack of understanding of the role of nutrition in animal development, health, and research outcomes. To address this gap, the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) is sponsoring a workshop to bring together members of the zebrafish scientific community, with expertise in zebrafish and other aquatic and relevant models, for a day of discussion. The workshop attendants will assess the needs and challenges of developing defined diets and optimized feed management strategies that will support normal zebrafish development and physiology and will facilitate the analysis of phenotypes in a standardized nutritional environment. Standardization and education will promote rigor and reproducibility in some zebrafish studies and enhance the power of zebrafish and other aquatic models in biomedical research.


  • Review diet development strategies, where available, in other biomedical model species.
  • Assess the current nutrition status of zebrafish.
  • Describe the need for defined diets for maintenance and experimental stocks, including assessment of life stage requirements.
  • Discuss the potential impact of defined diets on genetic stocks used in biomedical research, their effect on development, physiology and expressivity of disease/mutant phenotypes.
  • Identify obstacles and evaluate strategies that may lead to a successful consensus, acceptance, and implementation of defined diets among the different scientific community stakeholders.
  • Define an educational approach to informing the community and associated partners (journals, organizations, granting agencies, etc.)
  • Determine whether/how the approach to develop a defined diet for zebrafish could be applied to other aquatic models, and animal models in general.

Speaker Presentations

  • Session 1 Videos: Historic perspectives, current diets, ingredient considerations, and feeding management in the husbandry of zebrafish and other animal models: a comparative analysis.
  • Session 2 Videos: The impact of diet variation on health and experimental outcomes of zebrafish and other aquatic models.


Cryopreservation of Aquatic Biomedical Models

January 7, 2017

The Cryopreservation of Aquatic Biomedical Models Workshop was held on January 7, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama. Aquatic animal species such as zebrafish, medaka, Xiphophorus, and Xenopus are increasingly valuable to biomedical researchers because they provide critical clues to the biological mechanisms that underlie human health and disease. Although considerable resources have been invested to generate transgenic, knockout, and mutant lines of many of those aquatic species, reliable and cost-effective approaches for long-term preservation of these valuable lines are still lacking. Currently, cryopreservation of sperm is the sole and proven method for the long-term maintenance in many aquatic models, with no other approaches available to aquatic researchers. To address this gap, the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) sponsored a workshop, whose objectives were to (1) assess the status of germplasm cryopreservation in various aquatic models; (2) identify the obstacles, opportunities, and priorities that may address the need for improved methods; and (3) evaluate novel and emerging research and technologies that might lead to the successful preservation of other germplasm formats. Approximately 25 participants, including experts in the field of cryopreservation of aquatic models, representing the cryopreservation scientific community at large attended the workshop, despite the severe weather that affected the area where the workshop was held. Discussions during the different sessions resulted in specific, actionable recommendations to ORIP, as described in the accompanying report.

Tagging and Identification of Animal Resources Workshop

September 6, 2017

On September 6, 2017, the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) at National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a workshop on the “Tagging and Identification of Animal Resources.” The goals of the workshop were to provide participants with (1) a thorough review of the current challenges and possible solutions for the reporting and unique identification of research resources, including model organisms used in biomedical research; (2) an overview of the Resource Identification Initiative (RII or Initiative) to create and maintain biological resource identifiers for NIH-supported animal repositories; and (3) a hands-on session for Resource Directors and NIH staff on acquisition and use of unique Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) to identify research resources and conduct citation analysis of their usage. Participants included representatives from academia, industry, and publishing. 

Zebrafish and Other Fish Models: Description of Extrinsic Environmental Factors for Rigorous Experiments and Reproducible Results

September 11, 2017 to September 12, 2017

On September 11-12, 2017, the Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) convened a workshop “Zebrafish and Other Fish Models: Description of Extrinsic Environmental Factors for Rigorous Experiments and Reproducible Results”. The workshop brought together stakeholders, including facility managers, veterinarians, investigators, journal editors, and representatives from industry, for plenary and break-out sessions on how to account for extrinsic environmental factors. Specifically, the sessions focused on the effects of external environmental conditions on experimental outcomes and the need to strengthen experimental data with extrinsic environmental factors. The participants addressed questions on how to collect, manage, and share such data to benefit facilities and to improve robustness and reproducibility of experiments. The participants developed a draft of guidelines on extrinsic data formats and contents for inclusion in publications; the guidelines will be shared with a broader peer community for comments and edits, before they are published as a white paper.

Last updated: 11-07-2018