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Zebrafish Workshop at Gadsden State August 6-8

Gadsden State Community College’s Aquaculture Department will host a unique workshop August 6-8 on the Wallace Drive Campus—the first hands-on workshop for Zebrafish training.  The University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB) is co-sponsoring the impressive workshop through Gadsden State’s Zebrafish Husbandry Education Program.  The Zebrafish Husbandry

Program was developed in 2012, through the collaboration and partnership of the UAB Animal Resource Program along with many well-known medical research colleges, facilities, and leading manufacturers of aquatic housing systems.

Traditionally medical research has depended on rats and mice as research subjects. Currently for many practical reasons, Zebrafish are being used more widely in research efforts.  They are less expensive, reproduce much faster than rodents, and the Zebrafish genome has been fully mapped.

Dr. Hugh Hammer, Gadsden State instructor, is well known throughout the world and respected as one of the most knowledgeable authorities in the field of aquaculture.  Hammer said, “We are looking forward to this workshop which will be one of many planned to teach professionals how to work with Zebrafish.

The workshop is being attended by supervisors, facility managers, and veterinarians.”  An impressive list of approximately 40 attendees include professionals from hospitals such as Boston Children’s, M. D. Anderson, Oklahoma Medical Research, and St. Jude’s Children’s Research to name a few.  Collegiate professionals include instructors from as close as Emory University and as far as the University of Washington (Seattle) and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  There will also be multiple pharmaceutical company representatives also in attendance.

In addition to Dr. Hammer, the instructors will include: Dr. George Sanders, University of Washington in Seattle; Dr. Susan Farmer, UAB; Dan Castranova, NIH and Charles River Laboratories; Erik Sanders, Washington University in St. Louis; Dr. Eric Henry, Reed Mariculture, Inc. from Campbell, California; Darrin Honious, YSI, Inc.; Brendan Delbos, Aquaneering, Inc.; Chris Obenschain, Tecniplast; Eric Herbst, Pentair Aquatic Ecosystems; and Eric Stone, Aquatic Enterprises.

The participants will be divided into small groups which will rotate through instructional stations allowing hands-on learning experiences.  Topics will include Spawning and Larviculture I, II, and III; Live Feeds I and II; Water Chemistry I and II; Cleaning and Disinfection; Recognizing Sick Fish, and Anesthesia/Euthanasia.  Dr. George Sanders will also be lecturing on Occupational Health and Safety.

Additional sponsors making this workshop possible include: Zebrafish Husbandry Association, Aquatic Solutions By Tecniplast, Aquaneering, Inc., Pentair Aquatic Ecosystems, Inc., Aquatic Enterprises, Inc., YSI, Inc., Skretting, Inc., R & D Aquatics, and Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange.

For more information concerning the Aquaculture Program at Gadsden State contact Dr. Hugh Hammer at 256-549-8345 or

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