Brooke Sword joined the Division of Animal Resources for Virginia Commonwealth University in December of 2016 as a Vivarium Manager for an aseptic barrier rodent facility; more recently she has been managing a mixed species facility, including aquatics and USDA animals. She has also been employed with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs as a Research Technician since July of 2015, managing a multi-line transgenic colony while participating in neurodegenerative disease research. Her lab specifically targets Multiple Sclerosis with studies being published in journals such as Glia, Journal of Neuroinflammation, and ASN Neuro.
Prior to these positions, Brooke received her Bachelors of Science from Bridgewater College in psychology and neuroscience; this is where she gained her first experience with animal science by conducting research on the effect of alcohol and caffeine with adolescent and adult mice over the course of three years. Upon graduation in 2011, she accepted a position as a Laboratory Specialist for Virginia Commonwealth University’s pharmacology and toxicology department, working with controlled substance abuse with rats for the National Institute of Drug Abuse. She received her Masters of Laboratory Animal Science from Eastern Virginia Medical School in May of 2016, with a specialization of in-vitro fertilization and cryopreservation. She received her certification as a Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATg) with the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science in December of 2017 and is currently working toward becoming a Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR).
Joining the Greater Virginia Branch of AALAS in 2016, Brooke was elected to the board to become Secretary of the branch and excelled in that position for two years. Becoming more involved with the branches growth and expansion, she was selected to attend the Ben Cohen Branch Management Summit at the AALAS National Headquarters in March of 2018. Here, she participated in extensive training on integral components required of an AALAS branch, an introduction to the essential committees, along with the crucial roles and additional tools to keep the branch on a path toward success.
With all of these attributes combined, Brooke is confident she can efficiently bring growth and outreach opportunities to the branch through exciting fundraising channels and member outings. Her energy surrounding animal research and enthusiastic nature will hopefully evoke more educational and training opportunities for our branch, while keeping our members excited and engaged with our lab animal community.