Research models

Jamie Naden, PhD


Areas of expertise

+ Technical service on models, model characterization, and tumor model studies

+ Metabolic research

+ Immunology

+ Muscle biology - cachexia and cancer

+ Exercise science


+ Veterinary science
+ Health monitoring
+ Xenograft models
+ R2G2 knockout model

What are your responsibilities at Envigo?

I work within the Veterinary Sciences Research and Support (VSRS) department - providing scientific expertise and thought leadership to the Research Models and Services (RMS) division. I have the pleasure of interacting with customers directly, as well as Envigo personnel, on technical support for RMS.

I'm also involved with internal and external project management, health monitoring, new product development, marketing, quality control, and presenting at regional and national conferences to promote the scientific face of Envigo's RMS.

What inspired you to pursue a career in science?

I decided to explore this field after a successful shadowing opportunity with a speech pathologist my dad set up for me during high school. I went on to study exercise science in college. There, I found a love for human anatomy, physiology, and the body's response to exercise and training. 

I earned my master's degree while working in a lab as a graduate assistant studying cachexia; the wasting of a patient's body due to cancer - reducing the odds of survival. I hold this area of study dear to my heart because my dad suffered from cachexia before passing away during my second year of college. 

I went on to study biomedical science for my PhD. Even though I didn't continue research in cachexia, I found my passion studying cancer in different ways until I left academia to start my work at Envigo.

What are some of the key attributes of being successful in your role?

A wide range of knowledge and expertise is critical. I have an extremely diverse background - working in many different areas of research and academia.

I have worked with mice and rats in the fields of neuroscience, exercise physiology, muscle biology, cancer cachexia, cancer immunology, inflammation, and sleep deprivation. This varied experience has proven beneficial in providing customers with high-quality advice.

Having an understanding of some of the obstacles customers face - like repeating results or obtaining funding - is also a crucial component. I have firsthand knowledge of some of those struggles. My hands-on experience with animals truly helps me while having solution-oriented conversations with customers to achieve positive outcomes.

What are the best parts of your job?

I really enjoying being at the forefront of all the exciting data-driven projects we manage. I was part of a scientific team that developed characteristic data on the R2G2 model - which since been presented at multiple conferences. Sharing the success of experiments with fellow scientists to promote learning is extremely rewarding.

What are some of the achievements you are most proud of?

The launch of the Envigo enrichment program. The aim of the project was to build a more robust enrichment program for rodent models. We rolled it out November 1, 2017 - after a few years of testing various products. Every single rodent cage in North America now has provided enrichment and we continue to make improvements. This was a huge accomplishment for the VSRS department and one, of which, I am most proud.

I have also taken the opportunity to teach anatomy and physiology as an adjunct faculty at the Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. I find sharing my knowledge with the next generation of students in the medical field very satisfying. 

Are there any particular projects or studies you'd like to undertake?

Envigo has a fantastic reputation for animal welfare. My work contributes to maintaining those high standards. I would love to do more with animal welfare through continued research. That way, I am able to offer even better advice to our customers concerning the care of animals.

What are some of your personal goals?

My husband and I moved out of town so that we could have more land. We raise a lot of animals and have visions of expanding. This will make for busy weekends, but we wouldn't have it any other way.

If you have a question for Jamie or if you'd like to learn more about our research models, please contact us.

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