Animal Models in Surgical Research

  • Morgan L. Hennessy
  • Allan M. GoldsteinEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


For centuries, scientists have used model organisms to answer fundamental questions about biology. Model organisms ranging from yeast to worms, fruit flies, rodents, and primates represent basic tools for biomedical research and are critically important in translational research and advancing our knowledge of human disease. For surgeon-scientists, modeling the conditions that affect our patients is essential to elucidating the underlying pathophysiology and to discovering novel therapies. Familiarity with the various model organisms available and their respective strengths is therefore essential so that the best system is selected to answer a scientific question. Here we present a selection of model organisms and the uses, drawbacks, and practical aspects thereof to provide a brief review for the surgeon-scientist.


Animal models Translational research Zebrafish Swine Chicken Primates Sheep Basic science 



Funding source: AMG is supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01DK103785).

Conflict of interest:  The authors have no financial conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatric Surgery, MassGeneral Hospital for ChildrenHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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