Laura Shulder


Animal science, psychology

I am a laboratory animal scientist. Although I may not be considered an essential employee at first glance, my job in drug research and development can never truly stop. My animal colleagues work 24/7 to help discover cutting-edge cures and treatments for grievous diseases. Their work dictates my work—whether in the vivarium, the laboratory, or on-call on weekends, holidays, or late nights. Pandemics cannot put a stop to science and ongoing research.


Working from home is a challenge. There is a lot of crucial communication between veterinary staff, animal care technicians, researchers, facility operations, maintenance, and lab personnel. We have to enter our facility to do our jobs, but we work on specific team rotations, practicing social distancing and conserving vital PPE.

I struggle not being able to see my animals daily, as they are why I chose to work in this field. But as the constant communication between staff and the daily banter of lab life has now entered my home, I see silver linings everywhere. I have never been more proud to work in this field. We are working tirelessly to develop a drug or a vaccine to help with this pandemic, and also to deliver life-saving medicines to patients. It is truly inspiring to be a part of the effort.