Research Staff: Sandra Weisker
The Small Animal Colony provides housing for rodents and rabbits in a barrier facility for the teaching and research efforts of the Department of Animal Science, and is located at the Cole Facility. Specific pathogen free status is maintained through a combination of limited access and strict attention to personal hygiene and sanitation. The 5500 square foot facility contains 15 animal rooms, which can be outfitted to house most small laboratory species. In addition, the facility has on-site sanitation and sterilization capabilities for all equipment used, as well as laboratories and surgical areas.
Inventory includes more than 2000 mice, as well as smaller colonies of rats, hamsters, and rabbits. Most animals used come from our own breeding colonies, and many of the mouse lines were developed by our faculty and do not exist elsewhere.
The facility currently serves seven faculty with a variety of research interests. Rodents are used primarily to study reproduction and genetics with projects in DNA mapping, fertilization mechanisms, and the development of transgenic models. Rabbits are being used for antibody production and cell differentiation studies.
The facility provides education and experience through classes, internships, and student employment. It supports eight classes from several departments teaching students basic physiology, animal husbandry, facility management, and rodent surgery. The colony also employs an average of 15 students most who are in training for careers in veterinary medicine, biomedical research, or laboratory animal management. Employment provides experience required for AALAS certification. Graduates from the program are in high demand at universities, animal vendors, and biomedical companies.