The university provides a comprehensive program for the care and use of laboratory animals in biomedical research, academic and professional training, and in product development. Resources comprise a self-contained 31,000 sq. ft. animal facility, trained administrative and technical support, full diagnostic and pathology services and a veterinarian specialized in laboratory animal medicine who serves as full-time director.
Occupying an entire floor of the Basic Sciences Building, the animal complex comprises logistically separate units that are functionally and operationally integrated. Services include:
- Breeding, genetic monitoring and experimental manipulation of transgenic and knock-out mice.
- Generation of monoclonal antibodies for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
- Use of human, animal tumor and angiogenesis models for therapeutic investigations.
- Special instrumentation of rodents for cardiovascular and hypertension research.
- Biosafety facilities for experimentation with infectious and hazardous agents.
- Cardiovascular and pharmacological experimentation in large animals.
Animal health status is rigorously monitored by a staff dedicated to high quality control standards. The facility meets the most stringent health requirements and is in compliance with federal and state department of health regulations.
The level of staff involvement depends on individual user needs. Users can assume full responsibility for executing projects or can delegate some or all responsibility to the staff. Support staff can be added as required.
- Facility management
- Animal facility design and equipment maintenance
- Animal care procedures
- Animal health and disease prevention
- Comparative anatomy and physiology (animal model development)
- Breeding programs
- Animal husbandry and nutrition
- Transportation of animals and intake procedures
- Experimental and surgical techniques
- Anesthesia services
- Full support for major and minor surgery in research animals
- Rodent isolation/containment cubicles for housing, isolation and experimental manipulation of high-risk rodents
- Small animal (rodents, rabbits, primates) conventional housing rooms physically separated from all other facility components and functions
- Large animal pens for dogs, separated from all other facility components and functions
- Small animal procedure rooms designed for multi-purpose use including routine experimental procedures and performance of aseptic surgery
- Surgical operating suite for large animals comprising one large and two small operating rooms, six surgical table (tilt-type) locations with overhead connections for the use of oxygen, vacuum, compressed air, adjustable surgical lights, intravenous support fluids and pull-down electrical outlets
- Surgical suite support areas adjacent to operating rooms that include an instrument room containing an autoclave, storage cabinets, sink, instruments and supplies; a recovery room; diagnostic x-ray/laser room; supply room; two dressing/locker rooms for attending surgeons, each equipped with lockers, toilets, sinks and showers; and a utility room with a washer/dryer for gowns, drapes and towels prior to autoclaving
- Cage wash area, subdivided into soiled and clean sides by means of a pass-through rack washer that is positioned, side by side, with a pass-through tunnel washer
- Animal feed, bedding/dry goods and clean-cage storage rooms
- Separate loading docks for receipt of non-contaminated supplies, for live animals and for animal facility waste
- Animal health diagnostic laboratory affording space and equipment for the routine monthly monitoring of rodent colonies for viral and bacterial pathogens, and for health monitoring of dogs including clinical chemistries, urine analysis, hematology and parasitic examinations
- Histopathology laboratory for fixing, processing, staining and preparing microscopic slides of animal tissues for disease diagnosis
- Refrigerator room for the storage of experimental animal diets
- Diet kitchen for preparing animal diets and storing refrigerated drugs and vaccines
- Heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) controls conforming to federal and New York State regulatory standards. These are maintained and backed up by dedicated mechanical systems independent of university installations. The specialized and dedicated animal facility HVAC system is programmed to run off a stand-by generator if the dedicated animal facility system fails.
The Laboratory Animal Complex is registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the New York State Department of Health. The university's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee monitors the animal facility, adhering to NIH recommendations for the care and use of laboratory animals. It is mandatory that the committee approve all animal protocols before experimental work can be initiated. The committee is also responsible for semi-annual review of the animal facility physical plant and for all programs initiated and conducted within the animal facility.
Sulli J. Popilskis, DVM
Director of Comparative Medicine
New York Medical College
Department of Comparative Medicine
Basic Sciences Building
Valhalla, NY 10595