Resources and Environment

EMSR is a full-service facility which performs preclinical experiments in a wide variety of in vivo models. The EMSR team provides technical and scientific expertise in modeling of cancer disease and offers a variety of services using cancer cell lines. The EMSR includes Genetically Engineered Mouse Models (GEMM) Core Facility and Mouse Experimentation Unit.

GEMM Core Facility

The GEMM Core was established by the BIO5 Institute in 2006 with substantial help from the office of the Vice President for Research through its support for animal care operation. The GEMM Core offers “Sequence to Whiskers” mouse genetic engineering services that include vector design and construction for both transgenic and gene-targeted mice, gene-targeting in ES cells, screening for targeted ES cells, CRISPR/Cas9 targeting for SNP knockins, pronuclear and blastocyst injection, screening for founder and germline chimeric mice, breeding for speed congenics, and consultation on GEM colony management. Also provided are sperm cryopreservation, IVF, and embryo rederivation services.

Vector Construction Facility: The vector construction facility consists of a wet lab with 50 linear feet of lab bench to produce all types of transgenic and gene targeting vectors in Rm 224 of the Keating building. It has 2 Eppendorf PCR machines with uninterruptable power supplies, a computer with uninterruptable power supply, several gel boxes with power supplies, a UV light box, Southern blotting equipment, an Excella shaker incubator, a second 37 degree incubator, 55 degree incubator, a platform rocker for the 55 degree incubator, an Eppendorf Thermomixer for recombineering work, and other standard molecular lab equipment, including a Sorvall mictofuge, hybe oven with rotator bottles, UV cross linker, a nanocell spectrophotometer, a BioRad electroporator, a -80 degree freezer, and a BioRad pulse field gel apparatus for evaluating BAC clone integrity.

Tissue Culture Facilities: The tissue culture and cryopreservation rooms have the following equipment: 2 Thermo Forma BCL2 biosafety cabinets, 2 Thermo Forma Stericult model 3310 C02 incubators, 2 Nikon TS 100 inverted phase contrast microscopes, a BioRad electroporator, a MilliQ Gradient water purification system with a endotoxin filter for cell culture solutions, 2 CBS V3000 isothermal liquid nitrogen cryogenic freezers for ES cell storage, and a computer and printer for printing labels.

GEMM Core Mouse Production Facilities: Located in a Helicobacter-free SPF vivarium in the Keating building includes an embryo preparation lab with a clean bench and a Nikon SMZ1500 dissection microscope for collecting embryos, a Thermo Fisher controlled rate freezer for embryo cryopreservation, and a small C02 incubator for maturing mouse embryos. All embryo implant surgeries are done in a biosafety cabinet in this room using a Nikon SMZ 800 microscope, veterinary plate style warmers to keep the anesthetized mice warm and a dry bath bead sterilizer. An embryo manipulation lab has a Nikon TE 2000 inverted microscope (Hoffman optics), an air table for both DNA pronuclear microinjection using an Eppendorf Femtojet microinjector and for blastocyst injection using a Narishige manual microinjector, a Sutter P97 micropipette puller, a DeFonbrune microforge, 2 Brooke’s Industries thermal stages for the Nikon microscopes, assorted Roboz surgical instruments and sterilization pans, and an N2 dry shipper for sending and receiving frozen embryos or sperm. Another lab has 2 micro isolator racks to house stud males and pseudo pregnant female mice; while another lab has 4 microisolator racks for housing founder transgenic mice and ES-cell-derived chimeras; and room 35 houses expansion colonies for offspring of founder transgenic and ES-cell-derived chimeras. The Keating vivarium has finger print biometric security. Access is only obtained through locked dressing rooms with both water and air showers.

Mouse Experimentation Unit

We offer the following services:

  • Consultation on overall design of experiments involving rodents
  • Animal protocols
  • Production of unique genetically engineered mouse (GEM) models through breeding of specific GEM strain (including tool mice)
  • Maintenance of a SCID colony
  • Xenograft modeling
  • Performance of numerous surgical rodent-specific procedures (unique and highly technically challenging service)
  • Cell culture services
  • Colony management of mouse strains and genotyping
  • Distribution of shared mice to UACC investigators
  • Rodent acute toxicity, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics studies
  • Mouse/xenograft tissue tumor bank

Mouse Experimentation Unit Facility. The unit occupies a 1600 sq. ft. laboratory space. The equipment includes four laminar flow hoods, two fume hoods, two analytical balances, three micro-centrifuges, twp mid-speed centrifuges, four water baths, three refrigerators, 2(-20oC) freezers, 1 (-80oC) freezer, a microwave, six computers with Microsoft Office, and a plate reader. Of the four laminar flow hoods, two are used for mycoplasma negative cell lines, the third is used for mycoplasma questionable or positive cell lines, and the last hood is used for surgeries. The various mouse colonies are housed in University Animal Care. The Mouse Experimentation Unit has a blanket protocol for pilot work and drug company work. The Unit is in compliance with the University’s Biosafety Committee rules.

Animal Facilities. University Animal Care (UAC) is an animal care research center with facilities located at the University of Arizona Health Science Center (AHSC), Bio5, and the main campus Central Animal Facility (CAF). UAC is in charge of the campus wide animal care and use program. The UA Animal Care and Use Program is centralized under University Animal Care (UAC). David G. Besselsen, DVM, PhD, DACLAM & DACVP is Director and reports to the Senior Vice President for Research. UAC is divided into several divisions: Animal Facility Management, Biotechnology Support Services, Education and Outreach Services, Facilities Maintenance and Construction, Farm Animal Services, and Pathology Services.

The Arizona Health Sciences Center is a state-of-the art 60,000-square-foot animal facility while the Bio5 facility has square foot. CAF consists of 3 separate floors which contain 25,000 square feet of animal housing and support space, which includes a large diagnostic lab in the basement. The UA animal facilities are accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), is a Registered Research Facility with the USDA, and holds Animal Welfare Assurance with Public Health (File#A-3248-01). Mouse colonies are maintained under micro-isolation and are handled and manipulated only in laminar flow hoods. Treatments are performed in laminar flow hoods situated within the room. Animals are euthanized by inhalation of CO2 gas from a canister. This method is consistent with the recommendations of the Panel on Euthanasia of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The Animal Care and Use Program is centralized under the Office of the Vice President for Research. Oversight for the program is vested in the Department of University Animal Care and with the IACUC. The director of University Animal Care reports to the Office of the Vice President for Research and is responsible for overseeing all animal care and husbandry functions for the University. All conventional laboratory animal facilities are under the direct control of University Animal Care, which provides veterinary and husbandry oversight and has the authority to make changes in management of these facilities. The IACUC provides oversight for the total animal care and use program. The committee is appointed by the university president, who is the chief executive officer. The vice president for research is the institutional official, and the IACUC provides reports to the Office of Vice President for Research as mandated by Public Health Service Policy and regulations of the Animal Welfare Act. The Committee maintains a membership of 14–16 members, including veterinarians, scientists, and several community members. The Animal Welfare Act (USDA Research Facility Registration 86-3) requires reviewing all studies, classes, and experiments that require the use of any animal species, living or dead. The Committee makes semiannual inspections of all facilities and laboratories where animals are housed or used for 12 hours or more and performs semiannual programmatic reviews. Committee members, or designees, inspect research laboratories to observe procedures to ensure that animals are used appropriately and are receiving humane treatment. Through the expertise of the University Animal Care staff and other specialists, the Committee provides training for all who use or care for animals. Access to animal facilities is limited to those who have received IACUC certification. The entire animal care and use program and its associated facilities are AAALAC accredited.

Disclaimer: The Experimental Mouse Shared Resource will perform experiments outlined in the investigator approved experimental designs with the highest care and quality. The Experimental Mouse Shared Resource is not responsible or liable for any claims, loss or damage arising from the quality of the material (cell lines etc.) or the experimental design (drug doses, frequency, etc.) provided by the Investigator.