MCG concentrates its research efforts into seven areas of focus: brain and behavior, cancer, cardiovascular disease, child health, diabetes/obesity, infection/inflammation and vision. The institutions research-related initiatives include: 7 Optimizing Discovery Institutes to interlink basic and translational research 7 Working to become a National Cancer Institute designated cancer center 7 Enhancing competitiveness for extramural research funding, particularly in basic, clinical, and translational studies 7 Enhancing research initiatives related to public health, particularly in biostatistics and epidemiology 7 Enhancing clinical research infrastructure in areas such as bioinformatics, biostatistics, and epidemiology to expand patient-based research A number of these programs utilize animal models of human diseases in which a wide range of molecular, genetic, behavioral and physiological approaches are employed. MCG has shown a 263.575% growth in biomedical research funding over the past 10 years. More than 60% of MCG's sponsored research funding comes from highly competitive National Institutes of Health grants which increased 119% in the School of Medicine in the past decade. The appointment and ongoing recruitment of new faculty, a rapidly expanding NIH funding base, multiple equipment purchases construction of the $40M (165,000 ft.2) Cancer Research Center, $34M (200,000 ft.2) Health Science Building, $110 M (274,900 ft. 2) School of Dentistry building and renovation of multiple basic science laboratories and animal facilities ($20M, 200,000 ft.2) position MCG to continue achieving further levels of excellence in biomedical research. The operation of a well-equipped, research facility is essential for MCG's continued recruitment of new research faculty, conduct of currently funded research and continued growth of its biomedical research programs. This significant growth of biomedical research at MCG is tempered by the aging equipment of the Animal Care Facility (ACF) located 12 miles away in Gracewood, GA. Aging of the facility's rack washer and bottle washer contribute to the lack of efficiency of the husbandry tasks that must be performed to ensure regulatory compliance and safety when handling waste and manipulanda used by various species (nonhuman primates, swine, canines and rodents). The decrease in efficiency can negatively impact the current group of researchers, ongoing recruitments and planned program expansion initiatives. Thus, this application is for support to renovate the animal facility cage wash facility at the Gracewood Animal Care Facility.
The specific aims of this proposal are: 1. Removal of the aged cage rack washer and bottle washer 2. Installation of a pit to mount the new rack washer in in order for it to be level on grade 3. Installation of a new larger capacity and greener rack washer and bottle washer. 4. Install epoxy floor system in the associated cage wash areas, (360 ft2 ) These aims will address the increasing demands of the facility operations, provide a durable flooring surface for sanitization, implement ergonomically sound construction features for employee safety and facilitate the growing Green Sustainability Initiative of the Medical College of Georgia.