Improving Animal Resources at the University of Georgia The University of Georgia (UGA) is a large research-intensive, land-grant university with historic strengths in the agricultural and environmental sciences. For over a decade, UGA has prioritized the expansion and strengthening of its biomedical and health-related programs, and this has in turn produced a dramatic growth in the use of laboratory rodents, particularly mice. This growth has occurred at the same time we have moved to consolidate and upgrade laboratory rodent care in the modern and efficient vivarium housed in the new Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical &Health Sciences. The Coverdell Rodent Vivarium (CRV) is a large state-of-the-art barrier facility that if properly equipped can replace aged, dispersed and haphazardly equipped conventional facilities to become the flagship home for laboratory rodents in UGA's AAALAC-accredited animal care and use program. Sizeable investments by UGA in recent years have enabled considerable progress towards the equipping of the CRV but recent fiscal austerity has prevented full utilization of the facility and also impaired efforts to keep pace with equipment needs for near term and projected research growth.
The specific aim i s to provide individually ventilated rodent caging (IVC) systems, biosafety cabinets and ventilated change stations to enhance and extend the capabilities of the Coverdell Rodent Vivarium (CRV) to meet research needs. Despite successive investments in new IVC systems, housing now available in the CRV is sufficient only to meet current needs, with no additional capacity available for new grants already approved for funding or for new programmatic growth resulting from planned new faculty hires. The strain has been exacerbated by the need to downsize or close a number of outdated and inefficient rodent facilities, and to largely consolidate rodent care in the modern efficient Coverdell Rodent Vivarium, which now houses over 80% of the campus rodent census. The equipment requested in this proposal will allow us to meet foreseeable future growth in the use of laboratory rodent models as the biomedical sciences at UGA continue to expand. We project that the CRV mouse census will grow by 41% during the next year. The requested equipment will provide 37% additional capacity. The improvements proposed will directly affect $12.7 million in active NIH funding and $20.9 million in funding from all other sources, both federal and non-federal. UGA's total funding for animal-based research reached $29.8 million in FY2010, increasing over 100% from just four years ago. Funding for 14 additional Tecniplast Sealsafe IVC racks and caging is being sought to provide an additional 1840 cages or 37% of additional capacity. Funding for 4 additional 4'Class IIA2 BSCs and 5 additional ventilated change stations is requested to enhance animal holding capabilities. The total cost of the equipment is $670,880. A total of $500,000 is requested with UGA providing a 34% match of $170,880.