University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) cares for approximately 38,000 cages of mice housed in 18 different facilities. UNC is one of 4 Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers (MMRRC) and now also houses the Complex Trait Consortium Collaborative Cross (CC) breeding program. These NIH sponsored programs serve as a major repository of mouse stocks and serve the world-wide genetics and biomedical research community identifying novel disease-modifying loci. In addition, UNC is home for the National Gnotobiotic Rodent Resource Center (NGRRC) which provides services on local, national and international levels to academic institutions and governmental programs. The Thurston-Bowles Building (TBB) animal facility houses animals for 24 faculty members from 11 different departments and centers in the School of Medicine including the following Centers: Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer (LCCC), Infectious Diseases, Digestive Diseases, Nanomedicine, Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment, the Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, Thurston Arthritis Research, Genome Sciences, plus the School of Pharmacy. The TBB animal facility was constructed to house primarily large-animal species. TBB is comprised of 100% specific pathogen free rodent populations. However, while the demand for rodent housing in Thurston has increased, and innovation in animal caging would allow increases in the numbers of cages this building could accommodate, this expansion has not been possible because of limitations imposed by the design of the cage wash area and the current limitations of existing equipment for processing this caging. Funds are sought in this proposal to renovate the cage wash in the Thurston-Bowles animal facility to allow the full potential of this facility to be realized. We wil attain our objective by pursuing the following three specific aims: 1. Replace the rack washers with two energy efficient high throughput cage and rack washers: Two Tecniplast GP 900 cage and utensil washers will be purchased and installed to optimize cleaning of cages and improve efficiency of cage processing significantly which will allow an increase in the number of barrier-housed animals to meet future needs. 2. Optimize and increase the animal space in the dirty side of cage wash: Renovations in the physical configuration of the cage wash area will be made to accommodate higher return cage numbers, increased processing of cages, and processing of cages from animals with experimental pathogens and biohazards under conditions which meet environmental health and safety standards. 3. Improve cage wash safety and modernize the HVAC and exhaust system in the cage wash facility: This will improve environmental conditions, and cage processing efficiency in the washroom, and reduce personnel exposure to injuries, allergens, and animal cage bedding hazards. The proposed renovations to TBB cage wash would support $24,301,730 ongoing, extramurally funded grants and $13,798,653 that are pending.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Office of The Director, National Institutes of Health (OD)
Grants for Repair, Renovation and Modernization of Existing Research Facilities (G20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (STOD)
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Mccullough, Willie
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University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Schools of Medicine
Chapel Hill
United States
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