The Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR) at the University of Pittsburgh is a core resource that provides high quality humane animal care services and support for the animal- based research programs at the University. The DLAR comprises 16 separate animal facilities spread out among seven different neighborhoods within a 20 mile radius of the Oakland campus of the University, including the South Biomedical Science Tower (S-BST) which is the subject of this request for funds if awarded.
The specific aim of this grant application is to request funds in the amount of $500,000 to improve the capacity, condition and quality of the large animal housing and procedure space contiguous to Corridors S9A and S9B on the 9th floor of the S-BST vivarium which totals 5,439 square feet. Capacity will be expanded by converting a room recently vacated by an aquatics program that relocated within the DLAR for use as a flexible large animal housing area that will employ mobile large animal caging systems that can be easily configured to accommodate a variety of large animal species. Acquisition of the mobile caging systems is not part of this grant application. Conditions will be improved by resurfacing deteriorated flooring and replacing outmoded and deteriorating caging systems. Quality will be improved by adding a ceiling mounted suspension system to allow for improved placement of species appropriate psychological enrichment devices, monitoring devices, and for suspension of bags and tubing for the intravenous administration of fluids. This improvement will benefit a broad array of investigators conducting animal-based biomedical research throughout the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences.