The Research Animal Support Facility (RASF) exists to support ongoing research involving laboratory animals at MD Anderson. All animal facilities are accredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International, have Animal Welfare Assurance approval, and are registered as research animal facilities with the US Department of Agriculture. The RASF has two locations: RASF-Houston (RASF-H -112,990 ft^) and RASF-Smithville (RASF-S -30,000 ft^). Both RASF facilities provide housing, procedure space, veterinary care, and quality assurance programs for animals used in cancer research. Clinical, surgical, imaging, radiation therapy, and pathology laboratory facilities and services such as Genetic Services and Mutant Mouse Pathology Service are also provided. RASF-H veterinarians provide consultation services and participate in all relevant compliance committees. Major equipment includes individually ventilated rodent caging, automated bedding dispensing and waste collection, patient monitoring in vivo imaging systems, automated pathology specimen processing, and vehicles for materials animal transport. The RASF has 156 personnel, including 17 veterinarians and 97 animal care personnel. In the past 5 years, the RASF has been used by 378 investigators supporting all 19 CCSG programs. Publications cited using the RASF have appeared in several high impact journals such as Nature, Nature Med, Cell Stem Cell and PNAS. Peer-reviewed investigators represent 92% of the RASF-H and 95% of RASF-S user utilization. The RASF-H requests 5% of CCSG support for the next grant cycle, and 26.5% for RASF-S. User fees account for 52% (RASF-H) and 44% (RASF-S), institutional support is 43% (RASF-H) and 23% (RASF-S), and 2% other sources support RASF-S. FIASF-H. Future plans include renovation and expansion of the CRB basement animal facility, build-out of the animal imaging support holding facility on South Campus, and upgrading and implementing computer applications for business operations and preclinical drug development. RASF-S future plans include enhancing/expanding barrier facilities, continued customization of breeding colony management software, development of new research genetic services and new ante-mortem bioluminescence and fluorescence imaging services.

Public Health Relevance

The RASF's purpose is to provide the highest quality animal care and support for animal research by delivering a wide range of cost-efficient veterinary services, including specialized genetic services and mutant mouse pathology services. Such services are essential for the conduct of cutting-edge research aimed at improving cancer prevention and treatment with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
5P30CA016672-39
Application #
8759769
Study Section
Subcommittee G - Education (NCI)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2014-07-01
Budget End
2015-06-30
Support Year
39
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$1,180,166
Indirect Cost
$442,872
Name
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Department
Type
DUNS #
800772139
City
Houston
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
77030
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