Animal studies are critical to the scientific missions of the NEIDL institute which is "to perform cutting-edge basic and clinical research on emerging infectious diseases and to develop diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines to promote the public's health through combating infectious diseases". Virtually every research project, many of which have been described in aims and plans of various scientific cores, that explores pathogenesis, treatment and prevention strategies, drug efficacy studies or comparing physiological variances in infected to control animals and diverse pathogens and pathogenic strains will involve animal studies. To assist with the mission of the NEIDL scientific programs, the Animal Core acts the central support core for providing support for all research projects utilizing animal models and is also responsible for assuring that all use of animals is humane and complies with all relevant policies and legal requirements The operational components of the animal facilities are highly integrated to maximize space utilization and service delivery while maintaining the ABSL-4 containment levels necessary for vital animal studies. The high-containment animal zones provide space for animal housing, research procedures and postmortem examinations and support spaces for personnel and supplies. Some of the animal facility support functions are strategically located outside the BSL-4 high-containment zones to conserve valuable containment space and allows cage washing and other core support activities to be conducted at lower ABSL. All services are provided in a team approach with close collaboration between the Animal Core staff, the researchers and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (lACUC) in full compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, Animal Welfare Act and the Public health Service Policies and guidelines. The Boston University Medical Center animal care and use program is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and NEIDL program will be included part of the accreditation once fully operational.
Animal studies are critical to the NEIDL Institute scientific mission because they enhance the basic understanding of microbiology and immunology leading to the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and medical diagnostics for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of infectious diseases. Virtually every NEIDL research project undertaken that explores pathogenesis of various human and animal pathogens or investigates treatment and prevention strategies will involve animal studies.