The University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC), located in Farmington, Connecticut, serves as the State's center for biomedical research, clinical care, and the public education and research training of medical, dental and graduate students. UCHC requests $9.1M in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds to renovate, modernize, and improve the Cage Processing Facility (CPF) and surgical suite core facilities located in the 37-year old Center for Laboratory Animal Care (CLAC). These facilities span the adjacent basements in UCHC Building B, L and K and occupy 22,500 gross/15,480 net assignable square feet. CLAC operates as the campus'primary site for the care and use of laboratory animals, supporting the research projects of 136 researchers (68 of whom are independent NIH investigators). Current, active NIH support ($45.7M) that funds research involving animals includes: 111 researcher-initiated projects, 3 career development awards, 3 training grants, and 6 fellowships. To maintain a high level of animal care, assure continued Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) accreditation, manage additional species for new investigators, and enhance the research capabilities of current and future NIH-funded investigators, UCHC proposes renovating the CPF and surgical suite core facilities and purchasing modern, energy-efficient equipment for use in these cores. The CPF core facility has significant deficiencies, particularly its outdated, energy-inefficient bulk autoclaves, tunnel, and cage and rack washers. The current process used for bedding removal will be replaced with an efficient, ergonomically designed vacuum bedding removal and automated bedding dispensing system. Renovation of the CPF and autoclave facilities and new equipment purchases will significantly improve overall operational efficiencies in CLAC, correct problematic working conditions and ergonomic issues for the staff in the CPF and employ sustainable technologies to reduce water and energy consumption. The current configuration of the CLAC surgical suite and the lack of separation between the operating room and the animal preparation rooms lead to procedural inefficiencies and pose a risk of contamination and infection. Renovations and improvement to the surgical suite will significantly enhance the scientific programs of the UCHC research community and affiliated investigators. Combining CPF and surgical suite renovations into a single project minimizes operational disruptions and achieves cost efficiencies. Renovation, using sustainable design principles, of the CLAC CPF and surgical suite core facilities is responsive to the goals of the ARRA and this construction project will immediately create new jobs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Grants for Repair, Renovation and Modernization of Existing Research Facilities (G20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-STRB-8 (01))
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Lin, Ti
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University of Connecticut
Schools of Medicine
United States
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