Small Animal Studies Core Shared Resource ABSTRACT The Small Animal Studies Core (SASC) combines the resources available through the previously reviewed Small Animal Imaging Core with a new Animal Tumor Models component. This combined resource provides exceptional quality services for City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center (COHCCC) members for basic and translational preclinical studies in cancer biology, anti-cancer drug development, and stem cell therapeutic development. The Small Animal Imaging component of the SASC provides consultation, advanced imaging equipment, imaging services, hands-on training for COHCCC members, and support for protocol and grant preparation. Current systems in the Imaging Laboratory include two units for bioluminescence/fluorescence optical imaging (Ami X and Lago X from Spectral Instruments Imaging) and a PET/SPECT/CT trimodal scanner (Inveon from Siemens). These systems support molecular-based imaging to allow for the monitoring of cellular processes and the non-invasive assessment of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of therapeutic agents. Often the imaging techniques and targeting agents utilized are directly transferable to the clinical setting. The Animal Tumor Models component of the SASC has established patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of breast, colorectal, lung, sarcoma, and gastric cancers in collaboration with COHCCC physician scientists and has developed next-generation humanized mouse models for research in cancer immunotherapy and in vivo drug metabolism/toxicity studies. The development of PDX models supports precision medicine by allowing investigators to evaluate tumor growth and therapeutic response for individual patients. The Animal Tumor Models component also provides specialized drug delivery services, training for in vivo procedures, and support for protocol preparation and grant development. The SASC is co-directed by Dr. David Colcher, a Professor in the Department of Molecular Immunology, and Dr. Jun Wu, an Associate Research Professor of Comparative Medicine, and is supported by highly qualified staff that maintain and operate the instrumentation. Oversight is provided by an interdisciplinary faculty Advisory Committee, and user feedback through an annual survey. The SASC occupies three rooms within the 29,000 sq. ft. Parvin Building for animal experiments and two rooms in Huntington Lab for tumor cell and reagent preparation. iLab software is used to schedule services, monitor instrument use, and manage billing within the SASC. Over the previous five years, the SASC was used by 80 unique investigators, including 58 CC members. Of the 58 CC members, 48 (83%) had peer-reviewed funding. As of this report, the SASC provides ongoing support to 12 NIH-funded projects totaling $5.6M per year in direct costs to the COHCCC.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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Beckman Research Institute/City of Hope
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