The Bioresearch Core facilities include 11000 square feet of rodent research support space with barrier housing in ventilated rack systems, surgery and procedure suites, necropsy and anesthesia rooms, sterilization and washing facility, Hydropac (bottle-free) water system, an aquatic research complex, and quarantine facilities.  Light-tight rooms with a locking antechamber provide optimum housing for circadian rhythm and lighting studies with in-cage running wheels to monitor activity. Behavior testing equipment is available to analyze spatial learning and memory skills, anxiety, locomotor activity, motor coordination, and balance. BRC staff provide expertise, support, and hands-on training for research involving rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, autism, neurofibromatosis, cancer, immunology, neural regeneration, and microgravity.  Other BRC services include IACUC protocol development, transgenic breeding colony maintenance, tissue and blood collection, compound administration, anesthesia, surgical preparation and procedures, necropsy, and euthanasia. The Bioresearch staff also supports rodent Bioimaging procedures.

Contact Information:
Antigone McKenna, DVM
Bioresearch Core Director

Rates & Fees
Services included in per diem rates and special services offered beyond the basic per diem rate are listed below.
SpeciesPer diem rate

Animal Care Services (internal users)

  • Bedding, food and water prep and delivery (irradiated food, heat-sterilized bedding, filtered Hydropac™ water pouches
  • Regular veterinary care and consultation
  • Daily (7-day) health checks and animal observation (non-experimental)
  • Cage maintenance (sanitized cages in ventilated rack) as needed
  • Routine sanitation of animal rooms
  • Use of pass-through autoclave
  • Light cycle maintenance
  • Monitoring animal room environmental parameters (lighting, temperature, humidity)
  • Disposable personal protective/gowning equipment
  • Standard basic supplies
  • Biohazardous waste disposal
  • Storage of drugs in safe
  • Locker room use
  • Housing room health monitoring
  • Basic assistance with preparation of IACUC protocols

Special Services & Rates (internal users)

Tissue, specimen, and blood collection$31/hour
Special experimental treatment/observation$31/hour
Weighing animals$31/hour
Ordering/cancelling animals$31/hour
Anesthesia administration/monitoring$31/hour
Phenotype assessment$31/hour
Surgical preparation/monitoring$31/hour
Post-surgery recovery and care$31/hour
Post-imaging recovery and care$31/hour
Internal transportation (eg between facility and imaging suite)$31/hour
Breeding:  set-ups, breakdown and weaning$31/hour
Non-standard animal care (trimming teeth, antibiotic application)$31/hour
Biohazardous waste processing$31/hour
Animal receipt/packing (shipping extra)$31/hour
Set up of behavioral equipment$31/hour
Observation/separation of fighting animals$31/hour
Other (weighing food, etc.)$31/hour

Emergency services (after normal business hours, weekends, holidays)$120/hour
Director time$63/hour

Anesthesia machine use$20/day
Cleaning of procedure rooms$28/time
Post-imaging housing$1.30/cage/day
Ectoparasite screening$12/animal
Injections (SQ, IP, IM)$1.70/injection
Oral gavage$2.25/dose
Biopsy collection$2.14/animal
Drug addition to feed or water$5.62/cage set up
Animal identification: 
-- tattoo$3.94/animal
-- ear tag$2.25/animal
-- ear punch$1.69/animal
Use of behavior equipment (unassisted)$39.32/day
Autoclave surgical pack$16.85/pack
Necropsy (including tubes, formalin, time)$56.18/animal
Storage/distribution of special feed$11/week
Emergency cage change (ECC)$6/cage
Use of disposable caging$11/cage
Use of microisolators$53.50/week
After hours technical assistance (including weekends and holidays)$120/hour
Procedure room clean-up (After investigator failure to clean:$120/hour
-- first incident$60/hour
-- second incident$200/hour
-- beyond$500/hour

Rodent Occupancy Guidelines

Rodents must not be housed at a greater density per cage than the values below.*

Rat minimum cage height 7 inches
Rat body weight (g)Floor area per rat (in2)Rats per OneCage 2100 (210 in2)
< 1001712
100 - 200239
200 - 300297
300 - 400405
400 - 500603
500 - 60070 - 802
> 600> 802
Rat minimum cage height 7 inches
Rat body weight (g)Floor area per rat (in2)Rats per OneCage 800 (80 in2)
< 100174
100 - 200233
200 - 300292
300 - 400402
400 - 500601
500 - 60070 - 801
> 600> 800
Mouse minimum cage height 5 inches
Mouse body weight (g)Floor area per mouse (in2)Mice per RAIR 750 (75 in2)
< 10612
10 - 1589
15 - 25126
> 25155

* Rodents may be housed at lesser densities than the recommendations.  Rodents are social animals and prefer to be group housed.  They should not be singly housed unless the demands of the experiment require it. For breeders, there should be no more than two adults and one litter in a cage. A rodent mother and pups should be kept together in a single cage until the time of weaning.

Compliance & Access

The BRC complies with all state and federal regulations regarding animal research and follows the recommendations of the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, 8th ed” to ensure the health and well-being of all animals in its care.  All activities are reviewed and approved by the Rensselaer Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) to ensure the research is ethical and compliant. Access to the BRC facilities is restricted to personnel who have completed online training, have been added to the PI’s IACUC protocol, and have attended BRC facility orientation. Specific instructions for access are listed below.

Procedure for Working with Animals

  1. Complete the following courses on CITI training:
  • Go to
  • Click “login” if you already have an account, or click “register” to create a new account.
  • If you clicked “register”, type in your organization affiliation: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Continue through the steps to register and create a new account
  • If you already have an account, choose “Add a Course” at the bottom
  • For new or existing users, on the “Select Curriculum” page choose the following courses:
    • “Working with the IACUC Course”
    • “Minimizing Pain and Distress” and your species-specific modules as appropriate:
    • “I work with Mice”
    • “I work with Rats”
    • “I work with Genetically Modified Mice” 
  • Return to your “Courses” page and all required courses should be listed
  1. Complete the “IACUC amendment application” form to add you to an approved IACUC animal protocol and have it signed by your Principal Investigator.
  2. Complete the following online courses on Percipio:
  • Biosafety Procedures at Rensselaer, click on “my Profile”, then select “Compliance". The course is listed under “optional compliance assignments”
  • Bioresearch Core Orientation,click on “my profile”, select “compliance”, the course is listed under “optional compliance assignments”
  1. Contact the BRC Director, Antigone McKenna, , after you have received IACUC approval, and have completed the online Skillport courses, to schedule your BRC facility orientation and any hands-on training that is needed.

All procedure room usage must be scheduled in advance.

  1. Click on this iLab online scheduling calendar (
  2. Clicking the ‘Login’ button on the site allows you to enter your RCS username and password.
  3. Next, send an email to Antigone McKenna to be assigned the editing capabilities on the procedure room calendars you need to access.

The BRC is a rodent barrier housing facility and has strict health profile requirements for incoming animals. Rodents purchased from approved vendors are accepted directly into the barrier.  Animals imported from non-approved vendors or other academic institutions must have all health profiles approved by the BRC director before shipment. If accepted, animals will be housed in quarantine a minimum of two weeks, pending the results of further diagnostic tests. Information regarding animal ordering procedures and the list of excluded rodent pathogens by species is below.

Excluded Mouse Pathogens

  • Ectromelia
  • EDIM (Epizootic diarrhea of infant mice virus, mouse rotavirus)
  • LCM (Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus)
  • MAD 1 (Mouse adenovirus strain Fl)
  • MAD 2 (Mouse adenovirus strain K87)
  • MCMV (Mouse cytomegalovirus)
  • MHV (Mouse hepatitis virus)
  • MNV (Mouse Norovirus)
  • MPV (Mouse parvovirus- MPV1, MPV2, MPV3)
  • MVM (Minute virus of mice)
  • NS-1 (generic parvovirus)
  • Polyoma
  • PVM (Pneumonia virus of mice)
  • REO3 (respiratory enteric virus III, a rodent reovirus)
  • Sendai
  • TMEV (GDVII) (Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus)

  • CAR bacillus (Cilia-associated respiratory bacillus)
  • Clostridium piliforme (Tyzzer’s)
  • Helicobacter sp.
  • Mycoplasma pulmonis
  • Salmonella spp.

  • Ectoparasites (includes fleas, mites and lice)
  • Helminth endoparasites (includes roundworms, pinworms and   tapeworms)
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi (microsporidia)

Excluded rodent pathogens (rat)

  • H-1 (Toolan’s H-1 parvovirus)
  • Hantaan
  • KRV (Killham's rat virus)
  • LCM (Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus)
  • MAD 1 (Mouse adenovirus strain Fl)
  • MAD 2 (Mouse adenovirus strain K87)
  • NS-1 (generic parvovirus)
  • PVM (Pneumonia virus of mice)
  • RCV/SDAV (Rat coronavirus/sialodacryoadenitis virus)
  • REO3 (a rodent reovirus)
  • RMV (Rat minute virus)
  • RPV (Rat parvovirus)
  • RTV (Rat theilovirus)
  • Sendai

  • CAR bacillus (Cilia-associated respiratory bacillus)
  • Clostridium piliforme (Tyzzer’s)
  • Helicobacter spp. including bilis
  • Mycoplasma pulmonis
  • Salmonella spp.

  • Ectoparasites (includes fleas, mites and lice)
  • Helminth endoparasites (includes roundworms, pinworms and tapeworms)
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi (microsporidia)

Required Acknowledgement and Authorship

Please acknowledge the CBIS Core Facilities in all publications and grant applications where our equipment and/or personnel have facilitated the work. These acknowledgements are very important because documenting our contributions helps to ensure that the resources of the Core Facilities are sustainable.

  • Equipment: If you used Core Facility equipment, please note this in the Materials and Methods. e.g., Thermogravimetric analysis was carried out using a TA Instruments TGA-Q50 (Rensselaer CBIS Analytical Biochemistry Core Facility).
  • Personnel: Please consider including CBIS personnel as co-authors on your publications when they have made a significant intellectual contribution to the research. Include CBIS Core Facility directors or staff as co-PI or co-investigators in grant applications when they provide a significant contribution to the grant proposal and scientific/intellectual leadership for the proposed work. Please follow these guidelines: ABRF Recommended Guidelines for Authorship on Manuscripts. Also, our Core Facility personnel always appreciate when they are mentioned in the Acknowledgements section of publications.
  • Required Funding Authorization Form: Rensselaer researchers must fill out the CBIS Cores Authorization Form (PDF) to use the CBIS Core Facilities.
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