The Small Animal Imaging Core (SAIC) is directed by Dr. David Colcher and staffed by Dr. James Bading (Imaging Physicist) and Desiree Crow (Core Manager).
Preliminary testing in laboratory animals has long had an essential role in the development of new pharmaceuticals and methods for treating human disease. The current development of sophisticated transgenic animal models as well as a growing recognition of the importance of understanding disease processes in the context of the living host has extended the use of animal experimentation beyond safety and efficacy testing into the realm of mechanistic investigation. Non-invasive imaging makes it possible to perform multiple measurements over time in the same animal, thereby enhancing data quality in studies of dynamic molecular and physiologic processes as well as greatly reducing the number of animals required for such studies.
During the last several years, scanners for small animals have become commercially available for all of the established modalities of medical imaging (X-ray, CT, MRI, SPECT, PET, ultrasound), as well as for optical imaging. With this technology, the dynamic biodistribution of therapeutic agents as well as vital processes such as gene expression, cell trafficking, cell viability, cell proliferation, tissue hypoxia and angiogenesis can be monitored non-invasively in the intact animal.
Small animal imaging has become indispensable to medical research and development and helps the investigator remain competitive for extramural funding.
- Providing consultation to investigators regarding the design, performance and analysis of animal imaging experiments
- Ensuring proper maintenance and calibration of the equipment assigned to the laboratory
- Operating the equipment assigned to the Laboratory or, where appropriate (e.g. for optical imaging equipment), training investigators or their technicians to operate the equipment
- Handling, administering, surveying, tracking and disposing of radioactive materials used in imaging experiments
- Ensuring that all experiments conducted within the Laboratory are performed according to approved protocols
Last updated 6/30/2008