Preclinical Research Core


Preclinical research core support

The Preclinical Research Core (PRC) provides a centralized resource for investigators utilizing preclinical models within Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s Metabolic Basis of Disease COBRE. The PRC supports all aspects of animal research, including experimental design, execution of in vivo procedures, access and training in the use of state of the art equipment for animal phenotyping, data analysis and interpretation, use of genetically-modified mouse lines, and general support in areas of animal health and regulatory compliance. The overarching goal of the PRC is to unify and extend existing resources into a cohesive team that effectively mentors, trains, and supports COBRE investigators.

Three existing cores currently support preclinical research at Pennington Biomedical: Animal Metabolism and Behavior Core (AMBC), Comparative Biology Core (CBC), and Transgenics Core (TGC). While Pennington has a history of preclinical research in these existing cores, they have operated in isolation of one another and lacked a formal program for training and assisting new faculty members in their capabilities, access, and use. The PRC streamlines COBRE Project PI’s access to preclinical resources while also creating an infrastructure for mentoring. This infrastructure is leveraged to increase access for individuals who lack preclinical research experience. For instance, the PRC facilitates translational research by allowing clinicians with limited preclinical experience easy access to rodent models. The PRC will also increase opportunities for scientists within our state and region to gain access to the equipment and expertise available within Pennington Biomedical. While the PRC’s primary goal is to serve the needs of COBRE Project PIs, it will also m ore broadly expand the reach and impact of preclinical research at Pennington Biomedical.


Comparative Biology Core (CBC): As an institutionally supported and AAALAC accredited animal facility, the CBC will support training and mentoring in animal husbandry, veterinary care, animal welfare and monitoring, and regulatory compliance.

Transgenic Core (TGC): The TGC currently produces mice for faculty at Pennington Biomedical Research Center as well as investigators at other institutions. The mission of the core is to offer a “turn-key service” for new animal models at PBRC that will allow for the controlled manipulation of gene expression (e.g., knock-in point mutations, knock-in of cre recombinase, knock-in of floxed transcriptional blockers, and knock-in of human cDNA, into homologous mouse genes, etc.) and facilitate investigators in understanding gene function.

Animal Metabolism and Behavior Core: The mission of AMBC is to provide investigators with access to a broad range of state of the art metabolic and behavior equipment for both rat and mouse models. Activity within the AMBC can be divided into two areas: metabolic analysis and behavioral analysis. Metabolic equipment focuses on endpoints related to body weight, body composition, feeding behavior, energy expenditure, thermoregulation, physical activity, and exercise. Behavioral equipment focuses on endpoints related stress, anxiety, learning and memory, and motivation. For more information on equipment, services, and rates please visit the AMBC website

Some examples of equipment in the AMBC.

  • Metabolic Phenotyping
    • Sable Promethion
    • TSE Phenomaster
    • Columbus Instruments Oxymax Treadmill
    • Bruker NMR Body Composition
  • Ingestive Behavior
    • Research Diets BioDAQ
    • Davis Rig
    • Operant Conditioning
  • Cognitive and Emotional Behaviors
    • Tracking software (Ethovision and AnyMaze)
    • Open Field
    • Elevated Plus maze
    • Barnes Maze
    • Morris Water Maze
  • Activity and Sensorimotor
    • Voluntary Running Wheels
    • Rotorod
    • Grip Strength
    • Gait analysis
    • Treadmill