Animal Models Facilities Core

Contact: Director Professor James Fox

The Animal Models Facilities Core, directed by Professor James Fox of the Division of Comparative Medicine and the Department of Biological Engineering, provides Center members with the latest technology for the application of animal models to environmental health research.  Center members are provided with an extensive array of services related to animal models and pathology.

The objective of the Animal Models Facilities Core is to provide Center members with state-of-the-art pathology and imaging support, transgenic resources and a centrally-managed AAALAC-approved animal holding and surgical facility.  The Core is staffed with experienced personnel and is equipped with essential equipment to generate genetically engineered mice, cryopreserve sperm and embryos, rederive imported mice by embryo derivation, provide colony management, and prepare and interpret tissue samples by histological and image analysis.

Professor James Fox, the Core director, supervises all operations.  He is assisted in this task by, Dr. Suresh Muthupalani (Chief, Comparative Pathologist, DCM), Dr. Vasu Bakthavatchalu (Comparative Pathologist, DCM) Dr. Susan Erdman (Chief of Clinical Services, DCM) and Dr. Alex Garcia (Chief of the Transgenic Mouse Core Facility, DCM).  Drs. Suresh Multhupalani and Vasu Bakthavatchalu are experienced board certified veterinary pathologists who consult with Center members in the interpretation of histopathology specimens and other aspects of animal pathology.

The Animal Models Facilities Core offers the following services:


(CEHS Members receive priority)

  • Complete Necropsy
  • Fixed and Frozen Tissues
  • Processing and Embedding
  • Routine and Special Stains
  • Immunohistochemistry


(CEHS Members receive priority)

  • Sick Animal Diagnostic Workup
  • Gross and Histologic Pathology
  • Consultation on Study Design
  • Collaborative Research Pathology
  • In situ hybridization
  • GEM phenotyping


  • Production of transgenic mice by DNA pronuclear injection of fertilized eggs
  • Production of transgenic mice by Lentiviral microinjection of fertilized eggs
  • Production of chimeric mice by injection of targeted embryonic stem cells into blastocysts
  • Production of ES cell-Tetraploid mice by microinjection of targeted hybrid ES cells into tetraploid blastocysts (CD-1)
  • Rederivation of mice by embryo transfer
  • Rederivation of all mice coming to MIT from atypical sources
  • Cryopreservation of mouse strains by:
    • Embryo Cryopreservation
    • Sperm Cryopreservation
  • Reconstitution of frozen mouse strains
  • In vitro Fertilization (IVF) and laser-assisted IVF
  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
  • Ovarian Transplants
  • Vasectomies
  • Colony Management of Campus Resource Colonies
  • Training


  • Strategies to optimize productivity using GEM models in biomedical
  • Research support involving all aspects of mouse model development: breeding paradigms, health status and strain background to efficiently achieve research goals
  • Technical assistance with breeding, weaning, genotyping and other routine in vivo research procedures
  • Computerized Colony Management and Databases
  • Currently providing research support for 35 labs using mice throughout MIT   


  • Anesthesia Support and Training for All Species
  • Consultation on Surgical Models and Protocol Development
  • Surgical Training Laboratories for Rodents
  • Individual Surgical Training for Other Species
  • Collaboration and Surgical Model Development