Laboratory Animal Health Facility

Director:   David L. Wiest, PhD
[email protected]
Administrative Manager / Contact: Annmarie T. Pimble, AS
[email protected]
Reimann R271
Technical Services Supervisor: Mark A. Tigue, BS, RLATG
Technical Services Supervisor, LAF
[email protected]
& Phone:
Reimann R260
Pricing &        
Contact Annmarie Pimble for pricing and scheduling.


The Laboratory Animal Health Facility (LAHF) provides the following primary services:

  • Health monitoring of all animal rooms
  • Sentinel Program
  • Diagnostic services, teaching and training for investigators and their technicians
  • Consultation with investigators
  • Technical services

The health of the research animals is maintained through an established disease elimination program, strict quarantine procedures and constant surveillance of the animals for evidence of disease. Imported rodents from collaborators that are to be maintained at Fox Chase in the barrier facility are rederived by the LAHF, in conjunction with the Transgenic Mouse Facility, to eliminate any possible pathogens. This is necessary to safeguard the large number of immune-deficient mice used in this part of the animal colony. Mice obtained from other institutions may harbor potential pathogens such as helicobacter and pneumocystis carinii. All animals from collaborators are quarantined and/or rederived before entering the facility.

Rodents from commercial production colonies with extensive health monitoring indicating that the rodents are free of pathogens are imported directly into the colony. Helicobacter hepaticus and bilis, and C. bovis have recently been identified few colonies of mice at Fox Chase. The presence of these pathogens should be eliminated in a true SPF colony, so plans are underway to rederive the affected lines to eliminate these pathogens.

The LAHF maintains a sentinel animal program. Sentinel animals, known to be free of murine pathogens, are housed in all rodent rooms. These animals are regularly sampled to detect the presence of infectious agents. Overt disease states, as well as latent diseases, can seriously affect research. The LAHF attempts to identify and control all potential pathogens to safeguard the animals and prevent interference with experimental results. In this way, potential problem areas can be identified and measures taken to eliminate the pathogen and prevent dissemination through the colony.

Each animal at Fox Chase is also observed daily for evidence of any abnormalities. The animal caretakers submit an animal health report for each room describing any abnormal mice detected during cage changing. Such animals are examined by the LAHF, and when a possible health problem is identified in the colony, animals are selected for diagnostic work. This diagnostic work includes bacteriologic cultures, serology, PCR for selected pathogens and necropsy. All collected samples are sent to IDEXX for testing.

The LAHF staff also provides technical services. These services include animal surgery; collection of samples from animals; tumor line maintenance; necropsies; tumor and cell culture screening; microbiological/serological testing and Patient Derived Xenograft work in isolators.


The LAHF maintains an animal health laboratory used for animal diagnostic services. The following equipment is contained within the LAHF:

  • Unitron ZSB No. 800141 Dissecting Microscope and Fiberoptic Light Source
  • Nikon Binocular Microscope, 100X, 400X, 1000X, Phase option
  • Lab-Line, No. 120 Incubator
  • Damon/IEC MB Micro Hematocrit Centrifuge
  • IEC Clinical Centrifuge
  • Adams-Dynac Centrifuge
  • Hybaid Omni gene PCR machine
  • Fisher Biotech Transilluminator (FBTI-614)
This facility supports Fox Chase Cancer Center's Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) from the National Cancer Institute.