Gnotobiotic Animal Studies Facility

Program Leader:
Timothy Hand, PhD |

Lab Manager:
Javonn Musgrove |

Facility Staff:
Eugenio Alvarez |
Abby Mulhorn |

Gnotobiotic Animal Studies Facility

6023 / 6026 BST3
3501 Fifth Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-3:30pm.
No procedures will be performed over the weekends.

The Pitt Gnotobiotic facility is a fee-for-service core that allows for experiments requiring germ-free (without bacteria, fungi, and exogenous viruses) and gnotobiotic (“known microbiota”) mice. Germ-free mice allow you to test the necessity and sufficiency of any microorganism or collection of organisms on a phenotype. We are a BSL2 facility and can support many infectious pathogens, and our role, essentially, is to rent floor space in germ-free isolators for experiments. You must have IACUC approval for germ-free/gnotobiotic mice in order to use the facility. We have provided a link below that will route you to where you can find the appropriate language to add to your/your PI’s IACUC.

We can “humanize” the microbiota of mice, with transfers from patients, carry out tumor injections to test for tumor immunotherapy, and administer drugs, biologics, etc. Our facility provides all of the husbandry and upkeep for these mice, and assistance in gavaging or otherwise associating mice with microbiota is possible. We can also assist with experimental procedures within the bubbles at your request. The facility allows for the use of commercially available strains of mice, C57BL/6 and Balb/c. We can also successfully carry-out bone marrow transplants into gnotobiotic mice to exchange the hematopoetic system.

The use of the facility is determined on a first come/first served basis, but our Gnotobiotic Committee, comprised of Rachel Gottschalk, Tim Hand, Reinhard Hinterleitner, Marlies Meisel and Barbara Methé, reserves the right to limit the size and scope of experiments to allow for multiple users. This assessment is based on the need for scientific space, the ability of the facility to fill the order, as well as scientific interest.

Isolator turnover/set-up = $500
Rental/week = $500

Out-of-isolator experiment = $200

Purchase mice = $40/mouse

Irradiation (sterile) = $250/run