Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Policy #2009-1

“Animal Studies Performed by Core Service Laboratories”

A number of Core Service Laboratories have been developed to provide the expertise, equipment, and protocols to conduct specialized procedures on live animals. The Core Laboratories are shared resources that provide service to research Investigators who may not have the technical resources in their own laboratories.  Examples include: Transgenic and Gene Targeting, MicroPet, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Behavioral Phenotyping, and Metabolic Phenotyping Cores.

The activities of each Core Service Laboratory (Core Laboratory) are covered under their own animal use protocol approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).  The animal use protocol of each Core Laboratory has detailed descriptions of the specific standard protocols and procedures that will be used routinely in the Core Laboratory.

Investigators planning to use the services provided by a Core Laboratory must first have their own approved animal use protocol on file with the IACUC that includes these procedures.  The Investigator’s individual animal use protocol must describe the scientific rationale for having specific procedures performed and the number of animals that will be used.  The individual protocol must make specific reference to the use of the Core Laboratory and state explicitly that the Core Laboratory’s standard protocol will be followed.  In this way, the detailed descriptions of standard procedures (how the specific procedures are performed) are not required in the Investigator’s animal use protocol.  In addition, the animal use protocol should contain an explanation of what will happen to the animals once the services provided by the Core Laboratory have been completed.  NOTE: The Core Laboratory’s Director must sign-off on the proposed protocol before it is submitted to the IACUC, to assure that the Core Laboratory is aware of the proposed collaboration.

Any requested deviations from standard procedures must be explained in the individual’s animal use protocol and approved / acknowledged by the Core Laboratory’s Director.  Note: Protocol forms have a section for sign-off by Core Laboratory’s Director.

Investigators must provide their approved animal use protocol to the Core Laboratory’s Director at the time that use of the Core Laboratory is being planned and arranged. The Core Laboratory Director will not authorize a study to begin until the animal use protocol has been approved by the IACUC. 

In approving a study to begin in the Core Laboratory, the Core Laboratory’s Director assumes full responsibility for the well being of the animals, while they are in the Core Laboratory or under the Core Laboratory’s control. 

If an Investigator or his/her personnel will perform procedures using lab equipment, supplies, and protocols within the Core Laboratory, then the Investigator is completely responsible for those animals AND must include a complete detailed description of the procedures they will perform in their own animal use protocol.  Even if, they are following standard protocols developed in the Core Laboratory, these must be included fully in the Investigator’s animal use protocol, so that it is clearly understood how the procedures will be performed.  In this case, the Investigator is not really using the Core Laboratory, but using shared equipment.

In cases where a Core Laboratory involves maintenance and breeding of shared animal colonies, the Core Laboratory is directly responsible for those animals and those animals will be considered to be on the Core Laboratory’s animal use protocol.  When specific animals are transferred to an Investigator’s experimental protocol, they are transferred to the Investigator’s animal use protocol and become that Investigator’s responsibility.  If the Core Laboratory conducts some of the experimental procedures for the Investigator, that activity and the service arrangement must be included (described) in that investigator’s approved animal use protocol (which as previously noted must be signed by the Core’s Director before it is submitted to the IACUC for review).

Approved: June 24, 2009

Reviewed and Reapproved: 6/15/2011, 2/18/2015

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