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Fox Chase Cancer Center receives $8 million NIH grant to expand laboratory animal research facility

PHILADELPHIA (September 2, 2009) The Fox Chase Cancer Center has received an $8 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health (NCRR/NIH) to expand their laboratory animal research facility. The new facility will support advanced research into the fundamental biological processes underlying cancer, opening the way for the development of new treatments. The funds for the grant were made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

According to the Fox Chase administration, construction of the facility, which will house mouse models for cancer research, should begin within a year. The four-story, 25,290 square-foot space will be built alongside and serve as an expansion to the existing animal facility on the Fox Chase campus. The plans entail using the top two floors, roughly 12,910 square feet, for new animal research space, reserving the remaining two floors for support areas and future expansion. The new facility will include high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) ventilation systems and improved support for the state-of-the-art animal care equipment of the sort already being utilized on campus.

"While the current facilities are entirely adequate for the care and feeding of the animal models they house, they are simply not large enough or sophisticated enough to meet the needs of Fox Chase's expanding research faculty," says Harry Rozmiarek, D.V.M., Ph.D., director of the laboratory animal medicine program. "Many of the mice are immunodeficient, and require a special environment with filtered air to keep them from becoming infected by otherwise normal bacterial flora."

Rozmiarek joined Fox Chase in 2004 and initiated a long-range plan at that time to expand and improve the animal research facilities at Fox Chase. "Since then, we have consolidated as much as possible to make more space available for research mice, improved and modernized the animal research facility, and began to systematically convert standard caging and racks to high-density individually ventilated cages." Rozmiarek says. "This expansion is essential to complete the plan and will permit the high quality research at Fox Chase to continue to improve and expand."

"We are grateful that NIH recognizes the need to strengthen basic science infrastructure, and that it has the funding to do so," says Michael V. Seiden, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Without such facilities, biomedical research would be impossible and advances in medicine would simply stop moving forward in all fields."


Contact: Greg Lester
Fox Chase Cancer Center

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