Pre-Clinical Services

The GEM Facility at the Centre for Heart Lung Innovation at St Paul’s Hospital is available for contract or collaborative research project opportunities. Our 9000 sq ft facility offers flexible space, technical services, and high-tech equipment for use with rodent and rabbit models. Known as the GEM (Genetically Engineered Models), the facility contains a barrier breeding unit, a Level 2 Containment suite as well as space for conventionally housed animals.

As part of a network of service providers, we can work with you to achieve your research goals or manage your project for you. Contact us for project planning and development.

Facility Capabilities

Our electronic monitoring surveillance system ensures your animals are secure and the facility is maintained within parameters set. Equipment is maintained on a preventative maintenance program with certified biosafety cabinets, calibrated anesthetic equipment and hydrogen peroxide decontamination capabilities.

Project Development

  • Protocol and Model Development
  • SOP and Report Writing
  • Pilot Projects

Echocardiography and Respiratory Mechanics

Our Visualsonics echocardiograph system service includes a trained echo technician who can capture your imaging requirements. The echo system has specialized packages such as Doppler and ECG monitoring. Our Flexivent System offers volume and pressure controlled maneuvers for respiratory applications.

CCAC Compliance

The GEM Facility has received commendations from the CCAC assessment panel for excellent management and care procedures. We maintain a biosecure facility.

Technical Support

The GEM Facility provides skilled technical support for the conduct and oversight of all animal research projects. Our GEM technicians are CALAS certified and can offer expertise in microsurgery, echocardiography, cardiovascular, pulmonary models, dose response, oncology, dermatology, photodynamic therapy, immunomodulatory, and diabetic models. GEM technical staff can work with you to develop a training program that suits your needs.


Our Level 2 Containment suite provides housing and procedural areas for models with anterooms and monitored HVAC.

Colony Management Services

We offer a full barrier for on-site production of model lines. Our barrier unit adheres to a strict shower in policy. All equipment, supplies and cages are decontaminated by chemical or steam sterilization prior to entering the facility. Services offered include:

  • Embryo Rederivation
  • Caesarian Rederivation
  • Embryo Cryopreservation
  • Cross Fostering
  • Breeding plan development
  • Genotyping
  • Electronic inventory updates

Surgical Services

The GEM’s microsurgical suite offers a Leica microscope and training arm with video viewing and capture capabilities. Our surgeons are specially trained and can customize a technique to meet your research requirements. Some procedures we offer:

  • Aortic constriction
  • Coronary artery ligation
  • Osmotic pump implantation
  • Tumour implantation
Contact Number: 
(604) 806-8852
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