Genetic Engineered Models (GEM) Facility
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.
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.
We provide services to support protocol and model development, SOP and report writing, and 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.
The GEM Facility has received commendations from the CCAC assessment panel for excellent management and care procedures. We maintain a biosecure facility.
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.
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 cryoperservation, cross fostering, breeding plan development, genotyping, and electronic inventory updates.
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 include aortic constriction, coronary artery ligation, osmotic pump implantation, and tumour implantation.
Claire SmitsAssociate Director
Ms. Smits brings 30 years of experience in animal research projects, model development, GLP, GMP test site development in industry and academic settings.
Ms. Ponomarev has 18 years of experience in a variety of animal research models, featuring colony management and a wide range of technical skills.
She holds a BSc in Parasitology from University of Belgrade and Certification as a Registered Laboratory Animal Technician with the Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science.
Ms. Carter brings 30 years of experience in animal research care and operations.
She also ensures that ordering, documentation and supplies are stocked and current for facility users.