Experimental Pathology Graduate Program

Research Resources and Facilities
UTMB’s Animal Resources Center (ARC) encompasses 98,126 sq ft in 9 facilities across campus and is AAALAC (Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory and Care International) accredited. UTMB operates to comply with the USDA Animal Welfare Act (Public Law 89-544) as amended by PL91-579 (1970), PL94-279 (1976), and 45 CFR37618 (6-30-80); Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-158); follows the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (revised September 1986); and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals DHEW (NIH) 85-23 revised 1985. UTMB is a registered Research Facility under the Animal Welfare Act. It has a current assurance on file with the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW), in compliance with NIH Policy. The ARC follows all standards for AAALAC and institutional IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) compliance and is staffed by full-time veterinarians and professional staff overseeing all program aspects. The ARC provides animal care and holding space to support a wide range of animal models, surgery, and research. Rooms are available to provide barrier- and virus antibody free- (VAF-) housing for rodents. Facilities up to animal biosafety level 4 (ABSL4) are available. New facilities for a rodent barrier and for large animal holding were added in 2007. Trained animal care staff members serve the BSL3 and BSL4 facilities. They have access to the experimental rooms, are approved by the Department of Justice, and all of the experiments with select agents are planned and coordinated along with the animal care staff.

Core Facilities. UTMB has several core facilities that provide essential interdisciplinary coordination of efforts in research activities. These fully staffed core laboratories supply oligonucleotides, synthetic peptides, HPLC separation and analysis, proteomics and microarray analyses, monoclonal antibodies, and transgenic mouse models. For example, the Infectious Diseases and Toxicology Optical Imaging Core (OIC) provides high-resolution imaging and analysis of specimens, including those exposed to BSL2 infectious agents and/or treated with toxic substances. The OIC is equipped with a Zeiss LSM 510 UV META laser scanning confocal microscope, a large format fluorescence microscope (Zeiss Axiophot 2) with attached high-resolution digital camera, and a SLM 4800S life-time spectrofluorometer. An experienced instrumentation specialist guides operation of the confocal microscope and assists in image analysis and presentation. UTMB Core Facilities website, click here.

The W. M. Keck Center for Virus Imaging was established through a $1.7M gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation and matching funds from a HRSA grant and the Kleburg Foundation. The specialized research center is designed for high containment virus imaging. The center includes two major instruments for studying the structure, replication, and pathogenesis of viruses: 1) An Olympus FV1000 Spectral Confocal microscope system and 2) a JEOL JEM-2200FS high voltage (200 kV), high resolution transmission cryoelectron microscope with energy filtering, including a cryotransfer system, cooling control unit, CCD camera, remote control operating system and operation computer. Dr. Michael Sherman, recruited from Purdue University, manages the virus imaging facility. He is highly experienced in operating and maintaining cryoelectron microscopes, as well as in software development and other technical and theoretical aspects of electron microscopy. UTMB Core Facilities website, click here.

Electron Microscopy. The electron microscopy laboratory of the Department of Pathology has three transmission electron microscopes (TEM) and a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an energy-dispersive x-ray microanalysis (EDAX) system to determine elemental composition of samples. The lab is equipped with ultramicrotomes and has all necessary facilities to prepare biological samples for EM examination and producing high quality EM prints. The staff of the lab also has expertise in immunoelectron microscopy and is well published in peer-reviewed journals.