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Animal Core Facility

Led by Harry Davis, MS, the Animal Core Facility is a unique feature of the Institute, enabling scientists to work with relatively inexpensive models to study AIDS and new drugs or therapies without risk to humans. Developing animal subjects for use in viral research is a science unto itself, and it is essential in taking a discovery from laboratory to clinic.

The use of animals as models for human disease has been indispensable in understanding the causes, biology and prevention of disease; the Animal Core Facility at the Institute of Human Virology has developed the following models for studying AIDS and AIDS-associated cancers:

  • Kaposi's Sarcoma mouse model
  • HIV-1 transgenic mouse model for studying
    • HIV-1 pathogenesis
    • HIV-associated kidney disease (HIVAN)
    • Wasting syndrome
    • AIDS-NHL 
  • HIV-1 transgenic rat model for studying
    • HIV-1 pathogenesis
    • Organ Specific Pathology
      • Kidney disease
      • Heart disease
      • Central & Peripheral Nervous System disease
      • Skin disease  
  • Immunodeficient mouse models (NOD/SCID, CB17 SCID, Athymic Nude, and Beige Nude XID) for cancer studies
  • The SIV Non-human primate models for studying HIV-1 pathogenesis and for the development of HIV-1 vaccines

All of these models have and are playing a crucial role in understanding the pathogenesis of AIDS and various cancers with the ultimate intent of providing models for pre-clinical testing of new anti-HIV and anti-cancer drugs and treatment. The goal of the continuing development of the HIV transgenic rat model is to develop a small animal model that can be used for testing vaccines.

Division Head

Harry Davis, MS