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Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology

Mammalian Tissue Culture, Immuno-modulation, and Lytic Peptide Research

The Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology (CDMB) was established through the support of the Utah Centers of Excellence Program (COEP) in July of 1993. Research in the CDMB focuses on:

  • Primary cell culture medium development. Researchers at HyClone Laboratories, Inc. working in conjunction with scientists in the ADVS and other departments at USU have developed a lymphocyte culture fluid (LCF) that out-performs all other culture media in the culture of lymphocytes (LCF) and embryos (ECF). Work is also focusing on hemopoietic and embryonic stem cell establishment and maintenance medium development.
  • Lytic peptide expression and vector design. Researchers in the CDMB have evaluated, developed, synthesized, and characterized several synthetic chemotherapeutic peptides referred to as lytic peptides. These peptides have been shown to be effective against a number of diseases that are currently either very difficult or impossible to treat with conventional therapy.
  • Bioproduction and therapeutic proteins in mammary secretions of transgenic animals.
  • Higher efficiency of transgenic animal production (mouse, rabbit, goat, and cattle). This work also involved production of agriculturally important transgenic animals by use of embryonic stem cells.

Director of the CDMB: Kenneth L. White.
Co-Principal Investigators from the ADVS Department: Thomas D. Bunch and John D. Morrey.

Center for Integrated BioSystems

The Center for Integrated BioSystems (CIB) was created in 1986 as a Center of Excellence for the State of Utah to promote biotechnology education and research, and to support technology development and transfer. Education and outreach programs provide training and technical information for researchers, government agencies, Extension faculty, and teachers. In addition, each summer the center hosts a week-long research experience that pairs a limited number of high school juniors and seniors with USU researchers involved in work at the center.

Service laboratories provide essential products and services to support biotechnology research, and include DNA and protein synthesis and sequencing and antibody production. The center houses research laboratories for faculty and their students from a variety of academic disciplines. Among these are members of the ADVS Department who have expertise in animal molecular genetics, viral disease diagnostics, reproductive physiology and embryo cloning.

Equipment in the laboratories includes centrifuges, tissue culture and bacterial incubators, electrophoresis gel systems, thermal cyclers, a pulse field gel apparatus, an X-ray developer, a transilluminator with camera, ultra-cold freezers, microinjection instruments coupled to a Nikon inverted microscope with phase contrast and Hoffman optics, equipment required for forging glass microtools. The CIB has a completely equipped dark room and several tissue culture rooms. In addition, there are animal holding rooms which serve as an extension to USU's Laboratory Animal Research Center. The center is located west of the Merrill-Cazier Library.

Director of the CIB: Chris Davies
Find the Center for Integrated BioSystems on this interactive map.

Center for Integrated BioSystems website

Lab/Animal Research Center

5600 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-5600
(435) 797-1886

The Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) was constructed in 1970 and expanded in 1987. In 1991 a satellite facility was added in the new Biotechnology building. The LARC has been AAALAC accredited since 1986. The LARC facilities have over 12,000 square feet of floor space and consist of 20 conventional animal holding rooms and service areas including office, classroom, quarantine, storage, laundry, restroom, mechanical rooms, two procedure rooms, and two laboratories. All laboratory animals used in research on campus are housed in this facility or the satellite facility in the Biotechnology Center. The Center also has a Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) suite consisting of three animal rooms and four laboratories. The LARC has a separate ventilation system which utilizes 100% outside air. Temperature and humidity are monitored daily to help maintain the desired environmental controls for the various species housed in the Center.

The LARC is staffed by a director and veterinarian, a supervisor, a secretary, and several animal care technicians.

The primary goal of the Center is to provide animal care which exceeds minimum standards that have been established for laboratory animals. Animal care within the Center is in accordance with "The Animal Welfare Act", PHS "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals" and DHEW "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals". This building is connected to the Vet Science and Bacteriology building.

To find the Laboratory Animal Research Center on an interactive map.

Veterinary Diagnostics Lab

950 East 1400 North
North Logan, Utah 84322-5700
(435) 797-1895

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, supported both by the State of Utah and by USU, provide laboratory service in animal disease diagnosis for Utah and adjacent states. The main facility is the Ross A. Smart Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, located on the campus at Utah State University. The facility was completed in December 1994 and is considered "state-of-the-art" for animal disease diagnostic services. The building contains a large necropsy room for handling any species of animal; laboratories for conducting histopathology, serology, bacteriology, virology, toxicology, and biotechnology relating to veterinary diagnosis; and rooms for supporting auxiliary services. There is an electron microscope suite, a large capacity animal incinerator, and temporary holding areas for animals. A branch of the main facility is located in Provo and provides convenient access for patrons from the central and southern parts of the state. The facility includes a necropsy room, a laboratory, ELISA testing equipment and can perform similar functions to those done in the main laboratory.

To find the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab on an interactive map.

Animal Science Farm

3580 South Hwy 89-91
Wellsville, Utah 84339
(435) 752-4075

The main Animal Science Farm is located south of Logan. It provides facilities for beef cattle, sheep, and swine. Pastures and some winter housing for beef cattle is in northwest Logan. Spring calving is at our Richmond site, about 20 miles north of Logan. For beef cattle the main farm provides 10 pens for groups of animals, 32 individual pens for feeding trials, and several pastures for growing out animals. The sheep unit provides group facilities for three breeds of sheep plus pastures and lambing facilities. The swine facilities provide farrowing, grow out, group pens and individual feeding unit for swine. Facilities also include a home for the farm manager, a pavilion for teaching and extension activities, and handling facilities for the various species of livestock. This farm is located at 3580 South Hwy 91, between Young Ward and Wellsville, Utah.

To find the Animal Science Farm on an interactive map.

Caine Dairy Farm

George B. Caine Dairy Center
4300 South Hwy 91
Wellsville, Utah 84339

(435) 245-6067

The Caine Dairy Center is considered one of the nation's most modern dairy research facilities. It consists of:

  1. Headquarters building containing offices, classroom, meeting rooms, laboratories, computer facilities and a library;
  2. The dairy facility itself which has a state-of-the-art milking parlor, a heated pavilion for judging cows and teaching, a 60-cowtie stall barn, a feed preparation and behavior research area, a feeding research unit for 72 cows in loose housing, which has 8 stalls for research involving fistulated or catheterized animals;
  3. Outdoor cow housing with a capacity of 128 animals (this area is equipped with meteorological instruments for continuous recording of climatic data);
  4. Heifer and dry cow housing;
  5. Individual, portable calf housing hutches;
  6. A waste-handling system and lagoons.

Center for Genetic Improvement of Livestock

The Center for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL) was formed on July 1, 1992 through the support of the Utah Centers of Excellence Program (COEP). Research in the CGIL includes:

  • Characterization of the callipyge trait in sheep: Animals carrying one copy of the callipyge gene have about 8% more muscle, 8% less fat, and 2% less bone than flock mates not carrying the gene. Interestingly, this increase in muscle mass is almost exclusively in the hind limb and the loin of the animal. These improvements in muscle mass significantly affect retail yield and the percentage of carcass weight found within the high-priced lamb cuts.
  • Identification of a genetic marker for the callipyge gene: A genetic marker for this locus has been identified by Dr. Noelle Cockett, a researcher within the CGIL. A genetic test using these markers is about 97% accurate in determining an animal's genotype for the heavy muscling gene. Development of a commercially available genetic marker test is ongoing.
  • Embryo cloning of callipyge animals: Once superior callipyge animals are identified using the Center's genetic markers, they will be rapidly multiplied using embryo cloning techniques, as directed by Dr. Ken White.  Combining genetic technologies of genetic markers and embryo cloning will allow the CGIL to provide Utah sheep producers with animals that produce meat more efficiently and have desirable carcass characteristics.

Director of the CGIL is Noelle E. Cockett of the ADVS Department.
Co-principal Investigator is Kenneth L. White.
Other faculty members include; Dr. Lee Rickfords, Dr. Kara Thornton-Kurth, and Dr. Matthew Garcia.

Institute for Antiviral Research

The Institute for Antiviral Research (IAR) is comprised of a team of scientists representing a spectrum of disciplines from both the ADVS and Biology Departments at USU, who work together on research oriented toward the control of viral diseases. The IAR has had underlying support from several government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the division of AIDS of the National Institutes of Health, and the division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Institute researchers also receive considerable support from private industry. Researchers in this Institute have been involved in the development of five drugs now used clinically to treat viral diseases. Research areas include:

  • In vitro antiviral evaluation using a spectrum of viruses of veterinary and human importance.
  • In vivo antiviral evaluations, with work focusing primarily on the use of laboratory animals to serve as models of disease in higher animals and man.
  • Immunological evaluation to determine a variety of immunological responses of animals, particularly after treatment with biological response modifiers.
  • Biochemical mechanisms of action of substances exhibiting antiviral activity.
  • Transgenic mouse services, wherein transgenic mice are genetically engineered according to sponsor's request.
  • Retrovirus gene expression, using particularly the human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat gene in the skin of transgenic mice.
  • Immunotoxin construction as a new approach to curing the mammalian host of persisting viruses.

Director of the IAR is John Morrey.

Institute for Antiviral Research Website

Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology

The Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology had its beginnings in 1962 as an effort to bring together the elements of an inter-disciplinary training program involving a number of departments including ADVS, Chemistry, Plant Sciences, Botany, Soil Science, Wildlife Science, Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Water Resources.  The Center offers the following:

  • Active recruitment of select students interested in professional development as toxicologists.
  • Intensive pre- and post-doctoral training in molecular and biochemical toxicology (carcinogenesis, free-radical mechanisms, immunotoxicology).
  • Intensive pre- and post-doctoral training in environmental toxicology (biodegradation, toxicant interactions within ecosystems, environmental engineering).
  • Integration of environmental engineering within environmental toxicology.
  • Orientation to concepts in safety testing and regulation of environmental toxicants.
  • A wide spectrum of scientific equipment and laboratories for the performance of toxicological research.

Acting Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology is Roger A. Coulombe, Jr.
There are currently a total of 19 active faculty in the center, including Roger A. Coulombe, Jr, and Howard Deer from ADVS, and Lynn F. James, and Kip E. Panter, who have adjunct appointments in ADVS.

Toxicology Website