Friday, November 03, 2006

New York University (NYU) School Of Medicine Expanding Its Mice Research Facilities

Animal testing is business and business for NYU is good it seems.


NYU expands mice research facilities

by Sara Dover
Staff Writer

November 03, 2006

The NYU School of Medicine is expanding its mice research facilities by joining a state-funded project in Yonkers, N.Y. next year designed to make research more efficient.

The Academic Medicine Development Company, which is organizing the project, plans to open a new experimental mouse research lab in Yonkers to be shared by 35 medical schools and hospitals in the New York area, including NYU’s medical school. The building will have an 80,000-cage capacity and is projected to be finished by late 2007 or early 2008, company spokesman Ethan Geto said.

Toya McWilliams, director of NYU’s division of laboratory animal science, said the university is expanding its program to the new building to expand and enhance its mouse laboratories.

“It’s a collaborative program because all the research facilities are running out of space,” McWilliams said. “We are building facilities faster than what can be accommodated.”

McWilliams added that the space will not necessarily be used for more mice, but to make the school’s research “more efficient and smart.”

Geto said some of the new technology in the building will include climate and temperature controls to carefully monitor the mice’s environment.

The project was created to make animal research more productive and financially efficient, Geto said.

“Mice are absolutely crucial for most basic medical research,” he said. “They are particularly more valuable than ever now in genetic research.”

Although the $10 million the state has provided for the project covers about 90 percent of the cost, each medical school and institution will pay proportionately for the amount of cage space they occupy to cover the rest.

“These facilities are extremely expensive,” Geto said. “It made sense for these institutions ... to pull their resources together for one relatively inexpensive facility.”

McWilliams said NYU has yet to determine the extent of its expansion, so both the size and cost are under negotiation.

The only ones who don’t benefit from the new building are the mice, students said.

“Any amount of money is too much money to torment animals,” said Cassandra Flechsig, president of Students for Education on Animal Liberation at NYU.

Flechsig said the money should go toward disease prevention and education.

“We’re spending money on new medicine rather than providing existing medications to people who really need them,” Flechsig said.

Geto said the building’s new technology will be state-of-the-art.

“People often think that all of this is a matter of putting a few mice in cages,” he said, “but the truth is that these are very sophisticated facilities.”

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