Animal Model Research Core

Director: Clay Semenkovich, MD

Contact: Sangeeta Adak
Phone: 314-747-8282


The Animal Mode Research Core (AMR) main location is on the 8th floor of the Southwest Tower Building and can be reached by most NORC members by a short 5 to 10 minute walk through adjoining hallways and a 2nd floor pedestrian link that connects major research buildings.

Visit the Animal Model Research Core’s website »

The Animal Model Research (AMR) Core facilitates nutrition/obesity-related research by investigators using mouse models at Washington University to generate translational and transformational insight into human disease. The goals of this core are to:

  • Provide mouse models relevant to nutrition research.
  • Provide NORC investigators with key phenotyping services needed for nutrition/obesity-related research in animal models, including:
    • High-precision standardizized biochemical assays in serum;
    • Tissue lipid analyses, including triglycerides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids;
    • Molecular analyses;
    • Body composition analysis; and
    • Energy metabolism and balance.
  • Provide consultation in experimental design and optimal use of AMR Core services for specific research projects, and training in procedures, assays, and use of instrumentation for investigators or their staff, in a broad range of technologies that facilitate the testing of hypotheses relevant to nutrion and obesity.


A list of selected key instrumentation required for listed services or other “upon request” services includes:

  • 1 ECHO MRI machine (upgraded in early 2015) with support equipment for body composition determination
  • 1 PIXImus small animal DEXA for body composition (preferred by some bone biologists for chronic measures of bone density)
  • 1 TSE Phenomaster (high-throughput phenotyping platform for fully automated and synchronized metabolic, behavioral, and physiological monitoring – 8 animals can be monitored at one time) installed in early 2014. ~90% of the funds for this equipment were provided by the institution.
  • 8 additional wire-bottomed metabolic cages that are compatible with the Phenomaster system (in addition to home-cage format Phenomaster cages described just above) for determination of food intake and collection of excretions
  • 1 Oxymax small animal indirect calorimetry system
  • 1 new Applied Biosystems StepOnePlus Real-Time PCR System purchased in early 2015 with institutional funds to support the Core
  • Multiple conventional PCR machines
  • 1 Leica CM 1850 Cryostat
  • 1 Columbus Instruments NIBP-8 Non-Invasive (tail cuff) blood pressure monitor for rodents interfaced with a computer
  • 6 PA-C10 transmitters and receivers for telemetry determination of blood pressure
  • 6 TA10TA-F20 transmitters for core temperature determination
  • 1 Perimed Periscan laser Doppler imaging system for measuring blood flow in living animals
  • 1 high resolution digital camera attached to a microscope and integrated with a computerized image processing system
  • 1 Synergy 4 Multi-mode Micro Optical plate reader adapted for high throughput determination of serum chemistries
  • 1 Amersham Pharmacia AKTA FPLC apparatus used to assay lipoproteins
  • 1 Alpha Innotech FluorChem 9800 system
  • A variety of infusion pumps
  • Several types of centrifuges
  • A variety of microscopes
  • 1 Kodak In-Vivo Multispectral Imaging System FX with a dedicated PC and appropriate software to allow in vivo imaging of mouse model

Services available

Download service request form (pdf) »

  1. Provision of mice
  2. Training consultation
  3. Biochemical assays (plasma)
    • Plasma triglycerides
    • Plasma cholesterol
    • Plasma glucose
    • Plasma non-esterified fatty acids
    • Plasma lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL, HDL)
  4. Biochemical assays (tissues)
    • Tissue triglycerides
    • Tissue cholesterol
    • Tissue non-esterified fatty acids
  5. Body composition analyses
  6. Metabolic assessment
    • Indirect calorimetry
    • Food intake
    • Urine and feces collection
    • Physical activity measurements
  7. Quantitative RT-PCR of nutrition-related genes

Please contact Sangeeta Adak for core pricing information:

Please acknowledge the Washington University NORC, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, in your publications by: “Supported by NIH grant P30 DK056341 (Nutrition Obesity Research Center).”