Animal research in the Biological Research Facility

The Biological Research Facility supports all animal research at the Crick through our comprehensive animal care and use programme.

We are incredibly proud of our work, enabling world class science with animal welfare at the heart of all our activities.

Caring for our animals

Frog on lilypad.

Xenopus tropicalis frog on a lilypad.

Our cutting-edge animal facilities were designed and built to deliver optimal conditions for our animals. As well as adhering to all relevant legislation and guidelines, we take pride in keeping our animals comfortable and in the best possible health. To keep their environments comfortable and interesting, we give the animals various enrichment materials including nesting material, cage balconies, cardboard and acrylic mouse houses, chewing blocks in rodent cages and lily pads in frog (Xenopus tropicalis) tanks. We regularly trial new environmental enrichment materials to improve the animals' environments and keep up with the needs of science and industry developments.

Teams of animal technologists and Named Animal Care and Welfare Officers (NACWOs) care for the animals and support researchers with their experiments, to minimise any distress or adverse effects. 24/7 healthcare support is provided by Named Veterinary Surgeons. An in-house microbiology team performs regular screening to closely monitor the health status of our animals.

Everyone working with animals goes through extensive training, covering everything from legislation to hands-on animal handling, before they can conduct any experiments. This ensures that they can perform the techniques correctly without causing unnecessary distress.

Specialist services

Genetic Modification Service

Angiogenesis

The Genetic Modification Service team produces and maintains animal models for our research programmes through genetic modification. They run a programme of preserving unique and valuable genetically modified strains through freezing and storing sperm and early embryonic stages.

In Vivo Imaging

Close-up of nanoScan SPECT CT scanner in the In Vivo Imaging facility.

The In Vivo Imaging team offers non-invasive imaging of live animals on a wide range of specialist equipment. This allows scientists to get more information from each animal, reducing the number of animals needed for each experiment.