RAM is a facility specialized in functional investigations. It ensures the housing, production and storage of experimental animal models and their functional analysis.
Portfolio d’applications :
- Muscle metabolism and cardiology,
- Investigation of sensory and motor functions, behaviour,
- Endocrinology, physiopathology and pharmacology,
- Haematology and immunology,
- Experiments in level 2 and 3 biosafety laboratories (infectiology)
- Oncology (including xenografts and SPECT/PET imaging).
Main expertise/Services :
RAM is organized around a central SOPF (specific and opportunistic pathogen free) animal house for production and husbandry (generation of models, genotyping, assisted reproduction techniques) at the Route de Mende CNRS campus. These lines are then used in the six local animal houses (SPF status – specific pathogen free) equipped for functional investigations.
- Reproduction services: lines are produced in close collaboration with researchers. Limited breeding is also possible in the experimental animal houses (for specific needs, such as planned mating).
- Archiving: we offer a storage service of mouse lines (cryopreservation of sperm/embryos, and line rederivation). Archiving has many advantages for the researchers and also in view of the 3R principles (Reduction, Refinement, and Replacement). Genetic drift, associated with random mutations in the genome at each generation, is avoided. Archiving is efficient and allows limiting the costs of housing living non-used lines. It simplifies the import (by rederivation and quarantine) of new lines and their export (sent as frozen embryos). It also facilitates the «cleaning» of lines for their use in SOPF conditions. Finally, it is a real back-up of lines that can be mobilized in a few months in case of epizootic.
- The six animal houses for functional investigations have different equipment and all the scientific expertise required for the applications mentioned in the portfolio. Experimental surgery is possible on pig models and rodents (rats and mice).
The different RAM technical platforms allow animal housing in A1 to A3 confinement level.
The zootechnical personnel are continuously trained within the facility. RAM proposes and contributes to the regulatory training courses: project developer, experimental surgery in rodents, Level II animal experimentation (Montpellier IUT), and from animal to image (RHEM). RAM also organizes internal training courses and technical and scientific exchange seminars. RAM closely collaborates with other BioCampus facilities (RHEM and IPAM) and also with CREFRE in Toulouse.
Access and service policy:
RAM services are fee-based and accessible to academic and private-sector users. Each project is validated by the steering committee of the concerned technical platform and by RAM management committee.
RAM, which was initially organized as an animal house network, is now a unique and integrated facility. It has the GPTR label.
RAM operates in the strict respect of the animal ethics and of the health regulations/health and safety rules. It implements an ISO 9001 quality management approach (the A3 biosafety animal house is certified ISO 9001).