Medical school’s animal facility awarded $5.4 million

Medical school's animal facility awarded $5.4 million The University of South Dakota has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help fund the animal facility renovation portion of the larger USD School of Medicine's Andrew M. Lee Memorial Hall of Medicine and Science renovation project.

The award is part of the NIH's "Renovation of Animal Care Facility at University of South Dakota." The funds from this award will be matched by $1.8 million provided by The University of South Dakota.

In addition, the university has recently received two additional federal appropriations totaling $1.8 million, one from the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration and one from the Department of Housing and Urban Developments (HUD) Economic Development Initiative to help defray the cost of the animal facility renovation. The HHS award is $906,000 and the HUD grant is for $925,000.

The total package of $5.4 million in funds will be used to create a state-of-the-art, 13,000 square foot animal facility in the research wing of the renovated Lee Medicine building, nearly doubling the current facility space. The facility will include a state-of-the-art cage washing areas, animal isolation areas, animal surgical suites, highly specialized animal holding rooms, as well as storage, and more. Construction dates and groundbreaking dates have not been decided.

Dr. Steve Waller is associated dean of basic biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine and is the project director for this grant.

"Our normal animal rooms have greater environment needs than a human surgical suite does need" according to Waller. "We will now be able to do state-of-the-art research that will benefit all of South Dakota, the country and the world in the areas of neuroscience, cell and molecular biology and physiology and structural biology. The COBRE grant and all ongoing research projects will be enhanced by the improvement of this facility."

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