National Taiwan University establishes the Laboratory Animal Resource Center (ARC) to provide a high quality of animal care and support biomedical researches. With the support of Ministry of Education, the construction project for the ARC started on 2010/10/29. In the summer of 2016, the ARC started conducting animal breeding and assisting researchers in projects execution. In addition to serving the academic research and bio industry development, the ARC also provides courses to promote animal welfare and experiment skills.
The usage of laboratory animals has become one of the indispensable part of the biomedical research; the experimental results assist the researchers to understand various biological phenomena. Good animal care and operation environment are prerequisites to promise the accuracy and repeatability of the research. The animal experiments concerns not only the welfare of the animals but the safety of the operators, therefore, we provide not only excellent hardware/software for animal studies but stringent operation procedure to ensure the safety of the people. The accomplishment of these will ease the concerns of the general public in using animals for scientific research.
The 3 main functions of the ARC are:
1. To provide excellent housing care for different types of animal experiments.
2. To provide high-quality training courses to promote animal welfare.
3. To help establishing the connection between the basic researches in the campus and the pharmaceutical application of the bio industry.
The primary function of the ARC is to provide high-quality nursing care to satisfy the specific pathogen free (SPF) standards. We adopt professional facilities, such as IVC cage, clean exchange platform, etc. to maintain the animals in an SPF environment. Routine veterinary examination promises the health and welfare of the animals so the researchers can have the animals at the best condition for experiments. Furthermore, we provide training courses to make sure the researchers can have accurate operation skills to conduct experiments. With these, researchers can minimize the number of animals needed for an experiment and obtain repeatable significant results.
In the NTU main campus, there are several separated animal housing facilities providing different types of services, however, many of these facilities are not able to meet the requirements of basic research and bio industry. The ARC offers the best environment for researchers and biotech companies to do animal-related studies. So the ARC can be a bridge to connect the PIs in the campus with the companies in the bio industry to boost the cooperation.
Overall, to fulfill the functions of the ARC, we will perform the following tasks:
i. Maintain a high quality of the housing and nursing environment.
ii. Enhance the efficiency in resource sharing and manpower arrangement.
iii. Emphasize humane care for experimental animals to improve the quality of research and development.
iv. Promote cooperation between academic campus and biomedical industry to accelerate the development of biotechnology and pharmaceutical research.
v. Set up animal-related techniques to enhance research quality.
All of the members in the ARC works very hard to guarantee the whole system satisfying the standards of animal welfare and experiments. With a high quality of animal breeding environment and management, the ARC will apply for a certification from the AAALAC (Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International). In the meantime, we will establish techniques, such as purification, embryo transfer and frozen, etc. to serve the PIs in the campus for the excellence of the scientific research. Furthermore, we will cooperate with biomedical companies and help them carrying out their pharmaceutical projects to boost the development of bio industry. In the end, we expect the ARC is financially independent and can perform the above-mentioned goals.