Core B

The Animal Core serves as a central resource for all animals used by all investigators in the Program Project. Core personnel are responsible for maintaining up-to-date assessments of animal requirements for all Projects. They ensure timely ordering, delivery, and proper husbandry of animals. All animal procedures are conducted and/or supervised by Animal Core personnel.

Most animals used in the Program Project have their blood pressure carefully and reliably quantified by Animal Core personnel either directly (radiotelemetry) or indirectly (tail-cuff sphygmomanometry) as part of each experimental protocol. A major advantage of Animal Core is that it facilitates the most efficient use of animals by Program Investigators.

Our in vivo protocols also are designed to maximize the amount of data collected from a single animal. This is achieved through use of long-term repeated measurements of cardiovascular parameters where possible, rather than studying separate groups of animals at each time point of interest.


The single most important objective of the Animal Core is to monitor and maintain the overall health and well-being of the animal colony. We serve as the central resource for experimental animals used by all investigators in the Program Project. The core activities can be divided into three broad elements: service, training, and development:


  • Purchase, house, maintain, validate, and phenotype animals to be used in all Projects in the Program.
  • Produce high fat diet-associated hypertensive, and normotensive control animals by providing appropriate diets while monitoring blood pressure, body weight, adiposity and metabolic measures such as plasma glucose.
  • Perform all procedures necessary for the measurement of  cardiovascular parameters in undisturbed animals.


  • Identify and obtain new animal strains as necessary and validate new physiological models and techniques.
  • Hold frequent workshops to teach Program investigators new in vivo techniques and allow for the exchange of information and ideas.


  • Create new transgenic animal strains to complement existing surgical, anatomical, and pharmacological models.

Core B Team

Adam Lauver

Assistant Professor, Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Core B Leader

Leader of the Animal Core. Dr. Lauver is responsible for the overall supervision of animal purchase, housing, maintenance and health assessments. He coordinates the multiple uses of individual animals, and tissue derived from individual animals, among Program investigators. He assists other Program investigators with the development of new animal models or in vivo methods to facilitate their research goals.
Gregory Fink

Gregory Fink

Full Professor, Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Core B Co-Leader

Co-Leader of the Animal Core. Dr. Fink has extensive expertise with animal models of hypertension and related cardiovascular complications. He consults with Dr. Lauver and Core members on a regular basis concerning refinement, characterization and quality control of the animal models used by all investigators in the Program.

Elena Demireva

Director, Transgenic and Genome Editing Facility
Core B Member

Dr. Demireva heads the Molecular Services Program at the MSU Transgenic and Genome Editing Facility. She oversees the creation and procurement of all transgenic animal lines used by the Program and coordinate the use of common genetic models across different projects. Her expertise in genome editing, molecular biology and rodent genetics will be available to Project PIs and she will advise on the selection, validation and design of transgenic animal model experiments.
Barbara Christian

Barbara Christian

Research Assistant, Husbandry and Genotyping
Core B Member

Mrs. Christian conducts all routine duties required by this Core. Her duties include daily care and health assessments of all rats used by the Program as a whole. She conducts all genotyping of transgenic animals.
Lisa Sather

Lisa Sather

Research Assistant, Sphygmomanometry
Core B Member

Ms. Sather oversees routine blood pressure phenotyping by tail-cuff plethysmography. In addition, she assists with daily care and health assessments of animals as well as tissue collection.
Hannah Garver

Hannah Garver

Research Assistant, Surgical Model Development
Core B Member

Ms. Garver performs all rat ordering and central recordkeeping on animals available for use by Program investigators. She orders all supplies for the Core, maintains inventory, and most importantly, supervises the use and maintenance of our centralized survival surgery facility. She performs most surgical implantation of telemeters, catheters and other devices. She collects and organizes most telemetric data for display and statistical analysis.

Teresa Krieger-Burke

Assistant Prof, Dept of Pharmacology and Toxicology, In Vivo Facility Director
Project I Collaborator, Core D Collaborator

Dr. Krieger-Burke will facilitate measurement of pulse wave velocity and other whole animal measures important to the PPG.

Integration with other projects

A major advantage of the Animal Core is that it centralizes and facilitates the most efficient use of animals by Project Leaders, thereby eliminating redundancy and reducing cost.

Our protocols are designed to maximize the amount of data collected from a single animal. Through careful planning and refinement of our methods, we significantly reduce the number of animals used to address our scientific aims.


Perivascular Adipose Tissue Remodels Only after Elevation of Blood Pressure in the Dahl SS Rat Fed a High-Fat Diet

J Vasc Res. 2023 Dec 19:1-12. doi: 10.1159/000535513. Online ahead of print. Caitlin Wilson , Janice M Thompson , Leah Terrian , Adam D Lauver , Emma D Flood , Gregory D Fink , Lisa Sather , Sudin Bhattacharya , G Andres Contreras , Stephanie W Watts  ...


Not applicable.

Additional information

Why animals are necessary

Hypertension and obesity are disorders of abnormal regulation of a complex, highly integrated control system. Mathematical models of these control systems have been developed. However, individual system components are still not well enough understood to allow models to replace animal tissues as a means of understanding the basic causes of high blood pressure or obesity.

Given the lack of scientific understanding of the role of PVAT in blood pressure regulation, mathematical modeling of this complex system would lead to erroneous description of the dynamic communication between PVAT with other layers of the vasculature. Thus, the study of live animals and animal tissues is still necessary.