Cole B is a Small Animal Colony dedicated to teaching and research. The animal inventory includes more than 1000 mice, as well as smaller colonies of rats and fish, but can accommodate a variety of small rodents and rabbits as the need arises. Most animals come from our own breeding colonies and some of the mouse lines were developed by our faculty and do not exist elsewhere.
The facility currently serves six faculty with a variety of research interests. Current rodent studies include the mechanisms of embryo development, the physiology and genetics of a high growth mutation, the effects of diet on mammary development and tumorigenesis, the effects of diet and stress on obesity and diabetes, and the mechanisms of tendon repair and arthritis. The fish are used to study relationships between osmotolerance and temperature in stickleback and tilapia, two fish species which are able to adapt between salt and fresh water environments.
The facility also supports eight laboratory classes, providing animals to teach handling and husbandry, basic physiology, reproduction, and genetics, as well as a variety of clinical techniques common to biotechnology and veterinary science. An average of 8 student employees provide basic husbandry for the colony animals while they earn experience toward career positions as animal technicians and technologists, facility managers, and laboratory animal veterinarians.