The professional staff of the Center of Comparative Medicine and Pathology (CCMP) is involved in a number of translational and collaborative research projects that address clinical, infectious, and operational issues related to the use of animals in research. The staff received support in these efforts from fellows in CCMP's various training programs.
Examples of recent and ongoing translational research efforts include the following:
- Elucidating the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Corynebacterium bovis: C. bovis is the causative agent of corynebacterium-associated hyperkeratitis (CAH). CAH is a significant clinical problem in immunocompromised mouse colonies, particularly in academic centers where various laboratories use immunocompromised mice as xenograft models. The agent is endemic in most non-commercial athymic mouse colonies and can have a significant impact on the outcome of xenograft studies conducted in affected animals. Current investigations are exploring methods to eradicate, contain, and treat the infection.
- Developing eradication and diagnostic methods for Myobia musculi and Myocoptes musculinus infestations: Mite infestations are a significant problem in contemporary mouse colonies. Eradication is extremely difficult even when attempting to eliminate mites from small numbers of animals. A feed-based acaricide delivery system was recently developed and efficacy evaluated.
- Postoperative pain control is important in rodent models. While potent analgesics are available, they may not be used effectively and at the appropriate doses and frequencies. Analgesic formulations are currently being evaluated in relevant model systems.
Collaborative research is undertaken directly with the various Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering laboratories that develop and utilize animal models.
Examples of current collaborations include the following: characterizing a new model of dyskeratosis congenita based on the disruption of mouse telomerase and Pot1b proteins; unveiling the function of various genes in the NMR complex (Nbs1, Mre11, and Rad 50) responsible for double-stranded DNA repair; characterizing the biological significance and role of the newly identified antiapoptotic gene, septin 4, in the development of hepatic cancer; testing new anti-prostate cancer drugs in newly developed mouse models containing the TMPRSS2-ERG fusion protein and an activated AKT pathway; evaluating the global conditional disruption of the Abi1/Hssh3bp1 gene on prostatic and other neoplasms in a genetically engineered mouse model; and studying the impact of curcumin on mammary and intestinal neoplasia in ENU-induced mouse cancer models.