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Technology Platforms

Technology Platforms


nitrile gloved handThe Department of Biomedical Sciences maintains its research excellence with the latest technological platforms and shared facilities that support faculty research programs within the department and across the University of Pennsylvania.  Our core technology platforms house state of the art research equipment, and we anticipate developing new platforms with the emergence of new research areas in our department. 


Measuring Tumor Size

Small Animal Imaging Facility

The Small Animal Non-Invasive Imaging Facility uses 3D visualization to study blood flow, volume, and tumor size.

  • Small Animal Non-Invasive Imaging Facility

    These state-of-the-art instruments offer non-invasive imaging opportunities to study drug, tissue and cellular mechanisms in live animals. This includes optical imaging (bioluminescence, fluorescence, and near-infrared) as well as Ultrasound and Doppler imaging for, but not limited to, research in oncology, cardiology, gynecology, hematology, neuroscience, stem cell and developmental biology.

  • Center for Transgenesis

    Over the past 30 years, techniques have been developed that enable the modification of individual genes in animals and plants and thereby precisely alter inherited traits. These genetically altered organisms, called transgenic, and are of enormous value in medicine and agriculture.  Scientists at the School of Veterinary Medicine performed pioneering studies in the development of transgenic techniques and were responsible for production of the first transgenic mice and farm animals. Capitalizing on years of foundation research, the Center for Animal Transgenesis and Germ Cell Research was established in 1998. Our primary mission is to undertake innovative research on stem cell biology, germ cell development, and animal transgenesis. The Transgenesis Core is equipped with state of the art equipment and is supported by fully trained personnel and is located in a barrier, pathogen free small animal facility that is accredited by Association for Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) and supervised by trained veterinarians.

  • Behavioral Testing

    Behavioral testing in the Department of Biomedical Sciences seeks to further our understanding of endophenotypes of disease – behavioral cues that predict similar symptoms in human disease.  Using a broad spectrum of testing platforms to evaluate mouse behavior, Dr. Tracy Bale and her lab members build upon a foundation of neuroscience and our existing knowledge of the circuitry of the brain to utilize behavioral tests to understand how and why certain diseases occur related to stress experiences. 

    Dr. Bale’s lab uses a variety of evaluation techniques to study multiple facets of behavior. These include tests gauging spatial learning and memory (including platforms like the Barnes maze, pictured), barnesmaze smanxiety linked behavioral studies, fear conditioning and pre-pulse inhibition.  Understanding these types of behaviors and their underlying mechanisms informs a wide range of scientific interests, from the most basic of neural mechanisms to clinical veterinary medicine and the translation of data into potential therapies for developmental and stress-related disorders in humans. Testing responses to acoustic startle in mice, for example, provides an opportunity to study behaviors related to those observed in humans with schizophrenia.  Similarly, the lab uses established knowledge of neural circuitry related to fear conditioning to study behaviors that reflect those presented by people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

    Additionally, Dr. Bale’s lab studies the biological and environmental factors that work in tandem to produce certain behaviors, including the study of the microbiome of the birth canal and its effect on mouse pup early brain development, and the effects of stress on the father’s germ cells prior to conception and how they program their offspring’s brain.