Animal Models

Gnotobiotic Animal Core


Dr. Caroline Westwater
Phone: 843-792-7703


MUSC, Children’s Research Institute (CRI-703B and CRI-704B)



The Gnotobiotic Research Core provides services to local and national academic institutions and biotechnology companies. The core was created to provide investigators with the resources and technical expertise to address scientific questions in gnotobiotic animals (germfree or defined flora mice). A large body of work has established that nonpathogenic microbes shape human health by influencing biological processes such as development, physiology, immunity and lifespan. The microbiome has also been linked to various metabolic phenotypes and is intimately involved in nutrient acquisition and drug metabolism. Moreover, microbes have been implicated in the etiology of a number of diseases, including allergy, cancer, autoimmunity, and gastrointestinal disorders. Therefore, gnotobiotic animal models are invaluable for researchers studying various aspects of human health and disease. The Gnotobiotic Animal Core can provide investigators with germfree and defined flora mice (i.e. mice free of microbes or selectively colonized with one or more microbial species). The facility can also provide a disease-free environment for investigators wishing to house fragile genetically modified or immunocompromised mice.


Anyone can access this core.