Zebrafish Facility Core

The Zebrafish Facility Core offers investigators and research personnel breeding and maintenance of zebrafish for use in the research community.

Zebrafish are vertebrates that offer a greater similarity to humans than worms and other common small model organisms, such as fruit flies. It is therefore commonplace to identify genetic factors that are conserved in vertebrates. Importantly, this similarity also allows for researchers to study diseases in this system that are common between zebrafish and humans. The zebrafish is also powerful model for small-molecule screening. This makes the zebrafish an attractive model to facilitate translational medicine. Additional features of using zebrafish in research include:

  • Rapid breeding time - Since zebrafish embryos develop more rapidly than mice, this enables researchers to perform experiments on vertebrate development in shorter time periods.
  • Optical clarity and external development of embryos - This is advantageous to the investigator because it enables visual inspection of cell development in whole animals. Researchers can examine how diseases perturb tissue development.
  • Genome is sequenced
  • Ease of embryo exploitation
  • Relatively inexpensive - Husbandry of zebrafish is comparatively less expensive when compared to mice or other vertebrate research organisms. This could potentially be a boon to the local research community by minimizing costs.
  • Transgenesis - Rapid development of transgenic animals.
  • Gene knockouts - Rapid development of animals with knocked out genes using zinc-finger nucleases.

The main room of the zebrafish facility contains 6 racks with the capacity to hold 168 one-liter tanks, 180 three-liter tanks, and 90 ten-liter tanks, which equals an approximate total system volume of 2651 liters. The zebrafish facility is a 24-hour operation run by research assistants with the aid of graduate and undergraduate students in the McDermott Lab.

Current users are charged a flat rate of $375/month for usage.

Website: http://casemed.case.edu/otolaryngology/mcdermott.html