Established almost 40 years ago to breed and house mice specifically for radiation experiments, the UCLA Department of Radiation Oncology’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (DMCO) manages one of the highest quality AALAC-accredited Mouse Cores in the country that now services more than 120 researchers at UCLA. Approximately 10,000 mice are housed within 3,678 square feet on the 6th floor of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The facility produces 59,000 mice per year. Researchers either work with mice in the facility or buy mice at very low cost for use in other facilities.

Most mice live in high-density Anicare and Thoren self-ventilated racks with outside Hepa-filtered air of controlled humidity and temperature. Most are exceptionally “clean” mice that have a defined microbial flora (which means they are gnotobiotic) consisting of 3 organisms: one Bacillus and two Clostridial species and are free of aerobic and Gram-negative bacteria. This flora has remained unaltered since inception. This environment is essential for studies with radiation and immunosuppression. However, rooms are available for BSL2 and more conventional studies.  


The facility is “full service”, meaning that the costs of most procedures are absorbed in the per diems. Rederivation carries a modest charge. We have numerous syngeneic and xenogeneic tumor models, immunological models, and radiobiological partial and whole body, transplantation and tumor models. The radiobiological models use cesium, cobalt, and x-rays, including a small animal irradiator with CT scanning. The radiobiological models include acute and late radiation responses, (bone marrow, small and large intestine, mucositis, heart, lung pneumonitis and fibrosis, kidney, liver, testis, skin wound healing, leg fibrosis, myelitis, brain demyelination and radionecrosis, immune function). Xenogeneic and syngeneic transplant models include tumor and normal cells and biobanked samples. Assistance can be provided where necessary. All animals are under the control of the campus veterinarian and all experiments and breeding conform to local and national regulations governing animal use.

Mice Strains

We carry over 140 strains of immune competent, immune deficient, and transgenic mice. Please contact Dr. Kei Iwamoto, Director of the Animal Core ([email protected]), for a list of strains and availability.

Many immune competent mouse strains are bred in the vivarium under gnotobiotic conditions and are available for purchase at low cost. “Spontaneous” tumor animal models, which simulate the occurrence of tumors in the general human population, are readily available as are many other transgenic strains.

We breed and house many strains of immunocompromised mice with varying degrees of deficiency, including with NSG, Scid, and Nude mice of varying genotype, including humanized strains. In addition to facilitating immunology studies, these animals are ideal for studying the development of human-derived tissues, both normal and malignant, in an in vivo system; this includes the potential for producing xenograft models of bio-banked human samples and allograft models of bio-banked mouse samples. As with immunocompetent animal models, these mice can also be used for both heterotopic and orthotopic tumor models. We are always willing to incorporate new strains that will aid research at UCLA.

Microbe-Free Mice

As a successful and well-established facility with experienced staff, this vivarium is the ultimate for clean mice. Our long experience is that these mice have a low cancer incidence and a low incidence of autoimmunity, such as colitis. To explore the role of microbes in cancer and autoimmunity, a colony is currently being established within the gnotobiotic area that is totally microbe-free. With the explosive growth of scientific knowledge that gut microbiota have a pivotal role in the maintenance of host physiology, it is clear that methodical manipulation of the microbiota will contribute to understanding the interactions among the bacteria and the host in disease and health. As one non-trivial example, radiation injury to the small bowel remains an important clinical problem for which few therapeutic strategies exist. Several lines of evidence suggest that dynamic interactions between the host’s enteric microbiota and innate immune system modulate the intestinal response to radiation. Prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, and bacterial-derived peptides and byproducts can modify radiation-induced injury and symptom severity. How to best harness the influence of these microbial symbionts remains to be determined. Germ free animals will facilitate laboratory studies aimed at identifying specific agents or regimens that optimize normal tissue radioresistance or tumor radiosensitization.

Current Pricing per Mouse for Select Common Strains Carried by Animal Core


Mouse IDImmune Status0-3 weeks old4-6 weeks old7+ weeks old
RAG-2-/-, GC-/-Compromised$60.72$62.75$64.06
Scid (white)Compromised$46.89$48.44$51.55
Scid (beige)Compromised$47.61$50.00$51.71
CD4 KO-$43.34$43.34$43.34
CD8 KO-$43.34$43.34$43.34
CD28 KO-$43.34$43.34$43.34
P55-1KO x P75-1-KO-$43.34$43.34$43.34
Per diem cost = $1.05    
Rederivation  =  $956.49    

Ordering Mice

Please submit all requests via the DLAM Online Procurement Portal: https://procurement.dlam2.ucla.edu/esirius
Vendor Name: Radiation Oncology
Contact UCLA Division of Laboratoy Animal Medicine to create an eSirius Account

Contact Us

Kei Iwamoto, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Phone: 310-206-5595
[email protected]

Cruz Ozaeta
Animal Resources Supervisor, Department of Radiation Oncology
Phone: 310-825-1224
[email protected]