Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology
Mammalian Tissue Culture, Immuno-modulation, and Lytic Peptide Research
The Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology (CDMB) was established through the support of the Utah Centers of Excellence Program (COEP) in July of 1993. Research in the CDMB focuses on:
- Primary cell culture medium development. Researchers at HyClone Laboratories, Inc. working in conjunction with scientists in the ADVS and other departments at USU have developed a lymphocyte culture fluid (LCF) that out-performs all other culture media in the culture of lymphocytes (LCF) and embryos (ECF). Work is also focusing on hemopoietic and embryonic stem cell establishment and maintenance medium development.
- Lytic peptide expression and vector design. Researchers in the CDMB have evaluated, developed, synthesized, and characterized several synthetic chemotherapeutic peptides referred to as lytic peptides. These peptides have been shown to be effective against a number of diseases that are currently either very difficult or impossible to treat with conventional therapy.
- Bioproduction and therapeutic proteins in mammary secretions of transgenic animals.
- Higher efficiency of transgenic animal production (mouse, rabbit, goat, and cattle). This work also involved production of agriculturally important transgenic animals by use of embryonic stem cells.
Director of the CDMB: Kenneth L. White.
Co-Principal Investigators from the ADVS Department: Thomas D. Bunch and John D. Morrey.
Center for Integrated BioSystems
The Center for Integrated BioSystems (CIB) was created in 1986 as a Center of Excellence for the State of Utah to promote biotechnology education and research, and to support technology development and transfer. Education and outreach programs provide training and technical information for researchers, government agencies, Extension faculty, and teachers. In addition, each summer the center hosts a week-long research experience that pairs a limited number of high school juniors and seniors with USU researchers involved in work at the center.
Service laboratories provide essential products and services to support biotechnology research, and include DNA and protein synthesis and sequencing and antibody production. The center houses research laboratories for faculty and their students from a variety of academic disciplines. Among these are members of the ADVS Department who have expertise in animal molecular genetics, viral disease diagnostics, reproductive physiology and embryo cloning.
Equipment in the laboratories includes centrifuges, tissue culture and bacterial incubators, electrophoresis gel systems, thermal cyclers, a pulse field gel apparatus, an X-ray developer, a transilluminator with camera, ultra cold freezers, microinjection instruments coupled to a Nikon inverted microscope with phase contrast and Hoffman optics, equipment required for forging glass microtools. The CIB has a completely equipped dark room and several tissue culture rooms. In addition, there are animal holding rooms which serve as an extension to USU's Laboratory Animal Research Center. The center is located west of the Merrill-Cazier Library.
Director of the CIB: Chris Davies
Find the Center for Integrated BioSystems on this interactive map.
Center for Integrated BioSystems website
Lab/Animal Research Center
5600 Old Main Hill
Logan, UT 84322-5600
The Laboratory Animal Research Center (LARC) was constructed in 1970 and expanded in 1987. In 1991 a satellite facility was added in the new Biotechnology building. The LARC has been AAALAC accredited since 1986. The LARC facilities have over 12,000 square feet of floor space and consist of 20 conventional animal holding rooms and service areas including office, classroom, quarantine, storage, laundry, restroom, mechanical rooms, two procedure rooms, and two laboratories. All laboratory animals used in research on campus are housed in this facility or the satellite facility in the Biotechnology Center. The Center also has a Biological Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) suite consisting of three animal rooms and four laboratories. The LARC has a separate ventilation system which utilizes 100% outside air. Temperature and humidity are monitored daily to help maintain the desired environmental controls for the various species housed in the Center.
The LARC is staffed by a director and veterinarian, a supervisor, a secretary, and several animal care technicians.
The primary goal of the Center is to provide animal care which exceeds minimum standards that have been established for laboratory animals. Animal care within the Center is in accordance with "The Animal Welfare Act", PHS "Policy on Humane Care and Use of Animals" and DHEW "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals". This building is connected to the Vet Science and Bacteriology building.
To find the Laboratory Animal Research Center on an interactive map.
Veterinary Diagnostics Lab
950 East 1400 North
North Logan, Utah 84322-5700
The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, supported both by the State of Utah and by USU, provide laboratory service in animal disease diagnosis for Utah and adjacent states. The main facility is the Ross A. Smart Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, located on the campus at Utah State University. The facility was completed in December 1994 and is considered "state-of-the-art" for animal disease diagnostic services. The building contains a large necropsy room for handling any species of animal; laboratories for conducting histopathology, serology, bacteriology, virology, toxicology, and biotechnology relating to veterinary diagnosis; and rooms for supporting auxiliary services. There is an electron microscope suite, a large capacity animal incinerator, and temporary holding areas for animals. A branch of the main facility is located in Provo and provides convenient access for patrons from the central and southern parts of the state. The facility includes a necropsy room, a laboratory, ELISA testing equipment and can perform similar functions to those done in the main laboratory.
To find the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab on an interactive map.
Animal Science Farm
3580 South Hwy 89-91
Wellsville, Utah 84339
The main Animal Science Farm is located south of Logan. It provides facilities for beef cattle, sheep, and swine. Pastures and some winter housing for beef cattle is in northwest Logan. Spring calving is at our Richmond site, about 20 miles north of Logan. For beef cattle the main farm provides 10 pens for groups of animals, 32 individual pens for feeding trials, and several pastures for growing out animals. The sheep unit provides group facilities for three breeds of sheep plus pastures and lambing facilities. The swine facilities provide farrowing, grow out, group pens and individual feeding unit for swine. Facilities also include a home for the farm manager, a pavilion for teaching and extension activities, and handling facilities for the various species of livestock. This farm is located at 3580 South Hwy 91, between Young Ward and Wellsville, Utah.
To find the Animal Science Farm on an interactive map.
Caine Dairy Farm
George B. Caine Dairy Center
4300 South Hwy 91
Wellsville, Utah 84339
The Caine Dairy Center is considered one of the nation's most modern dairy research facilities. It consists of:
- Headquarters building containing offices, classroom, meeting rooms, laboratories, computer facilities and a library;
- The dairy facility itself which has a state-of-the-art milking parlor, a heated pavilion for judging cows and teaching, a 60-cowtie stall barn, a feed preparation and behavior research area, a feeding research unit for 72 cows in loose housing, which has 8 stalls for research involving fistulated or catheterized animals;
- Outdoor cow housing with a capacity of 128 animals (this area is equipped with meteorological instruments for continuous recording of climatic data);
- Heifer and dry cow housing;
- Individual, portable calf housing hutches;
- A waste-handling system and lagoons.
History of the George B. Caine Dairy Farm
Dairying at Utah State University had its beginning over 80 years ago when a young faculty member, George B. Caine, returned from obtaining his Masters degree in dairying at the University of Missouri and a new department of dairy industry was formed. A dairy barn was constructed on campus in approximately the area where the parking terrace is now located. A dairy herd of approximately 40 cows, both Holstein and Jersey, was assembled. Pasture for these cows was in the area where the Emma Eccles Jones Education Building now stands.
In the 1930s, the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station purchased an existing dairy farm from Olaf Cronquist in North Logan at approximately 1500 North and 800 East and converted this to a dairy research farm. George Q. Bateman, a member of the dairy faculty at Utah State Agricultural College, was in charge of dairy research and became superintendent of that farm. Both he and professor Caine conducted research, primarily on pastures and housing, at the new farm.
In the early 1950s, Utah State was going through rapid growth and began construction of the Taggart Student Center. This impacted the animal housing facilities on campus, including the dairy.
As a consequence, the dairy cows were moved off campus and combined at the North Logan facilities with the Ag Experiment Station dairy herd. A new milking parlor and open shed housing was constructed for the combined herd, which now consisted of approximately 60-70 milking cows, 20 of them Jerseys, the remainder Holsteins. Charles Mickelsen was hired as manager of the new dairy and remained in that position for over 20 years.
In 1961, USDA moved their research herd of Holstein dairy cattle from Huntley, Montana to Logan, Utah and combined them with the University dairy. New sheds were built to accommodate the increased herd size, which now approximately 120 milking cows plus replacement heifers. This greatly increased the capability of the dairy farm to do research to benefit dairy producers. In the next several years long-term studies were conducted on the genetic-by-nutrition interaction on feed utilization efficiency and production. In the mid-1960s, the Jersey herd was sold and replaced with Holsteins to further increase the capacity to do research.
In the early 1980s, plans were finalized and construction began on a new dairy farm to replace the aging facilities at North Logan.
In January 1986, the herd was moved into the new facilities in Wellsville, Utah. The dairy farm was designated as the George B. Caine Teaching and Research Center in honor of Professor Caine.
The dairy farm serves dairymen in several ways. Educational activities include traditional classroom and laboratory classes, teaching students from both the Dairy Herdsman program and four year students from the Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department. Both applied and basic research is conducted at the dairy farm by at least six faculty in the ADVS Department, as well as other faculty at USU. Currently research is conducted in nutrition, including pasture, plus reproduction and management. The results of this research is given to dairymen through Extension dairymen. Extension activities also offer other means by which the Cain Dairy satisfies its teaching objective. The Caine Dairy annually hosts the USU Dairy Day Seminar, annual 4-H and FFA Dairy Judging Contests, as well as farm management advising by drop-invisits by dairy farmers or telephone consultation.
Throughout its history, the USU dairy farm has been active in purebred dairy cattle activities. They provided many of the bulls that helped Cache Valley Breeding get started in the early days of artificial insemination. Several bulls from USU have been in A.I. and have improved the genetics of dairy cattle throughout the U.S.
The George B. Caine Dairy Teaching and Research Center is committed to continuing the tradition of helping dairymen, not only in Utah but throughout the Intermountain area.
Preparing for the 21st Century:
The George B. Caine Dairy Teaching and Research Center was constructed to help Utah State University, the state's land grant university, fulfill its commitments to instruction, research and Extension. The Center will be vital in helping USU expand its service to the dairy industry.
Those associated with the Center are grateful to the people of Utah who made this facility possible through an act passed by the State Legislature in 1982. The center will allow us to make better use of the state's abundant natural and human resources; using forages and grain grown in the state to profitably produce nutritious dairy products will ensure that future generations continue to find economic opportunities in agriculture.
Please consult with staff members before entering any facility. Do not bring pets into the facility. Keep children away from all animals and watch for equipment. We appreciate your interest and welcome your comments and suggestions.
The 39-year teaching career of Professor George B. Caine, for whom the center is named, epitomizes the dedication and commitment to excellence that have made USU one of the nation's top-ranking agricultural colleges and universities in dairy science. In addition to training many of the region's finest dairymen, Professor Caine bred several outstanding dairy sires, was instrumental in several pioneer dairy organizations, was an expert judge of dairy cattle, and fostered cooperative relationships between the University and the federal government.
This building contains staff offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, visitor information and orientation services, laboratories, computer facilities and a dairy library. Restrooms are located in this building.
For more information about reserving meeting rooms and other activities at the Center, please contact the main office at (435) 245-6067.
The double four, side-opening milking parlor was designed for modern, efficient milking. One person can milk approximately 50 cows per hour. Cows are milked twice daily at 12-hour intervals. The parlor was also designed to collect information from individual cows rapidly and accurately. Milking information is automatically transferred to the Center's central computer.
The bulk tank in the adjacent room has a capacity of 4,000 gallons. Milk from the Caine Dairy Center is used by the USU Nutrition and Food Sciences Department for research and to supply the University with dairy products. Surplus milk is sold on bid to local cheese plants. An energy-efficient radiant heat system is installed in the parlor for milker and cow comfort. The system warms people and animals without heating the air. The building also includes a herdsman's office and a computer used in herd management.
Teaching Herd Unit:
The heated pavilion is used for several purposes, including preparation of cows for judging. The USU 60-cow teaching herd is housed in the tie stall barn. Tie stalls are used to facilitate student handling of individual animals. A rubber mat embedded in each stall is covered with bedding. The unit also includes 10 box stalls, each 15 by 15 feet. The unit is naturally ventilated by side windows and an open ridge; manure is removed with a mechanical gutter cleaner. Cows are individually fed with a motorized feed cart equipped with an electronic scale.
The separate teaching herd, which is managed by undergraduate students and students enrolled in the vocational dairy herdsman program, gives valuable hands-on experience in all aspects of herd management. The herd will eventually be self supporting, and revenue from the herd will pay expenses and be used to maintain and improve herd quality.
The herd is also used in a variety of instructional and Extension activities. Many animals in the herd have been donated by area dairy farmers.
The unique dairy science program at USU combines classroom instruction with practical experience in ration balancing, health care,mating, fitting and showing, artificial insemination, mastitis control, and record keeping. This experience is essential in preparing students for today's careers in dairy herd management and other dairy-related occupations.
Feed Preparation and Behavior Research Areas:
Rations are prepared in this area for animals in the teaching herd and the feeding research unit.
Construction of the behavior research unit will enable searchers to study animal behavior, including feed preferences, learning ability, and social interactions.
Feeding Research Unit:
This unit was specially designed to collect information on individual cows. Data concerning the individual feed intake of as many as 72 cows can be collected simultaneously. Cows in the unit are housed in two groups of 36 cows. Each cow is fitted with a radio transporter that emits a coded signal which unlocks a specific door.
This allows researchers to control the intake of experimental feeds, which are delivered to feeding stations by motorized feed carts with electronic scales.
Six rubber tires are embedded in each free stall for comfort and to prevent cows from digging holes in the clay floor. As in the teaching unit, natural ventilation occurs through side windows and an open ridge. The unit also contains six tie stalls for research involving fistulated or catheterized animals. Four large cement tanks store water used to flush waste from the alleys. Temperature and relative humidity sensors are also located in the building to collect data for research on climatic effects. The electronic cattle scale is used to weigh all large experimental animals at the Center.
Outdoor Cow Housing:
Lactating cows in the USU dairy research herd are housed in two identical, open, butterfly free stall units, each with a capacity of 64 animals. These units can be subdivided for research purposes.
The feed bunks feature self-locking stanchions. Total mixed rations for the herd are delivered by feed trucks.
Meterological instruments located here continually record climate data, which are then entered in the Center's main computer for use in studies on the effects of housing and climate. Two concrete tanks in each free stall unit contain water to remove waste from alleys during warm weather. Waste is scraped from alleys to a pit during colder weather.
Calves born at the Caine Dairy Center are housed until weaning in individual, portable calf hutches. Two types of calf hutches are used: rectangular plywood units, each with an outside run, and plastic domes.
Waste-Handling System and Lagoons:
Waste from the feeding research unit and outdoor cow housing is removed by periodically flushing water down the alleys. This waste, as well as runoff water from the milking parlor, is then pumped to a two-stage lagoon system. Waste water slowly passes through the first lagoon into the second lagoon, and is recycled to the flush system, pumped to fire hydrants, or spread on adjacent fields. It is anticipated that solids which collect in the lagoons need not be removed for 10-15 years.
Waste from the Teaching Herd Unit is removed by a gutter cleaner, stacked on a concrete pad, and spread on fields. During cold weather, waste from the outdoor cow housing units is also scraped to the concrete pad.
The on-site storage facilities include covered hay sheds, bunker silos, and a commodity storage building. Farm equipment is stored in a metal shed.
Farm Manager's House:
A modern, energy-efficient residence has been constructed adjacent to the Caine Dairy Center for the farm manager and family. The house, which was constructed by students with the Bridgerland Area Vocational Center, is equipped with a passive solar system that provides supplementary heat.
Maternity and Health Unit:
Two pens for animals with health problems and four maternity pens are located on either side of an enclosed building equipped for veterinary care.
The original plans for the Caine Dairy Center include facilities for dry cows, heifers, and bulls, as well as additional feed storage areas and two additional butterfly stall units.
Several types of research are conducted at the Center.
Much of the research is supported and conducted by personnel with the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with Utah State University. Some of the research topics include:
- The nutritional value of feeds and rations
- Applying biotechnology to milk production
- A comparison of different types of calf hutches
- The effects of climate on milk production
- Treating whey for use as a dairy concentrate
- Improving reproductive efficiency
- Controlling viruses that cause calf scours
- How different housing systems affect cow performance
- The performance of waste-handling systems
These modern facilities and the ability to automatically collect data make it possible to efficiently conduct a variety of research projects at the Center. Research on cow behavior, including feed preferences, learning abilities, and social interactions, will also be conducted upon completion of the behavioral research unit. All of these topics are of vital concern to the dairy industry. Results will help ensure the economic vitality of the dairy industry and make sure that consumers continue to have access to wholesome and inexpensive dairy products.
Center for Genetic Improvement of Livestock
The Center for Genetic Improvement of Livestock (CGIL) was formed on July 1, 1992 through the support of the Utah Centers of Excellence Program (COEP). Research in the CGIL includes:
- Characterization of the callipyge trait in sheep: Animals carrying one copy of the callipyge gene have about 8% more muscle, 8% less fat, and 2% less bone than flock mates not carrying the gene. Interestingly, this increase in muscle mass is almost exclusively in the hind limb and the loin of the animal. These improvements in muscle mass significantly affect retail yield and the percentage of carcass weight found within the high-priced lamb cuts.
- Identification of a genetic marker for the callipyge gene: A genetic marker for this locus has been identified by Dr. Noelle Cockett, a researcher within the CGIL. A genetic test using these markers is about 97% accurate in determining an animal's genotype for the heavy muscling gene. Development of a commercially available genetic marker test is ongoing.
- Embryo cloning of callipyge animals: Once superior callipyge animals are identified using the Center's genetic markers, they will be rapidly multiplied using embryo cloning techniques, as directed by Dr. Ken White. Combining genetic technologies of genetic markers and embryo cloning will allow the CGIL to provide Utah sheep producers with animals that produce meat more efficiently and have desirable carcass characteristics.
Director of the CGIL is Noelle E. Cockett of the ADVS Department.
Co-principal Investigator is Kenneth L. White.
Other faculty members include; Dr. Lee Rickfords, Dr. Kara Thornton-Kurth, and Dr. Matthew Garcia.
Institute for Antiviral Research
The Institute for Antiviral Research (IAR) is comprised of a team of scientists representing a spectrum of disciplines from both the ADVS and Biology Departments at USU, who work together on research oriented toward the control of viral diseases. The IAR has had underlying support from several government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the division of AIDS of the National Institutes of Health, and the division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. In addition, Institute researchers also receive considerable support from private industry. Researchers in this Institute have been involved in the development of five drugs now used clinically to treat viral diseases. Research areas include:
- In vitro antiviral evaluation using a spectrum of viruses of veterinary and human importance.
- In vivo antiviral evaluations, with work focusing primarily on the use of laboratory animals to serve as models of disease in higher animals and man.
- Immunological evaluation to determine a variety of immunological responses of animals, particularly after treatment with biological response response modifiers.
- Biochemical mechanisms of action of substances exhibiting antiviral activity.
- Transgenic mouse services, wherein transgenic mice are genetically engineered according to sponsor's request.
- Retrovirus gene expression, using particularly the human immunodeficiency virus long terminal repeat gene in the skin of transgenic mice.
- Immunotoxin construction as a new approach to curing the mammalian host of persisting viruses.
Director of the IAR is John Morrey.Institute for Antiviral Research Website
Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology
The Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology had its beginnings in 1962 as an effort to bring together the elements of an inter-disciplinary training program involving a number of departments including ADVS, Chemistry, Plant Sciences, Botany, Soil Science, Wildlife Science, Nutrition and Food Sciences, and Water Resources. The Center offers the following:
- Active recruitment of select students interested in professional development as toxicologists.
- Intensive pre- and post-doctoral training in molecular and biochemical toxicology (carcinogenesis, free-radical mechanisms, immunotoxicology).
- Intensive pre- and post-doctoral training in environmental toxicology (biodegradation, toxicant interactions within ecosystems, environmental engineering).
- Integration of environmental engineering within environmental toxicology.
- Orientation to concepts in safety testing and regulation of environmental toxicants.
- A wide spectrum of scientific equipment and laboratories for the performance of toxicological research.
Acting Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Toxicology is Roger A. Coulombe, Jr.
There are currently a total of 19 active faculty in the center, including Roger A. Coulombe, Jr, and Howard Deer from ADVS, and Lynn F. James, and Kip E. Panter, who have adjunct appointments in ADVS.