Background and Rationale

This core arose as a fundamental part of the National Research and Demonstration Center at Baylor College of Medicine (1978). Drs. Mark Entman, Lloyd Michael, and Craig Hartley supervised this effort at its inception. The core is much more than a service core; it has continually developed and provided instrumentation, monitoring strategies and disease model strategies to allow us to form the paradigms and test the hypotheses fundamental to animal models of disease, dysfunction and therapeutics.

The cores are currently supervised by Mark L. Entman, M.D., former scientific director of the DeBakey Heart Center. Dr. Entman also supervises and coordinates the bone marrow rescue, cell injection experiments, and anatomical assessment experiments. The core contains the resources of George E. Taffet, M.D., and Craig J. Hartley, Ph.D. Dr. Taffet, professor in the Department of Medicine, has been involved in animal experimentation for over 30 years and is currently director of the DeBakey Heart Center Animal Core Laboratory. Dr. Taffet has a depth of experience with research using survival surgery in developing and longitudinal physiologic monitoring of animal models of disease in both anesthetized and awake animals. Dr. Mark L. Entman initiated the development of a dedicated laboratory for survival mouse surgery and chronic monitoring. Dr. Craig Hartley directs the Instrumentation Core of the DeBakey Heart Center; he continually provides developmental and strategic expertise for new requirements arising in our experiments.

During the past 30 years, the laboratory has developed several novel hand held Doppler flow probes for use in evaluating vascular anastomoses during microsurgery, Doppler catheters for sensing coronary blood flow at cardiac catheterization, and an ultrasonic gauge to measure regional wall thickness at various locations in the myocardium. Our technology was initially developed to longitudinally study disease models and pharmacologic paradigms in large mammals. Dr. Hartley and Dr. Taffet were responsible for developing the equipment and techniques in the core and pioneered the development of pulse Doppler technology for following individual animals longitudinally after physiologic, pathologic, and pharmacologic cardiovascular interventions. Instruments have been constructed for other laboratories and the core continues to supply other equipment to this day.