Core Facility for Large Animal Research

The core facility for large animal research is a regional technological core facility supported by the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (Helse Sør-Øst RHF). The purpose of the core facility is to provide facilities (fully equipped operation theatres) and expertise and assistance in planning and conducting large animal research (rabbit, pig, piglet, dog). The aim of the core facility is to help scientists who request large animal research as part of their project and to make large animal research feasible and affordable for those who are not proficient in large animal research. The core facility provides service on equal conditions to scientists from both local and regional institutions within the South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority (Helse Sør-Øst RHF) as well as to scientists from University of Oslo.

The core facility is comprised of two nodes both located at Oslo University Hospital; Section for Large Animal Surgery, Institute for Surgical Research (Gaustad) and Section for Preclinical Physiology, Institute for Experimental Medical Research (Ullevål). Both nodes have state-of-the-art equipment, and leading expertise and capabilities in conducting large animal research, including anaesthesia, hemodynamic monitoring, and surgery. The researchers at both nodes of the core facility have extensive experience in cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology (including cardiac ischemia), gastrointestinal physiology and pathophysiology and cerebral ischemia. The core facility will also be working to provide methodologies (vectors) for gene transfer (e.g. adeno-associated virus) and to provide robust and validated disease models (e.g. ascending aortic constriction in pigs for chronic pressure overload of the heart) in large animals.

Scientists seeking help to plan and conduct large animal research as part of their research projects may contact the leader of one of the two nodes of the core facility for more information and to make appointment for a project meeting:

  • Professor Håvard Attramadal, Institute for Surgical Research, Oslo University Hospital (Gaustad), Ph. 23071396 (direct) or 23073520 (secretary), e-mail:
  • Professor Ivar Sjaastad, Institute for experimental medical research, Oslo University Hospital (Ullevål), e-mail: 
  • Head of Section Morten Eriksen, Section for Preclinical Physiology (Ullevål), e-mail:

Following the project meeting an estimate of the total costs of the project will be made. Research animals vary considerably in price depending on species, strain, and size of the animal (Norwegian swine; kr. 6.000,- per animal [medium size]/Göttingen mini-pigs (genetically coherent pigs); ca. Kr. 15.000,- per animal including transport costs). Thus, scientists running projects at the core facility are requested to cover purchase of research animals through own research funds. The core facility in principle covers all standard consumables, anaesthesia and other drugs, salary (hourly wages) to operation nurses and technicians and other staff in connections with planning and conducting the experiments.