Douglas Mental Health University Institute Animal Facility

The Animal Facility located in the Neurophenotyping Centre is dedicated to the housing, breeding and behavioural phenotyping of mice and rats. The housing portion of the facility is state-of-the art with mostly ventilated rack housing and some conventional housing for specific experimental protocols. Housing provides different levels of pathogen protection as we strive to meet the specific experimental and housing needs of our investigators. In addition to providing expert technical services, we offer colony services for breeding genetically altered mouse strains. All operations involving animals follow animal use protocols that are approved by the Animal Ethics Committee of the Douglas Institute and McGill University. All protocols are required to adhere to the guidelines and policy of good animal practice established by the Canadian Council on Animal care (CCAC). Animals are placed under the responsibility of the investigator and research staff as well as animal care staff and McGill veterinarian.

The Neurophenotyping service platform within the animal facility offers services for a battery of behavioral tests aimed at understanding brain physiology and pathophysiology for commercial and academic users. The platform also offers small animal MRI in awake and anesthetized rodents for the non-invasive study of brain anatomy and function (fMRI) in rats and mice.

While investigators are free to choose amongst the various services we offer, we also provide full-service packages that comprise animal breeding, genotyping and animal experimentation. However, we also assist with experimental design especially in the context of studies that involve small animal MRI and/or behavioural phenotyping.


The phenotyping platform and animal facility team is fully committed to support investigators in their quest to advance and translate scientific knowledge, while providing the best quality care and welfare for the research animals. Our team of animal health technicians and animal care attendants under the direction of a facility supervisor is assisted by a veterinarian and the academic directors of the phenotyping platform and animal facility.