Frequently Asked Questions


  • Are VMMPC services available to and suitable for all areas of biomedical research that use mice?
    Yes. Many VMMPC services have broad application to disciplines such as cancer biology, immunometabolism, digestive diseases, amongst others. We develop and adapt as needed to meet the needs of investigators.
  • I am not experienced with studies in the whole organism and am uncertain as to how to start. Can VMMPC assist me in designing an experiment?
    Absolutely. A scientist can generally talk to an experienced member of the VMMPC faculty within 24 h. An easy way to start is to email mmpc@vanderbilt.edu to arrange a meeting.
  • I am an investigator external to VU and wish to write a subcontract to use VMMPC services. What does this require?
    This is largely handled administratively and requires little extra effort. There are numerous advantages to a subcontract. It is less expensive for you to use our services as a subcontract for administrative reasons. There is the belief that subcontracts review better as they reflect a firm commitment from VMMPC. A subcontract can be initiated by contacting VMMPC mmpc@vanderbilt.edu or a member of VMMPC faculty 5 working days before the internal grant deadline at your institution.
  • How do I get IACUC approval to use VMMPC?
    VMMPC procedures that involve mice have been approved. However, investigators must have approval for the VMMPC to perform tests on your specific mouse model. Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center investigators can either initiate a new IACUC protocol or modify a current protocol to incorporate procedures that will be done by VMMPC. For non-Vanderbilt investigators the VMMPC will initiate a new protocol on your behalf for services to be performed by VMMPC. If a procedure is new to the VMMPC we must seek IACUC approval to add it to our core procedures.
  • When prior to a surgery or an experiment should I transfer mice to VMMPC?
    Mice to undergo surgery should be transferred to VMMPC 2 days prior to a procedure. Mice to undergo an experiment should be transferred to VMMPC at least 1 week beforehand to acclimate and minimize stress. For mice shipped to VMMPC it may be necessary to plan for a 3 to 4 week quarantine.
  • I am performing nutrition studies. Can VMMPC use my custom diet?
    Yes! Please contact us at least 2 weeks before shipping.
  • Breeding can be unpredictable and slow. Can we send mice as they become available or do we have to send them as a complete cohort all at one time?
    You can send them all at once or as they become available. However, multiple shipments are not recommended. Multiple shipments are more expensive and may be a source of mouse-to-mouse variability.
  • Can I benefit from the centralized resources of VMMPC by performing multiple tests in a mouse?
    Yes! Our workflow is structured to perform multiple tests in the same mouse. It is cost-effective and statistically more rigorous to perform non-invasive measurements (e.g. food intake) and a terminal invasive test (e.g. glucose clamp) in the same mouse.


  • Is VMMPC able to measure flux rates using radioactive and stable isotopes?
    We have the capacity to measure complex metabolic flux analysis in a network and as well as whole organism flux rates of macronutrients. Discuss with our scientists to devise the best approach to use to test of a hypothesis.
  • I am interested in hormone action and glucose homeostasis. How do I know what type of glucose clamp to request?
    To assess (a) insulin sensitivity order a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp; (b) response to low blood glucose order a hyperinsulinemic, hypoglycemic clamp; and (c) beta cell insulin secretion order a hyperglycemic clamp.
  • Can a mouse be brought to my laboratory following a VMMPC procedure?
    Yes. A mouse can be brought to a Vanderbilt investigator’s laboratory for follow up studies. Mice can only be housed, however, in the DAC-managed VMMPC animal space. Scientists external to Vanderbilt should consult with their own animal care programs.

     VMMPC Agreement

  • If I send you my mice, do I retain control of the distribution of the mouse and the data generated by the mouse?
    Yes. Please see our Materials Transfer Agreement (http://www.mmpc.org/MTA.pdf)
  • Am I required to include VMMPC faculty and staff as authors on papers including data generated by the MMPC?
    No. Authorship for VMMPC faculty and staff is at the discretion of the investigator.