The TurnKey Awards were presented to the 2016 winners at the TurnKey Conference on May 24th at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, MD (Washington, DC). The awards, given by ALN Magazine are in recognition of excellence in two categories: teamwork and facility design. At the awards luncheon, Robert T. Dauchy from the Tulane University Structural & Cellular Biology/Comparative Medicine Team, Betty Thierault from the Carlson Husbandry Team at the University of Chicago, and Jorge Fernardez Hernandez of the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios  Avanzados del IPN were presented with plaques and celebrated as this year’s winners.

A view of the main access to the rodent facility building at CINVESTAV.The Centro de Investigación y de Estudios  Avanzados del IPN Receives the TurnKey Facility of the Year Award
The Facility of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievements in the design/build of a new or renovated laboratory animal facility. The award is intended to showcase new ideas and accomplishments in facility design, construction, and operation and was sponsored by Allentown Inc. This year’s winner is the Centro de Investigación y de Estudios  Avanzados del IPN in Mexico City, Mexico.

Also known as CINVESTAV, this Mexican non-governmental scientific research institute was founded in 1961. It’s Animal Care and Use Program offers services to 43% of all research departments who work in 375 active animal use protocols revised and approved by IACUC.

The brand new animal facility, known as UPEAL, was built and designed in response to the needs of the research community of CINVESTAV and other public and private institutions in Mexico. UPEAL was designed with animal husbandry flexibility, reduced energy and water consumption, and a low cost of ownership in mind and the four story, 27,749 square foot building exceeds industry standards. It was designed by Tea Arquitectos SA de CV and built by INGLUE SA de CV.

The facility improves the quality of animals used at CINVESTAV as models for biomedical research programs. It also increases the number of research scientific collaborations both throughout Mexico and internationally.

This is the one of the most advanced animal facilities in Mexico and Latin America. The design using flexible clean rooms, IVC housing technology, macro and micro environmental conditions with double HEPA filtration and its control and all support equipment for washing, disinfection and sterilization, made this facility unique in this geographical area.

“The new world-class building represents big improvements and exceeds industry standards in the region. The CINVESTAV animal care facility project has been a collaborator achievement in architectural design and construction by a group of local architects and engineers, headed by the direction of the Animal Facility Director, as well as all of the staff during the planning, design, construction, and commissioning processes,” wrote one recommendation.

With this facility, CINVESTAV´s animal care and use program guarantees for many years the animal welfare in a high quality environment for rodents and personnel, to support the advance of biomedical research at CINVESTAV and other Mexican institutions.

The Tulane University Structural & Cellular Biology/Comparative Medicine Team and the Carlson Husbandry Team at the University of Chicago Receive TurnKey Facility Team of the Year Awards
This year, because there were so many excellent nominations for the TurnKey Facility Team of the Year award, there are two winners. The Carlson Husbandry Team at the University of Chicago and the Tulane University Structural & Cellular Biology Comparative Medicine Team were both named winners of the 2016 TurnKey Facility Team of the Year. The TurnKey Facility Team of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding staff working in laboratory animal research. This award acknowledges the important role of teamwork in the operation of a facility, humane care of research animals, and the impact on research outcomes.

The Carlson Husbandry Team at the University of Chicago









The Carlson Husbandry Team at the University of Chicago has faced many challenges throughout the last 12 months, including flooding, renovations, climate change, and multiple facility moves. As a result, the team generated multiple innovative ideas to help relocate animal models, preserve experimental data, and maintain homeostasis. They did all this, while caring for up to fifteen different species of laboratory animals, including aquatics and exotics. This means each staff member is cross trained across all facility species and housing areas, allowing the team to respond nimbly to changing species census and research demands.

The Tulane University Structural & Cellular Biology/Comparative Medicine Team

The Tulane University Structural & Cellular Biology/Comparative Medicine Team was formed in 2008, when the chrono-neuroendocrine oncology program at the Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, New York, relocated to the Tulane University School of Medicine. During this process, the team noticed issues in animal facility light contamination at night, disrupting circadian rhythms in laboratory animals. A study based on this finding was published in JAALAS in 2011. Work by the team has been recognized for a high level of regulatory compliance with the USDA, OLAW, AAALAC, ACLAM, and AALAS.

Congratulations to our winners!