About Our Lab

The Model Organisms Research Core, previously known as the Cardiovascular Physiology Core Facility, shut down in August 2023. The resources and services previously provided by the core are now available via the units below.


For mouse and rat services, please contact the BRMS Mouse Breeding and Research Services Core, Jody Peter, jody.peter@brms.wisc.edu, or visit https://brms.wisc.edu/research-services/.


For swine services, please contact the Center for Biomedical Swine Research & Innovation at info@cbsri.wisc.edu, or visit https://cbsri.wisc.edu/


The Mission of the CVRC Physiology and Surgery Core Laboratory is to provide a central resource of knowledge, skills, personnel, and equipment that allows investigators access to cardiovascular and other techniques to facilitate research.

Staff and Facilities

Cardio Core is staffed by five experienced, full-time professionals and located in 1000 square feet of laboratory, surgical space and office space on the first floor of the Clinical Science Center (600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI  53792).

The facilities include:

  • Fully equipped small animal operating theaters
  • State-of the art echocardiography
  • Mouse ECG and blood pressure monitoring via telemetry
  • Pressure volume analysis for small animals
  • Exercise testing and training
  • Physiologic recording equipment
  • Sonomicrometry
  • Langendorff and working heart apparatus
  • Fully equipped large animal operating theater
  • Fluoroscopy
  • State-of the art echocardiography
  • Pressure volume analysis for large animals
  • Swan-Ganz catheters – measuring right heart pressure and cardiac output
  • Implantable loop recorders for chronic ECG monitoring
  • Large animal telemetry (ECG, flow and pressure)
  • Complete patient monitoring (EtCO2, pressure, ECG, Pulse Ox)
  • Access to MRI, CT, PET for additional imaging
  • Large animal power injector
  • Large animal portable ultrasound
  • Demo/teaching space




Services are oriented towards providing investigators with data suitable for use in a grant proposal or manuscript. Staff works with clients to assess their needs and provide the appropriate level of technical and scientific assistance. In addition to the techniques listed below, other techniques may be available upon request.

Mice and Rats

• Models of chronic myocardial infarction, heart failure and cardiac hypertrophy
• Evaluation of cardiac mechanics using closed chest measurement of pressure and volume via admittance catheter
• Exercise tolerance testing and exercise training
• Ambulatory blood pressure and ECG recordings (telemetry)
• Echocardiographic and Doppler imaging
• Stroke models
• Chronic indwelling catheters

Dogs, Pigs and Non-Human Primates

• Acute, open-chest porcine models of myocardial ischemia, infarction and stunning
• Acute open- and closed-chest canine and porcine preparations for investigating coronary blood flow, myocardial metabolism and arrhythmias
• Chronic canine and porcine models of myocardial ischemia, stunning, hibernation and heart failure
• Complete echocardiographic and Doppler imaging

Lab Snapshot

  • Ultrasound performed on over 1700 animals annually
  • Staff sonographer has logged more than 10,000 ultrasound hours
  • Provide ultrasound services for more than 50 different labs and companies in the past 5 years alone
  • Collaborated with 37 investigators in 2019 for large and small animal studies
  • Taught 24 students from all over the world in microsurgery techniques in the past 2 years
  • Averaging 8 publications per year with data generated from the Core
  • Performed over 30 unique animal procedures in 2019