Re: [GRG] How much do mouse L/S experiments cost? (Was: blocking a pain receptor extends mouse … )

Well, UT Southwestern’s mouse facility charges 75 cents per day per cage to house and feed mice in a barrier facility, and you can house 5 mice per cage as per the IACUC crowding rules, which brings it to 273.75 dollars per year per 5 mice, so if it were a ~100 mouse experiment it would be $5475/year in costs of housing the mice. Depending on the strain in question, you can obtain them from commercial or in-house vendors for between $20 and several hundred dollars each, or breed them yourself at the low low cost of at least one month of your life (and the frustration when they do things like eat their first litter or drop dead for no apparent reason). Assuming you’re using cheap, wild-type mice at $20 each, that’s $2000 to get your subjects.

Then there’s the university overhead costs for any funding received (typically a large double-digit percentage, 50% is not uncommon), and the salaries of the people doing the work itself. A typical grad student costs a lab about $50,000/year in tuition, stipend and health insurance. Lots of institutions also only directly fund a certain percentage of PI salary with the rest covered by soft-money from grants to incentivize bringing in the grant funding in the first place. The mice themselves are a relatively small part of any experiment– the money to pay for personnel is going the be lion’s share of the expense. Call it $100k/year for the PI and one grad student plus ~$20k/year in reagent costs and the mice themselves, then double everything for overhead costs, and you’re right there at $240k/year. If you’re shooting for the M prize and you want the mice to live 5 years, now it costs $1.2 million.

This does point out that since the people are the biggest costs, it would be very efficient to have one lab perform many life span experiments at the same time.

Brody Holohan


About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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