Animal Facility


Animal Facility

The BioMedical Center offers fly, rodent and zebrafish research facilities and equipment. The facilities are offered in collaboration with the University of Reykjavik and ArticLAS.

Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly) has been one of the model species of life science research for over a century. Numerous transgenic tools and a simple and well annotated genome have made the fly a very attractive experimental system to study molecular and cellular processes in the organismal context.

The Biomedical Center operates a standard fly facility licenced for work with transgenic Drosophila melanogaster strains. At present the operation is focused on neurobiology and autophagy research.

Upon agreement researchers can perform work with laboratory strains of Drosophila melanogaster at the facility.

Overview of main equipment

Further information: Dr. Sigríður Rut Franzdóttir

Mus musculus (the mouse) and Rattus norvegigus (the rat) are the most widely used animals in biomedical research. Their small size, relative ease of maintenance, abundant information on genetics and anatomic and physiological similarities to humans have made them an important model to study and understand human diseases.

The Biomedical Center together with ArcticLAS have built a state of the art animal facility in order to allow top-class animal research in Iceland. The facility is a well-equipped vivarium for in vivo research in rodents including equipment for various animal and disease models including surgical-, respiratory-, behavioural-, diabetes II-, metabolic-, cancer-, pharmacokinetic- and antibody production- and models. The facility has an optical and CT imager from MILabs. Additionally, the facility is equipped with instruments for measuring brainwave and muscle activity, hearing, vocalisation, thermoregulation and for embryo freezing and transfer.

Danio rerio (the zebrafish) is a powerful model system in biology to study a wide variety of fields including genetics, development, chemical biology and diseases. 

The Biomedical Center grow and manipulate zebrafish at the University of Reykjavik, where they have been used as a model for studying sleep and wake physiology for many years. The core facility has also set up a microinjection station to manipulate zebrafish eggs. This is used to either knock-down the expression of a certain gene using morpholinos or to create mutant zebrafish lines using the CRISPR-Cas9 technique. 

We have a license to generate genetically modified zebrafish using the CRISPR technique, and the facility welcomes groups interested in generating mutant zebrafish lines and studying the effect of the mutation on for example zebrafish development, morphology and behaviour.

More information: Dr. Valerie H. Maier

At Keldur an operating room for domestic animals (sheep and pigs) has been set up for medical staff and students to practice methods in emergency medicine, tendon sutures and other specific methods. The facility is mainly used by the University Hospital but also by innovation firms doing research and development in medical science. For further information contact Katrín Ástráðsdóttir (

At Keldur, there is also a special facility for experiments with fish and shellfish both in sea and fresh water.  
For further information please contact Árni Kristmundsson, head of the Department of fish diseases (