Animal Models Rodent Shared Resource

Faculty and Staff


Dr. Patricia Foley, DVM is the Manager of the Animal Models Shared Resources on the DC campus, and also serves as Director of the Division of Comparative Medicine, and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Dr. Foley has 35 years of veterinary experience and almost 30 years’ experience working in biomedical research, including a variety of species and all major research disciplines. She has performed independent research and has been a collaborator on many projects with over 40 reviewed publications and several book chapters.

Dr. Foley is responsible for ensuring that the AMSR provides superior service and technical support, that procedures used are the most scientifically relevant, and are continually refined to meet most current accepted practices. Dr. Foley is available to advise on experimental design, animal model selection and techniques, and providing animal budget estimates for grant proposals.

Dr. Andrew Nelson, DVM is the Manager of the Animal Models Shared Resources on the NJ campus, and also serves as the Director, Research Animal Models for the Center for Discovery & Innovation at Hackensack Meridian Health. Dr. Nelson has extensive experience in preclinical modeling in small and large animal species across industry and academia. He provides scientific and organizational oversight of the animal modeling team, consults with faculty on the development and optimization of translational animal models, connects member scientists with existing resources, and facilitates collaborations with external an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oncology and has part-time responsibilities in both the DCM and the AMSR. Dr. Hong has almost 25 years of experience in animal surgery models including orthopedic and general surgeries, cancer metastasis models and pharmacology evaluation.

Key Staff

Ms. Idalia Cruz, Manager, has worked for the AMSR for over 12 years and has over 25 years’ experience working with rodent research models. Ms. Cruz has developed an exceptional expertise in rodent oncology models. In May 2018, Ms. Cruz attended a workshop in Switzerland to learn how to perform the mammary intraductal model (MIND).  She is also ALAT certified (American Association Laboratory Animal Science). The role of the AMSR Manager is to manage day-to-day operations. Ms. Cruz serves as the main project coordinator and liaison, schedules study procedures, ensures that all supplies and animals needed are present, and with the assistance of Carlos Benitez, carries out all aspects of the projects, including ordering animals, diets, supplies, performing tumor cell inoculations/implantations, compound administration, sample collections, tumor and weight measurements, necropsy and tissue harvest.

Mr. Carlos Benitez, Animal Research Technician, has worked for the AMSR for 10 years and has over 24 years of experience working with research animals. He developed particular expertise harvesting sperm and embryos for cryopreservation when the Transgenic Core was still operational. Mr. Benitez assists the Manager with implementation of all studies, and is the lead technician for colony management services.