Mclean Hospital Animal Care Facility

Animal Facilities Operations Manager: Erin Blanchfield

Location: Mclean Hospital

Core Summary:

The McLean Hospital Animal Care Facility provides services to the research community at McLean mainly by ensuring adequate animal housing, animal care services and research environments.  It is dedicated to consistently providing high customer satisfaction by rendering excellent service, quality care and an atmosphere conducive to accomplishing quality research. Being located in a psychiatric hospital, there is a unique opportunity for collaboration between research and clinical.

About McLean:

McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, is home to the nation's oldest and foremost research program in a psychiatric hospital setting. Since 1888 McLean has been dedicated to studying the role of biological factors in mental illness, and today the hospital has over three acres of floor space dedicated to this important research.

Some of the most significant discoveries in the field of psychiatry and clinical Neuroscience have been made at McLean, shedding new light on the causes of and treatments for many complex neuropsychiatric disorders. To this day few other psychiatric hospitals or university departments of psychiatry contains a comparable range of basic laboratory, brain imaging and clinical research facilities dedicated to the study of major brain disorders.

A prominent group of pre-clinical research laboratories has its nucleus at Mclean Hospital.  More than forty Principal Investigators in the fields of Behavioral Genetics, Psychopharmacology, brain imaging, Neuroregeneration and Molecular Neuroscience are active in this collaborator research environment. Most of them are faculty of the Harvard Medical School and other Hospitals of the Partners HealthCare System.

Personnel/Contact Information:

Operations Staff:

Senior Animal Facilities Operations Manager: Erin Blanchfield       Animal Facilities Operations Manager: Jeff Metevier

Phone: 617-855-3249                                                                          Phone: 617-855-3386

Email:                                            Email:

Chief Scientific Officer:  Kerry Ressler                                                Director of Research Operations: Dawn Morrissey

Phone: 617-855-4210                                                                             Phone: 617-855-3540

Email:                                                     Email:


Attending Veterinarian: Matt Hogan, BVetMed, MS

Phone:  617-855-2873


Technical Staff:

Seven full time Animal Care Technicians are employed throughout the animal facilities located on the Hospital campus. They come from varying backgrounds and it is their responsibility to maintain a quality environment for the animals and monitor their health and well-being.

Facilities and Equipment:

Location of Core:

McLean Hospital is located at 115 Mill Street, in Belmont, Massachusetts.  Research is conducted in multiple areas across campus including in Core holding facilities, at imaging locations and in satellite facilities. Having holding locations across campus allows the necessary research equipment to be accessible without the need to transport animals all the time through the Hospital.

Major Equipment:

    *  Multiple washers and sterilizers to maintain caging equipment.  These are all maintained under contract by Ranger Engineering.

                 MTP rack washer, Model #2100 Acquired ~1998

                 MTP 2050 bottle filler, Serial#2050-98-1214 Acquired ~1994

                 SR-24D-ADVPRO single door sterilizer and steam generator, Serial #080511. Acquired August 2011

                 SR-24D-ADVPRO single door cabinet sterilizer and steam generator, Serial #021511 Acquired May 2011

                 Scientek SW5500PT Cage Washer Acquired September 2014

                 Scientek SW6300-SD-LH-STM-CUSTOM Acquired July 2015

                 Scientek SW6300-SD-LP-RH-CUSTOM Acquired October 2015

                 Basil 3500 Cage/Bottle Washer Acquired ~1994

    * Multiple ventilated systems to protect animal’s microenvironment or researcher personnel that are working with noxious agents.  These are all tested annually by Air Systems Technology for 

      proper air flow and maintenance.

    - 20 Ventilated rodent racks of various models.  Different versions of Lab Products and some Thoren racks as well

    - 5 Thoren Isolation Units available to hold various species for quarantine purposes.  These units can also be used to conduct some behavioral experiments that may require more ventilation;

       such as those experiments working with gases.  

     - Multiple Biological Safety Cabinets and Fume hoods provided for researcher use. 


McLean Hospital Animal Care Facility will provide high-level animal care and customer service in the following categories: 

*  Animal Care practices maintain a Virus Antibody Free facility. The Animal Care Facility has strict procedures about animal importation and the quarantine process to allow non-approved vendor 

       animals into the facility.  This is supplemented with a thorough sentinel program to monitor the health of the colonies.

    *  Veterinary Care

    *  Research support: The Animal Care Facility offers ideal space to conduct procedures such as behavioral testing. 

Getting Started:

To access the core, please contact Erin Blanchfield at 617-855-3249 or by email at