Zebrafish facility

The NRC houses an innovative zebrafish research facility where we can develop and validate a range of in vivo assays, methods and disease models for industry-specific applications.

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What we offer

Our zebrafish facility utilizes adults, juveniles and early developmental stages of the zebrafish model to identify and characterize bioactivity and evaluate toxicity. Genetic research indicates high conservation between the zebrafish and human genomes, making this an ideal model for generating biologically relevant in vivo information on a range of test material. We provide customized testing models and methods for a range of substances including extracts, complex mixtures and purified compounds. We can accommodate collaborative research and testing services projects that focus on evaluating toxicological and pharmacological activity in the areas of natural health products and human health therapeutics. At between 0.1 and 1.0 per cent of the cost of traditional rodent models, the zebrafish provides a powerful model for helping companies prioritize their leads and uncover potential obstacles before reaching more expensive testing models and methods.

Why work with us

Our zebrafish facility allows our partners to develop tailored, cost-effective and time-sensitive industry testing methods, resulting in generating biologically relevant in vivo data more rapidly. Our facility allows for credible, cost-effective trials with a high throughput at a reduced cost of testing compared to higher vertebrate models. You will also have the added advantage of requiring small quantities of test compound allowing for early identification of lead drug candidates and potential unforeseen complications associated with test material and customized disease models through transgenesis and genome modification.

Facility highlights

  • Preclinical toxicity profiling
  • Identification of mechanism of action
  • Omics techniques
  • Pharmacological testing
  • Microscopy
  • High-throughput behavioural tracking
  • Intravenous and intracerebroventricular administration


Contact us to discuss how our technical and research experts can help your organization meet its research and business objectives. We offer fee-for-service testing for the development of new technologies, services and product lines. We can also develop customized research plans to fit your technology needs. These plans can be delivered through research service or collaborative research arrangements.

Targeted industries

Natural health products, pharmaceuticals, toxicity, efficacy testing, behavioural testing, neuroactivity, bioactivity.

Contact us

Business inquiries

James De Pater
Telephone: 613-614-9547
Email: James.DePater@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Technical inquiries

Lee Ellis, Research Officer
Telephone: 902-426-2239
Email: Lee.Ellis@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca


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