Jean-Philippe Vit, PhD, Project Scientist, Department of Neurology
The Preclinical Biobehavioral Core provides two primary functions: 1) behavioral phenotyping; and 2) standardized neurobehavioral assessments in rodents. Behavioral phenotyping generates a comprehensive description of the phenotype produced by the genetic manipulation and can be used to identify neurobehavioral deficits in transgenic and knockout animals. Neurobehavioral assessment plays a key role in the development and utilization of translational animal models for studying behavioral, neuropsychiatric and endocrine disorders, such as mental retardation, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Cushing’s disease, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, depression, and drug abuse. The core also can be used to assess the neurobehavioral consequences of drug and other types of therapies (e.g., gene, immune, vaccine and stem cell therapies). Information on the behavioral effects of the treatment can be used to satisfy requirements for moving from preclinical testing to the filing of an investigational new drug (IND) application.
Testing in the Core ranges from the assessment of general health and neurological function (reflexes, sensory and motor function) to evaluating complex behaviors such as memory and learning in both mice and rats. Testing of individual behavioral domains and well as batteries of tests can be carried out. Custom tests can be developed upon request. Assistance is available for the submission of IACUC protocols using the Core, and data summaries can be provided at the end of testing. Testing can be conducted by the Core staff or research staff from the PI’s laboratory can be trained to carry out the experiments using the Core equipment