b. Behavioral Phenotyping Core - Co-Directors: Laura Ranum and Mark Thomas Overview and Significance: Necessity of Core: Over the past few years, the need for a state-of-the-art mouse Behavioral Phenotyping Core has become apparent. Before initiating our current Core, investigators generating novel mouse models had to individually develop the tools to evaluate the phenotypes of their animals. Although there was enormous generosity among labs in providing tips, protocols and sharing equipment, consistent and informed advice on which tests to perform and the technical specifics of what really worked best were often not effectively communicated. This lack of centralization and standardization provided a barrier to some labs and a significant limitation in the number of tests that could be meaningfully performed by a single investigator. The expanded Core will foster interdisciplinary high impact work by providing centralized access to a standardized set of tests for motor and learning assessment and by implementing state-of-the-art mouse eyeblink conditioning tests in collaboration with Drs. Mark Stanton (University of Delaware), Dani Smith and Michela Gallagher (Johns Hopkins University). Purpose of Core: The goal of the Behavioral Phenotyping Core is to provide the highest quality assessment of the neurological status and specific behaviors in mice for Center investigators who use murine models to address basic biology or disease in the CNS. In mid-2008, we established a facility to consolidate, centralize and standardize mouse behavioral testing. This has improved productivity and data consistency and sparked several new collaborations between Center investigators. Due to a lack of full-time staffing, the current Core provides motor testing (open field, rotorod, gait analysis, raised beam, and grip strength), but only limited cognitive assessments (Morris water maze). We are strongly committed to increasing the capacity and extending the scope of the Behavioral Phenotyping Core to include additional tests for cognitive phenotypes. Based on our review of other current facilities (e.g. Baylor, University of Washington, UCLA, Johns Hopkins), and the impact our initial core activities have already had, we are confident that the Core will improve the quality and scope of behavioral testing and expand interdisciplinary collaboration?a fundamental component of high-impact neuroscience research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Initial Review Group (NSD)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
United States
Zip Code
Lipshetz, Brett; Giesler Jr, Glenn J (2016) Effects of scratching and other counterstimuli on responses of trigeminothalamic tract neurons to itch-inducing stimuli in rats. J Neurophysiol 115:520-9
Victoria, Nicole C; Marron Fernandez de Velasco, Ezequiel; Ostrovskaya, Olga et al. (2016) G Protein-Gated K(+) Channel Ablation in Forebrain Pyramidal Neurons Selectively Impairs Fear Learning. Biol Psychiatry 80:796-806
McBrayer, Zofeyah L; Dimova, Jiva; Pisansky, Marc T et al. (2015) Forebrain-Specific Loss of BMPRII in Mice Reduces Anxiety and Increases Object Exploration. PLoS One 10:e0139860
Jansen, Nico A; Giesler Jr, Glenn J (2015) Response characteristics of pruriceptive and nociceptive trigeminoparabrachial tract neurons in the rat. J Neurophysiol 113:58-70
Cramer, Samuel W; Popa, Laurentiu S; Carter, Russell E et al. (2015) Abnormal excitability and episodic low-frequency oscillations in the cerebral cortex of the tottering mouse. J Neurosci 35:5664-79
Öz, Gülin; Kittelson, Emily; Demirgöz, Döne et al. (2015) Assessing recovery from neurodegeneration in spinocerebellar ataxia 1: Comparison of in vivo magnetic resonance spectroscopy with motor testing, gene expression and histology. Neurobiol Dis 74:158-66
Prosise, Jodi F; Hendrix, Claudia M; Ebner, Timothy J (2015) Joint angles and angular velocities and relevance of eigenvectors during prehension in the monkey. Exp Brain Res 233:339-50
Wydeven, Nicole; Marron Fernandez de Velasco, Ezequiel; Du, Yu et al. (2014) Mechanisms underlying the activation of G-protein-gated inwardly rectifying K+ (GIRK) channels by the novel anxiolytic drug, ML297. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:10755-60
Smith, Laura N; Jedynak, Jakub P; Fontenot, Miles R et al. (2014) Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates synaptic and behavioral plasticity to repeated cocaine administration. Neuron 82:645-58
Armbrust, Karen R; Wang, Xinming; Hathorn, Tyisha J et al. (2014) Mutant β-III spectrin causes mGluR1α mislocalization and functional deficits in a mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 5. J Neurosci 34:9891-904

Showing the most recent 10 out of 25 publications