The Neurodevelopmental Behavioral Core (NBC) has been designed to provide a time-efficient and cost-effective service for the comprehensive characterization of complex behaviors in mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders, with emphasis on facilitating genetic analyses of complex traits. The Core will also provide a means to test novel therapeutic drugs and interventions in mouse models of human disorders and diseases, greatly increasing our translational research capacity. The Core will provide both the necessary equipment, protocols and training for studying neurodevelopmental disorders, focusing not just on “snapshots” in time but on developmental milestones. The Core will be equipped to perform extensive batteries of behavioral tests to thoroughly phenotype specific social, emotional and cognitive behaviors, as well as motor, auditory and visual function and the general health of the animals.
It is also anticipated that The Core will develop and validate new behavioral outcome measures related to neural development and disorders of development and will contribute to a greater understanding of behavioral changes during development and how disorders in these lead to altered function. The behavioral facility will provide a unique opportunity for training scientists and teaching graduate and undergraduate students in the measurement of the behavioral outcomes of developmental disorders.
The core is under the direction of Dr. Michela Fagiolini and managed by Dr Nick Andrews. Ms Georgia Gunner and Ms Tiffany Wang are the NBC’s dedicated Research Assistants who are available to perform studies for users of the Core as well as train users and maintain equipment. Dr Andrews and Dr Fagiolini are backed up by an internal advisory committee which will regularly review the core and an external advisory committee composed of experts outside of Harvard. The Core is under the expert administration of Amy Weinberg, MPH, Administrator of the IDDRC.
In order to use the Core, scientists first need to create an account at the top right of this page https://childrenshospital.corefacilities.org/service_center/show_external/3067. Please have the name of your PI and your fund manager to hand when you are ready to sign up. Following approval, scientists can book time to use equipment in each of the Core rooms.