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Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center - NeuroBehavior Laboratory (HMS)

Director: Caldarone, Barbara, Ph.D.

Location: NeuroBehavior Laboratory, Harvard Institute of Medicine, Room 945, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115

Core Summary:

Mouse models have become a popular and successful approach to elucidating the physiological and pathological roles of individual genes and are truly crucial to accelerate the development of effective treatments and cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, MS and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The increasing demand for mouse behavioral studies within the neuroscience community has led the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center to develop a major new, state of the art mouse behavior laboratory, located in the Longwood medical area and carefully designed to meet the exacting standards required for this type of work.

The NeuroBehavior Laboratory (NBL) will provide the Harvard community and other investigators access to a broad range of reliable behavioral/cognitive tests necessary to analyze and interpret the impact of a genetic, surgical or pharmacologic manipulation on specific behaviors.

  • http://harvard.eagle-i.net/i/0000012a-2512-1b62-5617-794280000000
Personnel/Contact Information:

Director: Caldarone, Barbara, Ph.D.
Phone: (617) 525-5414

Facilities and Equipment:

Location of Core: NeuroBehavior Laboratory, Harvard Institute of Medicine, Room 945, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115

Major Equipment:

  • Columbus Instruments CLAMS activity chamber
  • Lafayette Instruments Radial Arm Maze
  • Large Open Field Square Arenas
  • Mouse Grip Strength Meter
  • Mouse Open Field Chamber
  • Mouse Rota-Rod
  • Operant chamber
  • Startle Sensitivity/PPI Chamber
  • T-Maze
  • TSE Systems Water Maze pool
  • Y-Maze
  • Behavioral science training

    Training will be provided by the laboratory staff to students, post-docs, and PIs interested in learning about behavioral science and those who would like to run their own studies within the laboratory. Training is mandatory for first time users, whether they already have behavioral expertise or not.

  • Behavioral tests

    "The battery of behavioral tests available at the NBL allows a comprehensive assessment of neurological functions (motor coordination/agility, strength, exploratory activity, metabolic activity), emotional responses (anxiety, depression, startle sensitivity, and frustration), sensori-motor gating (pre-pulse inhibition) and cognitive functions (attention, working memory, recognition memory, spatial learning and memory, procedural learning and memory, extinction learning, reversal learning, contextual fear memory)."

  • NeuroBehavior Lab facility access

    "The NBL is a fee-for-use / fee-for-service facility, with fees that vary depending on the type of activity (training, consultation, instrument use, or full service provided by laboratory staff) and the complexity and duration of the project. Although priority is given to HNDC members investigating neurodegenerative diseases and the CNS, the facility is also available to any academic investigators within the Harvard community and the greater-Boston research community, and under special arrangements, to the commercial sector.

    Before using the facility, investigators are required to submit a user form including a brief research summary of their proposed project to the NBL director. Users will be able to access an online calendar to check instrument availability prior to booking time. All booking will be done directly with the laboratory staff.

    First time users must be trained by the NBL staff and receive approval from their respective IACUCs before they can be granted access to the NBL. Users who would like to develop/implement new animal procedures within the lab need to work with the laboratory director and their respective IACUC to create a new animal protocol or submit an amendment to the existing animal protocol. Transfer of animals to the facility will ideally occur 2 weeks prior to conducting behavioral studies (providing an important acclimation period). To minimize the risks of infection within the facility, we will only accept mice from relatively safe sources such as established barrier facilities or trusted suppliers. Otherwise mice will be temporarily housed nearby in a quarantine facility. Animals entering the NBL will not be transferred back to barrier facilities."

  • Surgery/necropsy service

    "Very often it is necessary to either perform surgery prior to behavioral testing or collect tissue samples after completion of a behavioral study. For that purpose, a surgery / necropsy room is available within the lab; it is equipped for stereotaxic surgery (lesions, icv cannulations, intrathecal injections, etc.) and for necropsy / tissue collection (plasma/blood, CSF, brain tissues, other tissues)."

Departmental Web Link(s):

Last updated: 2012-04-16T11:36:21.785-05:00