The Indiana University School of Medicine Behavioral Phenotyping Core just announced the promotion of its new director, Kathryn Fischer, PhD.
The Behavioral Phenotyping Core is a state-of-the art facility where IU School of Medicine and other Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) affiliated researchers can request studies within a broad spectrum of animal model behavioral paradigms. Researchers can use the facility to look at a variety of sensory, motor, and cognitive indicators, which can signal differences in the underlying physiology of the model.
The core also validates assays, allows for testing of pharmacological or other manipulations to study disease models, incorporates necropsy endpoints to behavioral assays, and provides guidance on interpretation and analysis of data.
Since the inception of the core, leaders established a goal to reach out to investigators in other areas of research in order to build on their collaborative efforts.
“Since 2020, we have grown tremendously, working with investigators from many fields including oncology, medical and molecular genetics, pediatrics, the department of medicine, psychiatry, biochemistry, and pharmacology and toxicology,” said Fischer. “We also just recently established a new customer from the department of dermatology and are hoping to grow in this area as well.”
The facility can execute behavioral studies via a fee-for-service, provide behavioral training, and advise in behavioral experimental design and questions.
In addition to providing behavioral assays, the Behavioral Phenotyping Core helps train graduate students and postdoctoral researchers on the implementation of sound experimental design for behavioral studies and to use specific equipment.
“The Behavioral Phenotyping Core has trained many students and post-docs on behavioral studies,” stated Fischer. “We have had some students who are very interested in learning behavioral modeling, and in these situations, we offer a training service whereby the investigator works with our team on assay design, implementation, and analysis of results.”
The Behavioral Phenotyping Core has grown a tremendous amount since it was created in 2018. Fischer and the core hope to continue training more investigators and expanding to new areas of research.
Learn more about the Behavioral Phenotyping Core services in the videos below, including pain assay, dopamine-dependent cognition assay, and addiction assay.