Optogenetics and Behavioral Phenotyping Laboratory

The Optogenetics and Behavioral Phenotyping Lab (OBPL) offers two important services: 1) training and access to optogenetics (a technology that utilizes a combination of genetics and focal light exposure to acutely manipulate neuronal activity in awake animals) to permit the examination of physiologic and behavioral responses to neural circuit manipulation; and 2) training and access to equipment and software to measure relevant behaviors, such as homeostatic and non-homeostatic feeding, activity, reward, and other behaviors that impact and/or are regulated by metabolic changes. These behavioral assays can be performed in combination with optogenetic manipulation, where necessary. The OBPL also provides access to a digital stereotaxic apparatus to permit investigators to inject substances (including viral vectors) into the brains of mice or rats in conjunction with the use of OBPL equipment and services.

Working with the Animal Care and Use Committee, the Animal Phenotyping Core makes the metabolic analysis of rodent models of disease expeditious, affordable, effective, and convenient for individual investigators.

The Optogenetics and Behavioral Phenotyping Lab offers:

  • Infrastructure to perform advanced, standardized, metabolic phenotyping of animal models of obesity or metabolic diseases that arise from dietary, genetic, pharmacologic or other perturbations.
  • Centralized equipment and services to expedite research for many MNORC investigators in a cost-effective manner.
  • Consultation to MMOC investigators in the design, execution and analysis of metabolism-related studies in rodents.
  • Develop new techniques and acquire new technologies for rodent phenotyping in response to needs of MMOC investigators.

When a new investigator (or lab member) requires use of the OBPL, s/he is trained by the OBPL staff at no cost (this usually occurs during the running of the investigator’s first experiment). Following training, the lab member is granted access to OBPL space and permission to use equipment for which s/he is trained for a cost of $30/hr. Use of equipment is scheduled in advance on a calendar; use, set-up and maintenance of the equipment is monitored by OBPL staff to ensure the appropriate clean-up of the equipment and space and to assess recharges once use is completed.

Training and equipment available for CNS viral injections and/or cannula placement; perfusions to fix tissue; customizable building and testing of fiber cannulas; and in vivo optogenetic experiments (can be paired with behavioral techniques below).

Equipment for behavioral assessments (mouse or rat)

Contact Us

Nathan Qi, MD, PhD

Internal Medicine, Laboratory Director
UM Brehm Tower APC RM 8114
1000 Wall St., Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Remember to cite the Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) in publications as follows:
“The project described was supported by Grant Number P30DK020572 (MDRC) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases”