Mouse NeuroBehavior Core

The Mouse NeuroBehavior Core (MNBC) is the first centralized mouse behavioral testing facility on the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) campus. Qualified users have access to state-of-the-art behavioral equipment in the eight-room testing suite. We provide full testing service, as well as extensive training to users who want to conduct their own experiments. Our team of experts also provides assistance with IACUC protocol, animal transfer, experimental design, hands-on training, data analysis and interpretation, grant materials, and publication of results.

The core is fully equipped to test a wide range of behavioral phenotypes in mouse models of central nervous system diseases, including tests for neonatal development, ultrasonic vocalizations, sensory and motor functions, neurological reflexes, seizure, circadian activity, anxiety and depression-like behaviors, social behaviors, social communication, and complex cognitive functions. We are capable of performing high throughput screening or in-depth analysis, depending on the user’s research need. Tests include:

  • Neonatal development and ultrasonic vocalization
  • Comprehensive motor assessment (7 tests)
  • Comprehensive sensory assessment (6 tests)
  • Anxiety-and depression-like behaviors (4 tests)
  • Comprehensive learning and memory assessment (5 tests)
  • ASD-like behaviors (4 tests)
  • Home cage activity monitoring and circadian activity

We also take care of:

  • IACUC protocol
  • Handling animal transfers, scheduling, access requests, compliance
  • Designing the study, and adjust the trajectory
  • Monitoring the progress of each study
  • Identifying potential problems and fixing them
  • Grant application materials (LOS, prelim data, budget, etc.)
  • Writing the behavioral part of the MS
  • Supervising experiments done by graduate students
  • Discussing progress with PIs

Investigators may choose to access MNBC services at several levels, from consultation-only to full-service testing. Consultation-only service is valuable for investigators in the planning stages of new projects. Self-service is ideal for investigators who want to learn behavioral protocols and/or who do not wish to wait behind other projects. Laboratory personnel can be trained to independently perform their own experiment in the core facility. Full-service is more suitable for occasional users, labs without enough manpower to conduct behavioral tests, or those in need of pilot data.


MNBC services are available to all Columbia University investigators. Services are also available to investigators outside the Columbia community.


  • Full service: $75/hour
  • Self-service: $40/hour
  • Training: $100/hour
  • Consultation: free and unlimited!
  • External rate is 1.6X that of internal rate

User Guidelines

IACUC Protocol

All users must have an approved IACUC protocol. If you need to use the MNBC facility to conduct behavioral tests NOT currently available at the MNBC, these tests must be approved by IACUC and described in your protocol. Please contact Dr. Yang for assistance on IACUC protocol modifications or to discuss options.

  • Full service: If you request the core to conduct the experiment(s), please state such in your IACUC protocol. In the Animal Use section of your protocol, add “X number of mice from the ABC mouse line will be transferred from protocol # to the Mouse Neurobehavior Core (MNBC) protocol (#) and tested in the core facility.” You will then request an ICM transfer to allocate number of mice needed for the experiments from your IACUC protocol to the MNBC IACUC protocol, and from your vivarium to the core vivarium. Please discuss the logistics with Dr. Yang first, to make sure space is available in the core vivarium.
  • Self-service: If your lab personnel will be responsible for your experiments, you need to either: have the behavioral tests in your approved IACUC protocol, OR have your people added to the MNBC protocol. We can provide standard narratives on behavioral tests available at the MNBC. Self-service users must be listed on your protocol and pass all IACUC required trainings through RASCAL before training at the MNBC. Please contact Dr. Yang to see if cage space is available in the core vivarium.

Animal Housing

A vivarium adjacent the MNBC testing suite has limited space to hold users’ mice before and during the experiments. We also offer breeding service upon request. Please contact Dr. Yang regarding space availability. Per diem charges will be billed to users by the ICM.

Animal Transfer

The user may request transportation of mice through the ICM. Movement of mice and personnel into the MNBC Core is subject to all appropriate instituted animal health requirements at Columbia, including requirements that recent health records be provided before animals may be transferred to the facility, restriction of movement of personnel between facilities, etc. The MNBC can accept mice from some Columbia barrier facilities without quarantine. Mice from all other facilities must go through quarantine before being housed in the Core. Please contact ICM regarding quarantine procedures.

All users must schedule experiments using iLAB. You MUST have a valid chart string to use iLAB. If you need help with iLAB, please contact the MNBC.


  • Mu Yang

    • Director, Mouse NeuroBehavior Core


Mouse NeuroBehavior Core
650 West 168th Street, BB19-1930
New York, NY 10032
United States
  • Wayne Frankel, PhD

    • Advisor, Professor of Genetics and Development

    Dr. Wayne Frankel brings expertise in mouse models of neurological disease, as well as extensive leadership experience in founding and directing core phenotyping facilities from his 24-year tenure at The Jackson Laboratory, before relocating in November 2015 to continue his research and to direct preclinical models at IGM.

  • Paul Hamblin

    • Technician B

    A graduate of the University of Miami, Elizabeth has obtained a Master's of Science in Biochemistry and aspires to become an MD/Ph.D. in the field of neurodegenerative disorders. Lizzie is fluent in Italian and Spanish.