The UC Davis MIND Institute IDDRC Rodent Behavior Core (RBC) supports multidisciplinary research focused on mouse and rat models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, including Angelman syndrome (AS), Down syndrome (DS), fragile X syndrome (FXS), and Rett syndrome (RTT). Our overarching goal is to advance the diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and amelioration of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). RBC Projects include mechanistic and translational investigations designed to discover clinically effective therapeutics. Innovative rodent behavioral tests, many developed by the RBC director and co-directors, parallel clinical tests developed and used by clinical investigators through the IDDRC Clinical Translational Core (CTCx). The internationally recognized scientific excellence and cutting-edge expertise of RBC leadership, combined with ongoing interactions of the RBC and other IDDRC rodent cores around the U.S., contribute to the national leadership role of the RBC in the standardization of rodent behavioral testing methods to promote rigor and reproducibility.

The Rodent Behavior Core offers four tiers of services:

Tier 1: Consultation on hypothesis-driven choices of behavioral assays, experimental design, generation of IACUC protocols, interpretation of findings, preparation of results for publication, preparation of preliminary data and methodological text for grant proposals. The RBC is committed to ensuring that the animal models being used clearly address the scientific questions proposed for investigation.

Tier 2: Access for IDDRC investigators to state-of-the-art behavioral testing equipment and facilities.

Tier 3: Training and supervision of IDDRC investigators and their postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, undergraduates, and technicians in (a) mouse and rat behavioral testing protocols, (b) use of behavioral testing equipment, (c) drug administration for translational behavioral pharmacology studies, and (d) tissue harvesting.

Tier 4: Conducting all aspects of an IDDRC study by the RBC staff, including behavioral testing, breeding colony management, special diets, drug treatments, and tissue harvesting.

The RBC further offers:

• Development of reliable new assays requested by users
• Access to a broad range of mutant mouse and rat models
• Facilities for harvesting tissue from behaviorally tested mice and rats
• Metabolic monitoring equipment and expertise
• Electroencephalograpy equipment and expertise (awake telemetry EEG)
• Guidance about resources at UC Davis, including a formal agreement with the UC Davis Mouse Biology Program (MBP), which includes subsidies to support generation of new mutant rodents using advanced CRISPR technologies for projects that will use the RBC (see Administrative Core for details).
• Facilitation of collaborations between IDDRC investigators at UC Davis and nationally

IDDRC investigators initially contact one of the core leaders to discuss new projects. Formal initiation to request IDDRC approval for services is completed through the IDDRC REDCap system. Full descriptions and illustrations of the mouse and rat assays offered by the RBC are displayed on the UC Davis IDDRC website. IDDRC-approved projects are typically scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Consultation meetings between RBC leadership and staff and IDDRC investigators contribute to quality control. RBC members conduct or advise on proper statistical analyses and acceptable graphical presentation of the data in conjunction with the Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Research Design Core. Necessary control assays are recommended. Potential artifacts detected by the control assays are discussed with the IDDRC investigator, and advice is provided on accurate interpretations of results from hypothesis-driven behavioral assays.

Descriptions of Mouse and Rat Phenotyping Assays

Database of Representative Mouse Behavior Scores on 12 Assays

Projects with high relevance to intellectual and developmental disabilities may be eligible for a discounted rate for consultation and behavioral testing services. Requests for approval are submitted to Director Leonard Abbeduto and the Executive Committee of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research
Center (IDDRC), which is funded by an NICHD grant to the MIND Institute at UC Davis.

If you are not an IDDRC approved project, please submit a request for approval.

IDDRC - Research Project Application Form

For questions, please contact Michele Ono, Project Manager

On-Line Request

Submit a request for IDDRC Rodent Behavior Core

For Questions, please contact:
Jill Silverman, Ph.D., Mouse Core Co-Director,
Melissa Bauman, Ph.D., Rat Core Co-Director,


MOUSE Phenotyping Assays
Jill Silverman, Ph.D., Core Co-Director,

RAT Behavioral Phenotyping Assays
Melissa Bauman, Ph.D., Core Co-Director,