Neuromodulation Core

Director: Catherine Kotz, Ph.D.
Associate Director: Mark J. Thomas, Ph.D.
SubCore Director: Alessandro Bartolomucci, Ph.D

The new Neuromodulation Core, directed by Drs. Kotz, Thomas and Bartolomucci, will assist investigators in moving their studies along the translational path from individual neurons to neural mechanism modulation in humans for obesity treatment. The Core will provide the following key resources:

  1. Support of advanced rodent brain neuromodulation techniques, to include training, access and resources for optogenetic and DREADD modulation of specific neuron activity. This will give investigators with the tools they need to understand brain circuitry important to the particular obesity phenotype under study, including reward- based eating behavior, decision making, physical activity behavior and/or energy expenditure.

  2. Support of energy balance and behavioral phenotyping for characterization of neuromodulation. This will include training and access to phenotyping feeding behavior, physical activity, energy expenditure, sleep/wake states, exercise behavior, cognition and body composition in rodents. Phenotyping services are provided through the Integrative Biology and Physiology Phenotyping Core facility and the Minneapolis VA animal research campus.