Kravitz - Salem- Pohida - 2019

Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch
Mentor Name
Lex Kravitz, Ph.D.
Mentor Telephone
Computational Bioscience and Engineering Laboratory, Office of Intramural Research
Mentor Name
Thomas Pohida
Ghadi Salem, Ph.D.
Mentor Telephone
(301) 435-2904
Laboratory And Project Description

Video-based Mouse Activity Monitoring and Behavior Profiling

Behavior assessment is an integral part in drug-efficacy, animal model development, and phenotyping studies. Video-based systems have emerged as a viable solution to quantify alterations in mouse locomotion and behavior profiles. Automated video analysis carries the promise of high-throughput, long-term, and fine-grained assessment of mouse activity and behavior. The results obtained through video analysis compliment other phenotypical measures to provide researchers more insight on deviations from baseline behavior. The System for Continuous Observation of Rodents in Home-cage Environment (SCORHE) was developed to enable wide-spread access to video-acquisition and analysis technology in animal facilities.  the SCORHE units were designed to have a minimal footprint and integrate with existing colony racks. SCORHE space efficiency and automated video analysis makes SCORHE suitable for large-scale, long-term use with minimal user intervention.

Kravitz’s lab in NIDDK Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch carries out research to understand how different diets can change the function of basal ganglia circuits and how these changes contribute to obesity. Using behavioral testing, optogenetics, and in vivo electrophysiology and optical measurements, the lab characterizes changes in behavior following learning in a feeding context and attempts to understand the neural correlates and causes of these changes in behavior.  Integrating SCORHE with the set of tests conducted will supply researchers with a richer assessment of the mouse behavior and activity.

A BESIP student working on this project should have an interest in animal-based research, image and video analysis, and biomedical instrumentation. Working closely with the interdisciplinary team, the intern will help install several SCORHE units in the NIDDK animal facility, complete with control PC and software.  The intern will acquire video with the SCORHE units.  The intern will conduct test experiments to identify behavioral differences in different strains of mice. The intern will work closely with NIDDK staff to leverage their expertise in identifying behaviors of interest in video.  The intern will work closely with SPIS staff to process the video to extract relevant measures of activity and detect behavioral patterns of interest.  Lastly, actual experiments for profiling mouse behavior will be carried out and the intern will process the experiments and report the scientific results.

Kravitz lab: Expertise in animal-based obesity research. Expertise in animal model characterization experiments. Expertise in mouse behavior and identifying behaviors of interest in video.  Facility to carry out animal experiments.

Pohida lab: Provides electrical, electronic, electro-optical, mechanical, computer, and software engineering expertise to NIH projects that require in-house technology development. Collaborations involve advanced signal transduction and data acquisition; real-time signal and image processing; control and monitoring systems (e.g., robotics and process automation); and rapid prototype development. Collaborations result in the design of first-of-a-kind biomedical/clinical research systems, instrumentation, and methodologies.