Michigan Animal Studies Core


The Animal Studies Core (ASC) aims to provide expertise and services to basic biomedical researchers using rodent models to study processes relevant to diabetes, its complications, and related endocrine and metabolic disorders. To accomplish this, the ASC includes 4 laboratories and within each laboratory the goal is to:

  1. Provide expert consultation and training to MDRC investigators regarding phenotyping strategies and experimental design to characterize rodent models of diabetes and related metabolic diseases.
  2. Provide MDRC investigators with the capability for sophisticated, standardized metabolic phenotyping of rodent models relevant to diabetes, obesity and associated metabolic diseases.
  3. Provide expert aid in the analysis and interpretation of data arising from services offered in the ASC.
  4. Develop and acquire new technologies for rodent, whole animal metabolic phenotyping in response to the needs of MDRC investigators.


The ASC is an established fee-for-service laboratory that provides consultation and utilizes specialized skills and equipment to assess the metabolic state and related endocrine and behavioral phenotypes of rats and mice. The four laboratories include:

  1. Rat Metabolic Phenotyping Lab: provides assessments of glucose homeostasis, whole animal metabolic parameters, body composition, and related measures in rats. This laboratory is co-sponsored by the MMOC/NORC and is located in the same facility as for the MMPC. All available services and costs for this laboratory is available on the MMPC site.
  2. Optogenetics and Behavioral Phenotyping Lab: provides access to new technology using optogenetics (a technology that utilizes a combination of genetics and focal light exposure to acutely manipulate neuronal activity in awake rodents; mice or rats) to permit the examination of physiologic and behavioral responses to neural circuit manipulation. The OBPL also provides 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 andd/or are regulated by metabolic parameters in rats or mice.
  3. Islet Laboratory: serves to isolate islets from mice or rats for MDRC researchers; the Islet Lab will also perform perifusion and other analyses of islet function.
  4. Continuous Glucose Monitoring Lab: provides the in vivo and continuous assessment of glucose levels by radiotelemetry in conscious, unrestrained mice or rats. This technology minimizes handling stress and permits a detailed analysis of glucose fluctuations within normal feeding patterns and across extended time-frames.

All facilities are equipped with specialized equipment, such as CLAMS, glucose clamping apparatus, and the equipment reagents and personnel required to provide the analyses to investigators.


Animals to be phenotyped are transferred to the care of the Animal Studies Core under University of Michigan’s Committee on Use and Care of Animals protocols. Core personnel conduct all analyses in the Animal Studies Core.

Core People

Core Director
Darleen Sandoval PhD Darleen Sandoval PhD Michigan Animal Studies Core Email