Rodent Behavior Core

Overview of Services

To facilitate the conduct of functional assessments in experimental animals at WVU, in 2014, we established the Rodent Behavior Core (RBC). Conveniently housed in the OLAR vivarium, RBC equipment are readily available in a suite of dedicated rodent behavior testing rooms that have been optimized for task-specific needs. RBC staff maintain apparatus for the evaluation of several functional domains including alcohol consumption, affective behavior, depressive-like behavior, substance use/abuse potential, learning and memory, locomotion, pain sensitivity, sensorimotor function/skilled movement, and social investigation. In addition to housing behavioral equipment, the RBC offers other services that facilitate behavioral research, including expert consolation on experimental design and task selection, individualized training in behavioral methods, assistance in grant or manuscript writing, and statistical analysis of behavior data.  It is our hope that the RBC will help support basic, translational, and collaborative research to enhance understanding of neurological and other disorders, and to elucidate possible therapeutic interventions.


James Walton, Ph.D.
Director, West Virginia University Health Sciences Center Rodent Behavior Core
(304) 293-3490

James Simpkins, Ph.D
Supervising Faculty


Courtney DeVries, Ph.D
Supervising Faculty

Christopher Cuff, Ph.D
Director of Core Resources


Location and hours of operation

Hours Location


365 days per year 

Staffed Hours:

9 AM - 5 PM

1 Medical Center Dr.

WVU Health Sciences Building 

Morgantown, WV 26506

Links and Resources

  1. Rodent Behavior Website Homepage
  2. WVU ACUS Standard Operating Procedure: Use of the Rodent Behavior Core
  3. West Virginia University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
  4. ACUC Protocol Forms


Name Role Phone Email Location
James Walton
Core Director
304-293-3490 (office)
BMRC 321 (office)
James Simpkins
Supervising Faculty
BMRC 105 (office)
Courtney DeVries
Supervising Faculty
BMRC 306 (office)