The Center on Biological Rhythms and Sleep (COBRAS) enables researchers across diverse specialties and departments to readily investigate the impact of sleep and circadian rhythms on their disease of interest. COBRAS also serves as a platform for development of new collaborative projects and grants and can serve as a core for existing programs.

Core Description

COBRAS has two cores: a human core and a preclinical (mouse) core. These centralized core facilities support basic, translational, and clinical research activities related to sleep and circadian biology.  The cores reduce redundancy of facilities, allow standardization and optimization of methods, and support investigators new to sleep/circadian biology.

Human Core

The COBRAS Human Core offers the following services:

  • Actigraphy: This core supports wrist actigraphy studies, allowing long-term analysis of sleep and circadian rhythms in humans in their home environment. The core owns a number of actigraphs of multiple brands which can be loaned to investigators and used for various studies. A technician in the core will provide data download, cleaning, analysis of sleep variables (using associated software), and analysis of circadian parameters (using ClockLab or other software). Resources are available for more advanced analyses of actigraphy data. This core can collect concurrent data against polysomnography for device/method validation.
  • Signal analysis: The core provides technical expertise in analysis of human polysomnography/EEG data. The core provides scoring of PSG data, signal processing expertise, and more sophisticated analytic methods such as machine learning. Data can be scored/analyzed on a fee-for-service basis.
  • Sleep/Circadian biomarkers: This facility provides expertise and protocols for collection & analysis of various sleep and circadian biomarkers, including those from blood (transcriptomics, protein levels, cellular profiling), CSF (proteomics, metabolomics), saliva (melatonin, cortisol), urine, microbiome, and others. The core provides assays for common sleep biomarkers such as orexin, cortisol, and melatonin, and serves as a hub for development of novel omics approaches.
  • Clinical sleep research support core: This core provides consultation on design of human sleep/circadian studies, as well as technical support with studies related to treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and other sleep disorders.  The core provides equipment for home testing, links researchers with ongoing studies in the clinical Sleep Medicine Center, and provides access to coordinators and project managers with expertise in sleep and circadian research. Ultimately, this core will also serve as a data repository for studies performed in association with the Center.
  • Human sleep lab: This core integrates with the CTRU Sleep Core to provide polysomnography, ambulatory sleep monitoring equipment, and staff to facilitate human inpatient and home sleep studies.  It includes registered polysomnography technologists to perform and score studies, as well as temperature & light controlled rooms for sleep studies.

The COBRAS Preclinical Core offers the following services:

  • Circadian activity rhythm analysis: Mouse activity can be monitored by infrared sensors in individual cages kept in a quiet, temperature and light-controlled environment. Data is collected under 12h:12h light:dark and constant dark conditions, and thorough circadian rhythm analysis is performed using ClockLab software. Specialized light:darkschedules (phase shift, non-24h, skeleton photoperiod) can also be arranged.
  • Sleep analysis: Non-invasive sleep monitoring is available using the SignalSolutions piezoelectric cage system.  This system provides detailed sleep parameter data without invasive EEG/EMG. Data analysis is performed by the core staff. If more detailed sleep analysis is needed, full EEG/EMG sleep studies can be carried out in collaboration with the IDDRC Sleep Core (Dr. Michael Wong).
  • Sleep/Circadian disruption: Mice can be subjected to sleep disruption using a moving bar method for extended periods of time, with concurrent piezoelectric sleep monitoring. Numerous light-induced circadian disruption/desynchronyprotocols are also available for long-term circadian disruption in mice.  These include repeated phase advances (“jetlag”), 10h:10h light:dark schedules, constant light, or custom schedules.
  • Clock gene deletion: COBRAS has a variety of clock gene deletion mouse lines available for breeding and experiments, and can generate tissue-specific Bmal1 deletion lines upon request. These mice allow inducible genetic disruption of the circadian clock, often in specific tissues/cells types.
  • Circadian timecourse tissue collection: Mouse tissue can be harvested from mouse cohorts kept under constant conditions at specific intervals around the clock, allowing analysis of circadian oscillations in physiologic/metabolomics/transcriptomic parameters.

In general, core services only require that mice are transferred to the core.  Our staff will carry out the experiment, analyze the actigraphy or sleep data, and return the mice and/or tissue to you. Please contact us to discuss standard packages or customized experiments.


Service available to All entities, including for-profit organizations.

Priority service for All entities, including for-profit organizations.


  • Actigraphy
  • Signal analysis
  • Sleep/Circadian biomarkers
  • Clinical sleep research support core
  • Human sleep lab
  • Circadian activity rhythm analysis
  • Sleep analysis
  • Sleep/Circadian disruption
  • Clock gene deletion
  • Circadian timecourse tissue collection


  • Preclinical Core - Sound-dampened, light-tight cabinets with computer controlled lighting
  • Preclinical Core - Signal Solutions piezoelectric mouse sleep monitoring system
  • Preclinical Core - Wheel running actigraphy cages
  • Preclinical Core - Infra-red activity monitoring cages
  • Preclinical Core - ClockLab circadian analysis software
  • Preclinical Core - Implantable core temperature monitors
  • Human Core - Actigraphs and associated software
  • Human Core - Polysomnogram recording systems (in Clinical Translational Research Unit [CTRU])
  • Human Core - Ambulatory polysomnogram recording system (TrackIt)


Please contact this core directly for pricing information.

Alzheimer's Disease Research Center (ADRC)
Hope Center for Neurological Disorders (HCND)
Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS)