Columbia University in the City of New York

Custom Genetic Access Services

Confocal image of an immunostained section from mouse spinal cord. Green: ChAT+ve motor neurons and C boutons; Red: TdTomato+ve labeled motor neuron; Blue: KCC2, a chloride transporter (Credit: David Ng/Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute)

Game-changing tools for investigating brain cell activity

Even the brains of simple animals, such as flies, are incredibly complex. To decode the intricacies of brain function, researchers need tools that can identify, with certainty, specific brain cells and regions of interest.

At Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute, Custom Genetic Access Services provides that power. We work with Institute scientists to develop customized molecular and genetic tools that selectively manipulate the activity of brain cells based on their unique genetic identities. This gives us a window into brain activity with an unprecedented level of precision. We are also pioneering a new system to provide one-of-a-kind access to genetically complex cell types.

These new tools will drive progress toward a variety of research goals, from tracing the journey that a memory takes through the brain to mapping the brain circuitry that guides the body’s ability to move.  


  • David Ng, PhD
  • Director of Genetic Access Tools and Associate Research Scientist
  • [email protected]