Neuronal and Glia Culture Facility The "Neuronal and Glial Culture Facility" or NGF is a core facility structured to provide cultures of interest to neuroscientists. In some cases, the NGF provides training and starting supplies to investigators that prefer to learn the procedures and then continue doing the cultures themselves. In each case, the NGF facilitates and speeds up research. The NGF does not occupy physical space, it uses the equipment of the central cell culture facility of the RCMI and the NGF technician uses the equipment and space of a laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry. Therefore, the NGF is based on a space and equipment-sharing basis. This core facility consists of a coordinator (PAF) and a technician, Mrs. Brenda Cuadrado (BC), experienced in neuronal cell culture. Among other skills, she is able to prepare neuronal cultures from fetal cortex or hippocampus, astrocytes from neonatal cerebral cortex, organotypic hippocampal slices using the Stoppini method. BC was trained at the UCC (by PAF), by Dr. C. Ghiani from UCLA and BC traveled to UK, Lexington (USA), to learn organotypic slice culture in the laboratory of Dr. Littletone. During the last year, Mrs. Cuadrado has learned immunocytochemical methods under the guide of Dr. H. Yeh (consultant), the NGF coordinator (PAF) and Dr. H. Martins. The immunocytochemical methods are used to monitor the cultures provided by the NGF. By dedicating one technician to produce a significant part of the cultures done at the UCC alleviates in part the crowding in the culture room, the duplication of equipment and saves sera and reagents. As result of this facility, the investigators no longer need to develop "from scratch" the cultures. This core facility is based on a similar arrangement in the laboratory of Dr. de Vellis'laboratory (UCLA) where a single person is dedicated to provide cultures for all the members of this prestigious group. The proposed budget consists of supplies and personnel. Salaries of the technician (BC) the coordinator (PAF) and the consultant costs are included. Supplies include media, sera, antibodies for quality control and further development of cultures. The objective of this unit is not to exclude anyone from using the existing cell culture facility but by providing a better alternative discourage the initiation of individual neuronal culture laboratories throughout the UCC. By doing so, we will increase the efficient use of space and equipment. By providing the expertise in brain cell culture and the labor involved, this core facility will leave more time to the investigators for the scientific endeavor.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Research Centers in Minority Institutions Award (G12)
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Universidad Central Del Caribe
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