We propose to modernize, expand, and consolidate our current zebrafish capabilities through the creation of a Zebrafish Functional Genomics Core (ZFGC). This core will have high impact, because it will enrich and connect three of our new and growing institutional health research investments: The Institute for Personalized Medicine, the Drug Discovery Development and Delivery Core (D4), and a university-wide Systems Biology cluster hire. Penn State investigators have been pioneers in the use of zebrafish as a model system for the study of a variety of conditions;the ZFGC will allow us to expand our research capabilities.
Our first aim will be to increase and centralize housing space, quarantine space, and procedural space through renovation of four existing, underutilized animal rooms totaling over 1,200 net square feet.
Our second aim will be to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the care and use of zebrafish through the installation of a state-of-the art zebrafish husbandry system.
Our third aim will be to establish a dedicated procedure room for shared operations including microinjection, mass breeding, and photography. Accomplishing these aims will facilitate the use of zebrafish in currently funded projects involving human cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, neurodevelopment and skin pigmentation. A pilot project program will ensure lasting use of this new core, as well as integration of research activities between cores. Newly targeted directions of research utilizing the zebrafish model will include personalized medicine, disease modeling, and drug discovery.