An advantage of conducting research within a coordinated Program Project is the ability to create core facilities to (i) efficiently and economically share resources and administration support, (ii) provide infrastructure for the scientific objectives of the program, (iii) provide mechanisms for disseminating results and facilitating discussions within the group, and (iv) coordinate interactions with outside investigators to obtain critical evaluation, technical advice and intellectual input to keep the work on track and at the cutting edge of technologies in the field. To this end an Analytical, Administrative and Animal/Reagent Core (Core A) will be created and directed by Dr. Christine Gall. Core A will address 4 specific aims.
Aim 1 will be to maintain an Analytical Core for Microscopy, Electrophysiology, Behavior and Assay functions. Studies within Projects 1-4 entail analyses of long term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal slices, localized signaling to actin, modulating endogenous BDNF protein content, and evaluation of treatment effects on unsupervised learning. This will be accomplished using Analytical Core facilities and personnel for microscopy-image analysis, electrophysiology, behavioral analysis (unsupervised learning) and protein assays.
Aim 2 will be to support Animal and Reagent functions. Core personnel will coordinate purchases of reagents and ampakines, support mouse colonies employed for UCl Projects, and perform genotyping.
Aim 3 will be to manage collaborations and integration of research among Project laboratories, and provide input from internal and external advisory boards (Administration). This includes coordinating both research activities among the projects for access to key analytical facilities (e.g., microscopic, electrophysiological and behavioral facilities and staff) and Program Project collaborative meetings. The Core will also convene meetings with Internal and External Advisory Boards, and seminar speakers.
Aim 4 is to provide general administrative support and computer assistance for all program investigators (Administration). This includes general administrative support for grants management, coordinating seminars, oversight of animal use in Core A, supervision of Core personnel, and maintenance of computer servers for Program activities. Overall the Core facilities and functions will provide critical integration of research within the Projects and will support technical platforms that are critical for reaching project goals.
The program project will test if there are common neurobiological processes underlying cognitive impairments in different animal models and if up-regulating BDNF is a broadly effective therapeutic strategy. To meet these program goals is critical that the different subprojects use the same treatments and measures. The Core will assure this uniformity and will provide mechanisms for sharing critical analytical facilities, technical expertise, and research advances throughout the program.
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