Many nutrient-dependent signaling pathways await discovery. Members of the proposed Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity-related Diseases (NPOD) share the vision that identification of such pathways and their manipulation through dietary intervention has enormous potential to prevent and ameliorate obesity-related diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NPOD will support a Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core (MB^C), which will increase the rate of discovery by providing essential analytical and bioinformatics services and developing the workforce in the laboratories of NPOD members. The MB^C's services will focus on tools relevant to the discovery of nutrient-dependent cell signals, making it unique among core facilities in the United States. The MB^C will comprise a (1) Nutrient Signaling Laboratory - with the necessary equipment to offer services identified by NPOD Project Leaders as crucial - adjoining a personnel office and Collaboration Zone and (2) state-of-the-art Communications and Training Portal equipped with audiovisual technology to support inter-campus collaboration and virtual training. The MB^C's toolbox will be expanded in the initial phase of support through a tool development grants program and a research tool development program supported in house. Following the initial period of funding, the Core will expand its toolbox to include assays relevant for other nutrient signaling pathways of interest to other NPOD investigators and external users. To provide comprehensive service, the MB C will be staffed with a Director and two technicians with expertise in nutrient signaling, gene expression, and molecular biology and two Bioinformatics Coordinators who will provide consultation with regard to experimental design, bioinformatics analysis, and assistance preparing statistics sections and power calculations for grant applications and manuscripts. The MB^C will also partially support the Director and a Liaison within the Holland Computing Center to facilitate high-speed, high-capacity data transfer and access and analysis of large datasets. NPOD has gained strong institutional support for the alterations and renovations necessary to establish the MB^C, matching more than 2:1 the NIH funds requested for this purpose.
The Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules will establish a Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Biostatistics Core (MB^C) that focuses on diet-dependent epigenetic marks. This focus will position the Core uniquely among gene expression cores in the United States, while contributing to the Center's mission of preventing obesity-related diseases.
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