The COBRE Center for Neurodegeneration and Translational Neuroscience (CNTN) is proposed by a coalition of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health (LRCBH) in Las Vegas, NV and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) to: 1) establish an independent and sustainable infrastructure for translational research that will create a rich and unique scientific environment; 2) provide a transformative research training experience for 3 junior investigators/Project Leaders working in the area of neurodegenerative disorders (NDD); and 3) advance understanding of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD), the two most common NDD. The CNTN will consist of 3 cores and 3 projects plus internal and external advisory committees. The Administrative Core will lead the vision, administrative oversight, budgetary and reporting aspects of the center, and will support the formative and summative assessment processes. The Data Management and Statistics Core will provide the technical hardware and software for data management for all aspects of the CNTN as well as providing expert statistical input on project design, analysis and interpretation. The Clinical and Translational Research Core will establish a well-characterized cohort of healthy controls (HC) and patients with AD or PD for Projects 1 and 2 as well as other junior investigators attracted to the CNTN. Project 1 will investigate the resting state default mode network with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), mild-moderate AD, and HC. Project 1 will also use a novel positron emission tomography ligand to investigate microglial activity in AD, PD, and HC. Project 2 will use fMRI and diffusion tensor imaging to study the biological underpinnings of cognitive impairment in PD. Project 3 investigates the role of GABA receptors in the control of microglial activity in animal models of AD. A multifaceted mentoring program provides both local scientific mentors and specialist scientific mentors to all junior investigators. COBRE funds complemented by institutional commitment from LRCBH will be used to hire an imaging expert who will serve as mentor for Projects 1 and 2 as well as strengthening the research environment.
The proposed Center for Neurodegeneration and Translational Neuroscience will capitalize on the resources of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, NV and the University of Nevada Las Vegas to develop a sustainable research center that will advance the careers of junior investigators and increase our understanding of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.
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