This subproject is one of many research subprojects utilizing the resources provided by a Center grant funded by NIH/NCRR. Primary support for the subproject and the subproject's principal investigator may have been provided by other sources, including other NIH sources. The Total Cost listed for the subproject likely represents the estimated amount of Center infrastructure utilized by the subproject, not direct funding provided by the NCRR grant to the subproject or subproject staff. A.
COBRE Specific Aims Specific Aim 1: To develop successful, independent, self-sustaining research projects for COBRE Project Directors which will enable future success in obtaining R01 funding.
This aim i s being accomplished by providing COBRE support to four Primary Projects and by establishing a Pilot Project Mechanism to stimulate interest in and recruit additional talent in visual and cognitive neuroscience. These research activities are nurtured and sustained by an Administrative Core consisting of the PI/PD, a two-member Internal Advisory Committee, a three-member External Advisory Committee, and five world-class scientists who serve as Primary Project Mentors. Three of the four Primary Projects are progressing nicely. The Project Director of the fourth project (Teder) has resigned from NDSU and we describe plans to reassign this project to another CVCN faculty member (Blakeslee). CVCN support has allowed Primary and Pilot Project Directors freedom from some teaching obligations during the past year, and these investigators have taken advantage of this opportunity to spend additional time in their laboratories working with graduate and undergraduate students, and with CVCN professional staff, to advance their research programs. Several supplements to the parent grant have allowed additional research progress to occur. The External Advisory Committee review of CVCN activities indicates we are making satisfactory progress.
Specific Aim 2 : To enhance the biobehavioral research infrastructure at NDSU through the development of multi-user CORE laboratory facilities. We are accomplishing this aim by continuing to develop and support six multiuser Core laboratory facilities: 1) High-Density EEG Core Facility;2) High Dynamic Range Imaging Core Facility;3) Immersive Virtual Reality Core Facility;4) Driving Simulation Core Facility;5) Eyetracking Core Facility;and 6) ElectroOptical Instrumentation Core Facility. CVCN faculty and students utilize these facilities to measure relationships between the structure and function of the nervous system and the behavior it governs. Users of the Core facilities are assisted by COBRE-supported technical professional staff.
Specific Aim 3 : To expand NDSU's research capability in visual and cognitive neuroscience by recruiting new faculty with research expertise in visual or cognitive neuroscience. In COBRE I we accomplished this aim by creating two new appropriated faculty lines (originally filled by Drs. Rainville and Teder (Note: Dr. Rainville was replaced by Dr. Ben Balas beginning 1/11, and Dr. Teder has recently resigned). We recently successfully recruited a new CVCN faculty member, Dr. Laura Thomas (doctorate from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana;postdoctoral training at Vanderbilt University). Dr. Thomas will join the CVCN beginning 8/11, and will augment our critical mass of research talent to help sustain the CVCN beyond the initial years of COBRE support. Next year we will initiate national searches for two additional faculty: one to replace Dr. Teder, and another to replace Dr. Chris Kelland Friesen, who was not granted tenure and has left NDSU. At full strength the NDSU CVCN has a complement of 11 visual/cognitive faculty neuroscientists, 2-3 Postdoctoral Research Associates, and approximately 12 graduate students.
Specific Aim 4 : To establish a nationally recognized Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience at North Dakota State University. The realization of Specific Aims 1-3 will create a center of research excellence at NDSU which will attract additional quality faculty with a strong potential for independent research support, as well as postdoctoral research associates, graduate students, and undergraduates committed to timely and important research in visual and cognitive neuroscience.
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