The San Diego Skeletal Muscle Research Center (SDMRC) is composed of 21 scientists who span five research institutions and nine academic Departments. The mission of the SDMRC is twofold: (1) to provide investigators with an effective infrastructure and environment to accelerate their cutting-edge research in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and (2) to provide an organizational structure that enhances communication amongst members and provides education and training for the San Diego community. The creation of this Center will integrate, educate and synergize laboratories on a more formalized basis than currently exists. Specifically, this Center will provide a mechanism for rapidly performing common assays needed by all investigators with minimal overhead in terms of time and money by creating three Cores: Phenotyping, Imaging, and High Throughput Cell Analysis. This will automatically enhance each of the individual programs since state-of-the-art methods will instantly become available to members. Access to new methods will undoubtedly spawn new ideas that accompany the experimental data. SDMRC will increase efficiency (since a mechanism is in place to collaborate and share information) and productivity (since studies will be routinely multidisciplinary) that will enable individuals to have a larger impact in their individual research programs than would be possible in isolation.
Skeletal muscle research is necessarily translational since muscle diseases compromise quality of life, mobility, and overall health. Numerous diseases can be primarily or secondarily attributable to muscle problems which include primary myopathies such as the muscular dystrophies and also the secondary effects of muscle disease that lead to fragility, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes and aging. The routine direct access to human muscle tissue in the operating room and in the clinic instantly provides extremely valuable tissue to all Center investigators using animal models of disease and this will insure that the work in this Core maintains clinical relevance since the results from model systems can be calibrated against the actual disease itself.
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