The Molecular Informatics Core will be a state-of-the-art facility that will support all of the biostatistical and bioinformatics needs of the NIDA P30 Center for Molecular and Epigenetic Research of Cell Types Mediating Addictive Behaviors. This Core will be organized into two components. The first component will create an annotated high-resolution image database of all of the new transgenic strains generated by the BAC Recombineering and Transgenic Targeting Core and will include 256 unanalyzed Cre driver lines generated by the GENSAT project. This database will provide a web-based section-by-section description of cell types labeled in each new transgenic line and their axonal projections based on software written for the GENSAT project. Annotations will be done by an expert neuroanatomist that worked with the GENSAT project for eight years. This will provide a valuable resource for NIDA investigators to identify novel cell types and transgenic tools available in order to expand their individual research programs. Second, the Molecular Informatics Core will provide comprehensive statistical and bioinformatics support to all NIDA Center investigators for the analysis of all molecular profiling and epigenetic data. This includes genomic alignment of sequencing reads, determination of significantly expressed or altered genes/genomic locations, and an extensive selection of data mining tools to extract meaningful biological information from these large data sets. A full-time research support specialist, with an advanced degree in biostatistics/bioinformatics, will provide expertise, consultation, and training for all applications supported in this core. Users will also have access to high performance computer workstations with licenses for software needed for data analysis and a high capacity server for data storage. The Molecular Informatics Core will provide an innovative facility crucial for navigating, correlating, and interpreting anatomical and profiling information.
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