The proposed Rocky Mountain Taste and Smell Center (RMTSC) will encompass seventeen principal investigators including scientists with a substantial record of accomplishment in the field of chemical senses as well as investigators with expertise in other areas of neurobiology. The overall goal of the RMTSC is to facilitate research in the chemical senses by providing communal resources and by bringing together productive investigators into a supportive, interactive environment. Three interrelated specific aims are delineated: 1. Provide a focal point for increased interactions among participating investigators 2. Enhance the research capabilities and infrastructure supporting the individual laboratories 3. Facilitate entr?e of promising investigators into the study of chemical senses In order to accomplish these goals, three Core service areas are proposed. Core A (Gene- Targeted/Transgenic Mouse Core;L. Barlow, Director) will develop and maintain transgenic/gene-targeted mice. Core B (Cellular Visualization and Analysis Core;T. Finger, Director) will provide advanced neurohistology, cellular visualization services and will develop quantitative approaches for the rigorous analysis of 3-dimensional image data sets. Core C (Electrophysiological and Behavioral Assessments, S. Kinnamon and D. Restrepo, Co-Directors) will provide behavioral and electrophysiological assay services. These cores provide services not currently supported or available through the aegis of other grants and will thereby enhance the research capabilities of the participating investigators.
The RMTSC facilitates research in the chemical senses in the Rocky Mountain Region. The chemical senses include taste, smell and chemisthesis (the detection of irritants in air). Loss of chemical senses is important in several diseases. For example, loss of the ability to smell is highly correlated with clinical depression leading to suicide, and treatment of head and neck cancer with radiation leads to a loss of the sense of taste. The RMTSC provides facilities to further research of the chemical senses in health and disease.
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