The Instrument Design and Technical Services Core comprises facilities and personnel for three units: Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Information Technology. These units assure the efficient operation of all scientific programs, facilitate innovative technical solutions, and foster new research initiatives through assistance with design, troubleshooting, maintenance, and product procurements. Dr. Keith Duncan will serve as the Core Director. He will facilitate dialog between Technical Core personnel, other components of the Core Center, and the user base, in order to maximize user satisfaction, assist with prioritization when necessary, and ensure that the resources are available to maintain core efficacy. The Electronic and Mechanical Engineering units will provide innovative design, fabrication, maintenance, and calibration of custom instruments. Personnel are experienced in each stage of project development from conceptualization to design, fabrication, installation, and calibration. Electronic Engineering is capable of analog and digital instrument design within the rather unique context of auditory and vestibular research. Mechanical Engineering is capable of the design, fabrication, maintenance, and repair of micro- and large-scale devices constructed with a large range of materials. Information Technology supports the network infrastructure of the Core Center and user base laboratories, provides data management tools, oversees hardware/software issues particularly as they are applied to custom interfaces and instrumentation, and is responsible for web-based interfaces. The Information Technology unit will inform faculty of new developments in computer and software resources, provide acquisition advice, and facilitate database management of Core Center activities. The Technical Core will enhance research programs by providing innovative technical solutions (Specific Aim 1), improve efficiency by providing on-site maintenance, repair, calibration, and customization (Specific Aim 2), meet current and future user needs by maintaining a familiarity with the science they server (Specific Aim 3), and build bridges among the user base and broader research community to foster technical collaboration (Specific Aim 4).
The purpose of this grant is to enhance and extend the research of multiple investigators towards increasing the understanding of disorders of hearing, balance, taste and smell and developing the ability to prevent and treat these disorders. It will also provide mechanisms to encourage and increase collaborations among its research base, bring new researchers into the field as well as educate the user base on new methods and approaches.
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