This is the application for competing renewal of P30 DC005211, """"""""Sensory Mechanisms Research Core"""""""" to provide shared services to a group of NIDCD-funded laboratories. The proposal includes an Administrative Shell, Engineering and Histology Cores. These Research Cores will enable more efficient utilization of common services, as well as access to specialized expertise. The Engineering Core includes a senior programmer and electronics technician, central data servers, auditory phenotyping facility, design of advanced acoustic stimuli and analyses, and a large-format poster printer. The Histology Core offers support and training in tissue preparation for standard light microscopy and immunofluorescence. In addition the Histology Core supports a senior EM microscopist, ultramicrotomy and EM access, as well as trained histologists to guide confocal imaging. The Histology Core will incorporate a confocal microscope into the shared facilities. Together the Engineering and Histology Cores, organized through the Administrative Shell, further strengthen the Center for Hearing and Balance, and now the Center for Sensory Biology which includes NIDCD-funded laboratories studying chemical senses at Johns Hopkins.
The Center for Hearing and Balance, and the Center for Sensory Biology (including chemical senses) at Johns Hopkins together incorporate nearly all the NIDCD-funded research laboratories. Thus this P30 is highly relevant to the scientific goals of studying deafness and other communication disorders. These research Centers are closely allied with clinical investigators in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Neurology. Core B Engineering Core Director: Eric Young, Ph.D. Co-Director: Bradford May, Ph.D. DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): A rate-limiting step for many studies of the nervous system is obtaining and effectively using the sophisticated technical hardware and analytical methods needed for innovative research. These constraints apply as well to studies of neural signal processing in the brain as they do to studies of disordered processing in animal models of hearing or balance deficits. Even if hardware/software systems are available for planned experiments, they inevitably require modification for special purposes or integration with other systems in the laboratory. This Engineering Core aims to solve these electronics and computer problems by providing computer programming and electronics expertise to researchers in the Center for Hearing and Balance. The cumulative expertise of our staff makes it possible for our research faculty to focus on experiments and not technology development and allows rapid progress in the use of new technologies. During the past five years this core has developed new behavioral interfaces, new telemetric recording equipment for use in awake and unrestrained animals, and new software for on-line optimization of neuron models. We have adapted multi-single unit recording techniques for our uses and have provided support for routine problems of technology usage.
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