The most compelling features of daily life include the ability to navigate through our environment and to communicate with each other. These functions are fundamental to survival, but are also among the first to encounter trouble in the diseased or aging nervous system. The University of Rochester holds a set of NIH-supported research programs dedicated to the sensory, motor, integrative, and cellular mechanisms underlying navigation and communication. Research ranges from molecular and genetic approaches to cellular neurophysiology in awake animals to human perception, and includes strong translational and clinical elements. These characteristics provide a compelling framework for our P-30, Center for Navigation and Communication Sciences (CNCS). New this past grant period, the CNCS is now operating at a steady-state that exceeds all expectations, largely due to committed leadership matched by a dedicated and engaged faculty and staff, cooperative and shared Core services, a strong advisory and quality assurance process, and an infrastructure and community that has proven attractive to new collaborations and new investigators. The CNCS allows investigators to efficiently share costly, time-consuming, essential but cumbersome, and innovative research services. The CNCS includes three Cores: 1) a Human Subjects Core to consolidate and coordinate the recruitment, screening, scheduling, and databasing of subjects across projects;2) a Research Services Core that includes a Histology &Imaging Unit (tissue preparation, image analysis &reconstruction), an Electronic/Mechanical Shop (repair and construction of lab components and devices), an Animal Research Unit (mutant and knockout preparations, husbandry and screening), and a Proteomics Unit (specialized protein analysis);and 3) a Technology and Computation Core, including a Lab Technology Unit (automated lab systems for stimulus and behavioral control, data and analysis) and a Computation Unit to support PC and network operations, software library, web support, and staff training. Some service Units share support with the Department of Neurobiology &Anatomy, the Center for Visual Science (an NEI-P30), and two program projects (an NIA-P01 and an NINDS-P01). The CNCS exploits our inherently collegiate ecology and augments our lab capabilities through outstanding Core personnel and facilities in dedicated space. All Cores and Units operate efficiently and balance the combined goals of providing both needed though sometimes-mundane services as well as novel and innovative solutions that transform into tomorrow's capabilities. This ensures high-quality, efficient, and diverse services to all, in a robust infrastructure that enriches the productivity of our research, promotes collaborations among investigators, attracts new faculty and students to our research mission, facilitates further institutional support, and ultimately contributes to the health of the community and the nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDC1-SRB-L (42))
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Platt, Christopher
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University of Rochester
Schools of Dentistry
United States
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