Support is requested to integrate the basic research expertise in the chemical senses at the University of Florida (UF) and Florida State University (FSU) by creating the UF/FSU Chemosensory Research Core Center;the first such center in the Southeast. The proposal creates an administrative Core and two research Cores, one in Engineering and one in Genetics, to provide 'value added'to the mostly NIDCD-funded chemical senses research at the two institutions. The research base consists of six qualifying and eight supporting chemosensory investigators, together with three other auditory investigators who will also benefit from the research Cores. Two related research themes unite the research base, chemosensory processing controlling ingestive behavior and the detection and processing of olfactory input. Two scientific leaders in the field who have a proven history of working effectively together anchor the initiative at the respective institutions. Interaction is facilitated by establishing office space at each institution for use by scientists from the other institution, by establishing dedicated videoconferencing facilities at each institution, and by using UF's NIDCD-supported secure data sharing network. The conceptual framework of the Core Center closely aligns it with that of the UF Center for Smell and Taste's NIDCD-supported Chemosensory Clinical Research Program, which focuses on studying the functional role of chemosensory systems in ingestive behavior and its impact on human health.
The special opportunity to work in concert with the Chemosensory Clinical Research Program will allow investigators in the Core Center to more effectively address critically important health issues associated with the regulation of food intake, including diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and colon cancer.