The primary expertise of Monell investigators ranges broadly: analytical chemistry and chemical ecology (Drs. Kimball, Smith, and Prefi), biochemistry and biophysics (Drs. Brand and Margolskee), molecular and cellular biology (Drs. Huang, Margolskee, and Wang), genetics and neuroscience (Drs. Bachmanov, Beauchamp, Gelperin, Lowe, Reed, Reisert, Tordoff, and Yamazki), endocrinology and physiology (Drs. Friedman, Margolskee, Teff, Wysocki, and Zhao), psychophysics (Drs. Breslin, Dalton, Lundstrom, Mennella, Pelchat, and Wise), and clinical research (Drs. Cowart and Teff). Many of these laboratories lack primary expertise in molecular biology but still wish to utilize molecular biological techniques in their research. Hiring molecularly skilled technical staff or postdocs can address these needs, but given the multiple techniques brought to bear on many problems in the chemical senses, it is not practical to hire individual lab members to address each needed technique. Also, it would be quite costly to contract out all the molecular biological steps needed to generate a model organism. A more common solution at Monell is to enter into collaborations with colleagues that have molecular biology expertise. Indeed, collaborations are very common at Monell, and given the Center's focus on chemical senses, mutual interest is frequent. However, often the efforts of our molecular biologists are already fully committed to other projects. Thus, having a Molecular Biology Core to provide these specialized services on an as-needed basis and to train staff in such techniques will address ongoing needs in many of our laboratories. This Core will provide a central resource of experience in multiple molecular biological techniques that would be inefficient to replicate in each individual laboratory, especially those for which molecular biology is not a primary focus. In addition, centralized purchasing of the reagents and equipment needed for molecular biology is more cost-effective than multiple independent purchases by several labs. Given the costly and exacting nature of work with transgenic and knockout mice, it is important that the steps to generate engineered model organisms be done accurately and efficiently. This Core will enable PIs with no prior knowledge or expertise in molecular biology to produce genetically modified animal models and cell lines with expert assistance in reasonable time and for a reasonable cost. Of the 26 current Faculty research groups at Monell, 22 (85%) will benefit from the molecular approaches provided by this Core. Of the 13 R01 grants in our Research Base, 10 (77%)) will use the molecular approaches and services the Core will provide. The availability of Core services extends the capabilities of the participating laboratories beyond the nidus of each laboratory's own capabilities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Monell Chemical Senses Center
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