The broad goal of this proposal is to provide core support services for 26 Participating Investigators and 24 Associate Investigators to: (1) enhance the quality and quantity of their research;(2) facilitate collaborations between investigators with different backgrounds and skills;and (3) recruit new investigators to vision research, help young vision investigators establish their labs, and allow established investigators to explore new directions. Participating Investigators hold P30-qualifying individual research grants from NEI, and Associate Investigators hold individual grants from other sources or are applying for funding. Collectively the investigators represent a broad range of vision research, and include experts on animal models of retinal degeneration, retinal circuitry, gene therapy, cell and molecular biology, molecular genetics, eye, central visual pathways and cortical physiology, visual performance and cortical function in awake-behaving primates, cognitive neuroscience of vision, computational modeling, and visual psychophysics. The core grant will support 5 modules: Biostatistics provides expert assistance in experimental design and data analysis particularly for clinical studies;Image Analysis provides expert support for the development and implementation of image analysis solutions;Instrumentation provides for design and construction of optical and electrophysiological instruments that are unavailable from commercial sources;Noninvasive Assessment of Visual Function provides equipment and technical support for assessing visual function in animal models and humans. Principle methods include ERG, pupillometry, and psychophysics;Shared Imaging Equipment provides vision investigators access to shared equipment for a variety of imaging modalities, including conventional and two-photon confocal microscopy, multi-electrode array recording from in vitro tissue, and confocal SLO combined with spectral OCT imaging of in vivo retina.
This core grant facilitates the research programs of scientists studying vision at the University of Pennsylvania. These scientists conduct research that reveals the mechanisms of healthy vision, characterizes how disease affects these mechanisms, uses the insights gained from the basic research to develop sight-saving and sight-restoring treatments, and conducts clinical trials to evaluate what treatments work well. Because it provides support for the entire research chain, this core grant contributes to public health by helping to reduce vision loss.
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