This application requests renewal of a Core Grant to support 25 vision research investigators with 15 qualifying NEI R01 grants, 2 NEI R21 grants, 1 U10 grant, 1 NEI-funded Research Development Center grant (PN1) and 2 NEI-funded training (T32) grants at Baylor College of Medicine. In this competing renewal application, we report our highly successful and productive past usage of the Core facilities (with a large number of publications benefitting from the Core Modules and high level of collaborations among Core members), and seek continued support for three modules based on the current needs and emerging demand for cutting-edge technology of the vision research community. The proposed Modules are Microscopy, Digital Imaging &Histology;Machine Shop;and Small Animal Visual System Analysis.
The aim of the proposal is to provide support and facilities, essential for progress on NEI-funded projects, net available among the departments and which cannot be obtained through individual research grants.
The specific aims of the application are (1) Te provide a state-of-the-art scanning confocal microscope for high resolution three-dimensional imaging and an advanced transmission electron microscope for ultrastructural analysis of ocular and neural tissues, and molecular imaging. (2) To provide facilities and services to process digital images obtained from confocal, conventional light and electron microscopes;histological facilities, and services and training for both light and electron microscopy. (3) To provide in-house machine shop services to the Vision Core investigators who need special apparatus not commercially available. (4) To design and fabricate high-precision devices for vision Core laboratories with the new state-of-the-art 5-axes machine. (5) To provide facilities not available in individual laboratories for characterizing animal models (mice rats and rabbits) of ocular disease. These include instruments for biochemical analysis of proteins and small molecules, and functional analysis of vision using electroretinography (ERG) and opto-metor reflex assays (6) To foster collaborations among vision researcher groups at Baylor through sharing of common facilities. (7) To provide a supportive environment to attract and retain outstanding vision research faculty, students and postdoctoral fellows;and facilitate new vision research projects.
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