The objective of this application is to provide established NEI-funded researchers with additional, shared support to enhance their individual research capabilities. A further goal is to enhance the research capability of Washington University by fostering collaborative studies and attracting scientists new to vision research. These objectives will be achieved by operating four research/service cores, which will provide the following services. 1. A Morphology and Imaging Core will provide technical support in the preparation of ocular tissues for analysis by light or electron microscopy. The core also provides in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry and laser micro-dissection. Core investigators have unlimited access to confocal and multiphoton microscopes. For in vivo imaging/measurements, a fluorotron, fluorescence macroscope, and small animal Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) system are available. 2. A Visual Function Testing Core will provide expertise, instrumentation, and training on technologies used to quantify visual performance in mice and other model systems. ERG, VEP and optometry analysis are supported. This core also includes technical support for the fabrication, diagnosis and repair of electronic equipment. 3. A Biostatistics Core will provide statistical and methodological expertise in study design and assure the validity of statistical analyses and reported results. This core will also assist in the training of residents and clinicians in areas of clinical research methodology. 4. A Molecular Genetics Core will provide customized services for the production of transgenic and knockout mice using Crispr/Cas9 technology. Supported services also include assistance with design and preparation of constructs for gene targeting, preparation of DNA clones and probes, design of polymerase chain reaction components, microinjection services (IVF), and sperm/embryo cryopreservation. Provision of these support services and resources will greatly enhance the research capabilities of investigators at Washington University and will facilitate collaboration among new and established vision scientists.
Washington University supports a large and diverse group of vision scientists who, collectively, make a substantial contribution to the diagnosis and treatment of blinding eye disease. The provision of shared resources and technical support made possible through the Center Core allows investigators to make far more rapid scientific progress than otherwise be possible.
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