The Core Grant for Vision Research will further the research goals of 17 vision researchers at the University of Minnesota holding 16 NEI-R01 grants by supporting four service modules. The Visual Testing module will assess visual function in rats, mice and other small animals by measuring the electroretinogram, the visual evoked potential, and the optokinetic response. The module will be managed by a visual testing technician who will maintain the test equipment, provide training to Core Grant investigators and staff, and run tests on experimental animals. The Neuroimaging module will assist investigators who study higher order visual function in humans and non-human primates. The module will provide the services of a neuroimaging specialist and (1) software protocols and hardware for visual stimulus presentation to subjects in magnetic resonance scanners, (2) protocols for identifying retinotopically organized visual areas in the brain, (3) assistance and training for acquiring and analyzing EEG data, and (4) equipment for monitoring subjects'direction of gaze and patterns of eye movements during experiments. The Confocal Microscopy module will provide the services of a confocal specialist who will manage two facilities: (1) a confocal facility utilizing an Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope and a Prairie Technologies two-photon microscope, and (2) an image analysis facility. The Histology module will provide a fully equipped histology laboratory and the services of a histologist. Services include, embedding and sectioning of tissue, staining of sections, immunohistochemistry, in situ cell death detection, in situ hybridization, Q-PCR analysis of RNA, nuclease protection assays, RNA extraction, and protein assays. Each module will be directed by an established investigator holding an NEI-R01 grant. The core grant will be administered by an advisory group comprised of the grant PI and the four module directors.
The Core Grant for Vision Research, by providing research facilities and services to NEI-funded investigators at the University of Minnesota, will advance research into such visual disorders as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and strabismus.
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