This application seeks five years of continued support for an NEI Core Grant that has facilitated the research efforts of vision scientists at the University of California Davis for the past 15 years. The goal is to enhance vision science by providing cost-efficient, stable, and shared resources that are not generally available to individual laboratories. It will enhance collaborations and translational research among a large group of 35 funded vision scientists at UC Davis holding 18 Core-eligible NEI ROI grants. It will also facilitate collection of preliminary data for new grant applications by funded and yet-to-be-funded UC Davis laboratories, and sharing of resources developed for UC Davis with the vision science community outside of our institution. Building on our strengths and new directions in the field, we have redesigned the currently funded cores to better serve the needs of our NEI investigators. The proposed cores are: (i) Software Engineering, (ii) Instrumentation, (iii) Molecular Construct and Packaging, (iv) Tissue Structure and Function, and (v) Small Animal Ocular Imaging. Each core director has one or more NEI ROI grants, and is supported by talented and skilled technical staff. These five cores provide custom facilities and personnel that serve the needs of our NEI investigators and their trainees. The administrative structure includes an Advisory Committee comprised of the principal investigator and the core directors, along with regular input from all vision scientists on campus, and a distinguished group of external advisors. Priorities for use of core facilities have been carefully honed and made available to all investigators. The administration of UC Davis has been, and continues to be, exceptionally supportive of vision research on our campus: This is demonstrated by a substantial increase in the number of vision scientists recruited to our campus and a commensurate increase in NEI-funded grants. This is further buttressed by internal funding of $400,000 as a supplement to this grant, the planned recruitment of new faculty in vision science, and funding for the Center for Visual Sciences, which provides a means for unifying our community of vision researchers, and fostering collaborations with an accomplished cohort of biologists on campus and vision scientists at other institutions.
This Core grant provides shared facilities for an energetic and productive cohort of scientists at the University of California Davis who seek to understand structure and function of the visual system in health and disease. It provides an environment that facilitates collaboration across vision science disciplines and clinical vision science.
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