Research Plan The University of California at Davis provides a n environment that fosters multidisciplinary research excellence to address fundamental questions on the NEI health and science agendas. UC Davis annually trains the largest number of biological science PhD's in the nation, and is home to one of the nation's fastest growing medical schools, top ranked School of Veterinary Medicine and long recognized College of Biological Sciences. Our campus is geographically the largest of the ten campuses of the UC system, and the National Science Foundation ranks Davis as first among the UCs for funding in the biological sciences. UC Davis is also ranked 6* among all U.S. universities for contributions to society {Washington Monthly, 2010), 4* among U.S. universities in number of international scholars {Open Doors 2008 Report on International Educational Exchange) and is the 17* most racially and ethnically diverse large research university {U.S. News and World Report, 2009). Total enrollment is over 24,750 undergraduates and ~7,553 graduate and professional students, the third largest in the UC System. Partly because of space limitations at most other UC campuses, the Davis campus has been targeted for continued growth. Vision science has been, and is expected to continue to be, a major beneficiary of this growth. This proposal seeks continued funding for the NEI Core grant at UC Davis. Since it was initially funded in 1998, this Core grant has played a critical role in the growth of vision research on our campus, and we anticipate that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Vision science at UC Davis now includes 35 investigators, across 14 departments, each with extensive individual facilities, extramural support, and research programs which collectively cover a broad range of areas including genetics, molecular biology, optics, retinal anatomy and physiology, central mechanism physiology and behavior, computational modeling, and perception. UC Davis has a long history of support for integration across disciplines that is facilitated by large-scale resources for basic and translational research that are available to our vision scientists. Selected examples follow: (1) The Mouse Biology Program makes nearly 200 genetically altered mice strains and more than 5,000 embryonic-stem cell derived knockout strains. Several of our Core investigators (Burns, Glaser, Cheng) use mice from this program. (2) The California National Primate Research Center is one of the largest of the eight NIH-funded regional facilities, housing more than 6,000 nonhuman primates. It supports the research of two Core investigators studying visual cortex (Britten, Usrey). (3) The Center f o r Neuroscience provides laboratory space for 25 faculty members and has made vision science a priority. It houses several Core investigators (Britten, Cheng, Krubitzer, Usrey) and provides dedicated space for the Software Engineering Core. It includes three buildings (55,000 ft 2) containing offices, vivaria and labs for the study of awake behaving monkeys, as well as a newly installed 3T Skyra MRI scanner configured for structural and functional imaging studies of human and non-human primates. (4) The Center for Mind and Brain is a university initiative providing more than 30,000 ft 2 of custom-designed facilities dedicated to investigations of higher-level perception and cognition. One member of this Center (Oakes) has a Core-eligible R01, while two other vision scientists in this Center are supported by NSF and NIMH. (5) The Departments of Ophthalmology in the School of Medicine (SOM) and the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) devote considerable resources for vision research. Ophthalmology in the SOM serves as the primary research site for 26 faculty. Administrative support is provided for this Core grant in space adjacent to the Pi's office and laboratories (~2,500 ft 2). Ophthalmology in the SVM has the largest collection of board-certified ophthalmologists in the nation, and includes four faculty, and one NEI KO-8 funded DVM-PhD. Recently renovated research space (~2,400 ft2) contains multiple examination and procedures rooms, and provides shared support for optical and retinal phenotyping of a range of animal species. It is shared with vision scientists outside the SVM. (6) The Clinical and Translational Science Center is one of 12 founding NIH Clinical and Translational Science Centers nationwide that were awarded in 2006. It is housed in a specially renovated, 16,000 ft 2 facility to support collaborations between basic and applied vision scientists. It has supported several projects by clinical vision scientists at UC Davis (Keltner, Lim, Park). (7) The California Institute for Regenerative Cures serves as a hub for basic, translational, and clinical regenerative medicine and includes the UC Davis Stem Cell Program that provides scale-up services for clinical cellular therapy trials to be performed in the Good Manufacturing Practice facility, the only one in Northern California. This facility houses the laboratory of a recently hired NEI Core researcher (Zhao). These resources make UC Davis uniquely poised for continued excellence in the basic sciences and growth in translational research in the vision sciences. The cores proposed here will facilitate this growth.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
Project Start
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University of California Davis
United States
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