The Salk Institute for Biological Studies requests support for a new Core Grant for Vision Research. Vision research at the Salk Institute has grown considerably over the past two decades and the vision core faculty now includes 15 research laboratories, 10 currently funded through 13 R01 grant awards from the National Eye Institute. These vision science investigators come from several different Salk Institute departments, including the Vision Center, Computational Neurobiology, Molecular Neurobiology, Regulatory Biology and Systems Neurobiology Laboratories, and the Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience. Vision research at the Salk Institute covers broad areas of interest, including visual system development and plasticity, understanding the mechanisms of the neural processing of visual stimuli, visual perception and their link to behaviors, and pathology. The NEI P30 Core Grant will enable the establishment of four Modules that are critical in support of these efforts: 1) Molecular Biology and Virology Module, 2) Non-Human Primate Facility Module, 3) Machine Shop Module, and 4) Advanced Computing Module. Each of the modules will have significant use by at least seven core investigators, with the Machine Shop and Advanced Computing Modules supporting all members of the core. NEI support for the Salk Vision Core will help to foster new interdisciplinary collaborations, supporting and enhancing the significant synergies that exist between these research efforts and providing the basis for the development of new projects and research programs. Core support will also provide significant leverage for the Salk Institute to stimulate outside philanthropy and to recruit trainees and other new investigators, further expanding vision research at the Salk Institute and advancing the mission of the National Eye Institute.
Understanding the mechanisms by which visual inputs are processed from the retina to the brain and lead to changes in behavior as organisms interact with their environment provides a model system for understanding the central nervous system. Center programs include study of clinical disorders of visual perception such as Williams Syndrome and projects to develop prosthetics restoring vision to the blind.
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