The goals of this proposal are to create, manage and maintain core facilities that will provide technical support, equipment access and personnel training for supported modules. We will establish two core modules including Live Animal Imaging and Functional Analysis, and Cellular Imaging and Morphometric Analysis Modules. These modules will be housed in convenient central locations, each containing state-of-the-art resources operated by highly qualified and well trained technicians that are supervised by junior faculty level Systems Managers and experienced senior vision researchers. The availability of multiple types of advanced equipment, sophisticated software, and "hands on" training will dramatically increase the quality and quantity of research achievements by the users of our Vision Core Grant facilities. Successful operation of these core facilities will: 1) increase opportunities for rigorous translational research using clinically relevant and non-invasive imaging procedures, 2) generate more collaborative projects that require multiple areas of expertise, 3) increase and enhance productivity of existing research projects thereby allowing participating investigators to remain competitive for funding, 4) promote recruitment of additional faculty, including two clinician scientists whom we are currently interviewing and 5) support the development of new research strategies based on the acquisition of data from the use of equipment previously unavailable to the PI's.
The proposed core modules will create state-of-the-art facilities for clinically relevant analysis of ocular structure and visual function. Our proposal fulfills the mission of NEl P30 funding because it will support the research of 18 health-related NEI-funded ROl grants held by 14 talented investigators. The proposed core modules are anticipated to increase productivity of current investigators, facilitate recruitment of new investigators, and stimulate the development of collaborative translational research projects.
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