Our ten-year COBRE, """"""""Mentoring Neuroscience in Louisiana"""""""" (P20RR016816, 2002-2012) has been a transformative force that provided growth of neuroscience research in our region. It also allowed to sustain research in spite of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The COBRE provided mentoring and support to launch eight independent research careers. The infrastructure created led to the recruitment of 10 independent scientists. This P30 COBRE Phase III award is focused on critical infrastructure that includes (a) Core support for 19 neuroscience laboratories at LSUHSC, Tulane, Xavier and Nicholls State University;and (b) pilot projects to enable investigators to achieve R01 and similar grant support. Mentoring and Core support are the central themes during the transitional period to attain sustainability of the Cores and further success. The Multiphoton Confocal Microscopy Core allows for characterization of dendritic integration in the hippocampus. In particular, the dual scanner set-up was used to define differently distributed syaptic input, the form of dendritic integration, and action potential output in the apical dendrites of hippocampal CA1 neurons. The Mediator Lipidomics Core was essential in the discovery of neuroprotectin D1 and in beginning to define inflammatory resolution circuits in the brain and other tissues. The Computational Neuroscience Core expands on strengths in simulation and modeling. The Imaging Core assists investigators with state-of-the- art technologies for tissue analysis and cellular and molecular imaging. The Pilot Project Program will identify, support and mentor scientists through one-year pilot projects. These pilot funds are fundamental to our plans for the future sustainability. The Administrative Core will provide mentoring teams and administrative support, implement and expand multidisciplinary enrichment programs, support collaborations, and evaluate and manage the effectiveness of pilot projects. We are confident that with these resources we will make a smooth transition to a sustained, outstanding, trans-institutional Center of Neuroscience Excellence.
This COBRE has led to a remarkable expansion in neuroscience research in the New Orleans region. Through recruiting and development of scientists, this funding mechanism has resulted in exciting discoveries in experimental stroke, active dendritic processing, and Alzheimer's disease. Transition to a P30 Center with four essential neuroscience Core Facilities will help launch additional new careers and facilitate sustained program support from federal agencies.
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