In this Phase III COBRE we will continue to develop the thematic focus: Smooth Muscle Plasticity, by continuing and enhancing Core laboratory services developed during COBRE Phases l&ll. Smooth muscles are complex tissues containing multiple cell types. Treating these muscles as homogenous tissues has been a common way to evaluate gene expression and the changes that occur in gene expression in conditions such as development and aging, diabetes, remodeling, responses to inflammation, etc. The smooth muscle biology group at the University of Nevada has pioneered techniques to sort the cellular components of smooth muscle tissues using cell-specific reporters and surface antigens and then to perform genome wide evaluations of cell-specific transcriptomes. Highly prominent genes in specific cell types are being evaluated with the Fluidigm Biomark HD technology to determine cell-by-cell quantitative changes in gene expression as smooth muscle tissues are altered in development or disease states. Transciptional analysis is also accompanied by evaluation of which transcripts are actively translated using Ribosome profiling techniques. We are also creating cell lines in which specific genes are up or down regulated. Services to the thematic focus of the COBRE will be provided by Core B (FACS/flow cytometry Shared Resource Lab) and Core C (Single Cell Molecular Expression). Detailed plans are provided to enhance the user base for these Cores throughout the University and to create long-lasting sustainable Core facilities for the research community in the State. The Phase III will be supplement by a Pilot Grant Program that is designed to increase usage of the Cores by several more projects within the University. Pilot Grants will be awarded to qualified investigators to obtain pilot data using Core technologies such that utilization of the Cores will enhance the strength of grant proposals and increase Core usage when new grants are funded. The Phase III is lead by an Administrative Core (Core A) which provides leadership via the Principal Investigator and Program Coordinator, quality control via an Internal Steering Committee, and annual evaluation through an Assessment Coordinator and an External Advisory Committee.
This center of biomedical research excellence (COBRE) is investigating the cells that generate contractile behaviors in smooth muscle tissues. We are isolated cellular components and studying how gene expression changes in development and disease states. The COBRE provides Core laboratories and pilot projects to allow cutting-edge technologies to be applied to smooth muscle research projects at UNR.
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