This Neuroscience Center Core Facility, directed by Drs. Xandra Breakefield and Bakhos Tannous will be an institutionally unique resource which will bring our neuroscience faculty together and enhance their research on neurologic disorders through powerful, synergistic new technologies. The three new proposed cores are truly state-of-the-art. The Imaging Core (directed by Drs. Brad Hyman and Marian DiFiglia) will include array tomography, transmission electron microscopy and in vivo multiphoton imaging of detailed brain structure. The Microfluidics Core (directed by Drs. Daniel Irimia and Mehmet Toner) will provide specialized microfluidic devices and expertise in analysis for separation of cells and cell organelles, and high precision, real-time imaging of cell migration and axon guidance. The Vector Core (directed by Drs. Bakhos Tannous and Xandra Breakefield) will generate a variety of viral vectors for all projects and continue to expand its repertoire with advances in this field now including 10 serotypes of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors and coat-deficient rabies virus. The administration organization overseeing this program will include the P30 Director/Co-Director and Core Directors/Co-Directors to monitor ongoing activities and to interface with users; a Steering Committee to review operating procedures and activity reports on an annual basis, and to advise on prioritization issues and core effectiveness; an Advisory Board to offer advice on technology updates and management issues; and an Administrative Core which will logistically support the program with a dedicated senior grants manager All these services will be offered free-of-charge to the NINDS-funded neuroscience investigators at our institution and will serve to create a very dynamic, interactive environment where ideas become reality. This group of neuroscience investigators includes international leaders in the field, as well as junior and mid-level investigators for whom research on neurologic disorders is the main focus of their work and who have made many major contributions in the field. Our research covers a broad range of neurologic disorders due to stroke, injury, brain tumors and seizures, as well as neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and pediatric disorders, such as early onset dystonia, familial dysautonomia, hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy and adrenoleukodystrophy. Our vision for this PSO Core Facility is to achieve a deeper level of understanding of disease pathogenesis and to discover means of alleviation by providing technologies which can achieve high resolution of brain structure.

Public Health Relevance

Our program will support basic and translational research on a large number of neurologic disorders which have devastating on humans. The availability of the proposed high resolution technologies will be critical in elucidating the molecular and cellula etiologies of these disorders. In a hospital setting we are well positioned to translate our findins into improved diagnosis and therapy, and have a strong track record in improving patient care in neurologic disorders through research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1)
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Stewart, Randall R
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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