This is a proposal for an NINDS Institutional Center Core, the Informatics Center for Neurogenetics and Neurogenomics (ICNN) at UCLA. As with other areas of biomedical science, the post-genome era raises the prospect of transformational advances in neuroscience research. Neuroscience faces special challenges, however, in analysis, interpretation, and management of the vast quantities of information generated by genetic and genomic technologies. The phenotypic and organizational complexity of the nervous system calls for distinct analytical and informatics strategies and expertise. The ICNN will provide advanced analysis and informatics support to a highly interactive user group consisting of neuroscientists at UCLA, who are conducting basic, clinical, and translational research. These investigators have access to excellent facilities for genetics and genomics experimentation;the lack of corresponding resources in analysis and informatics constitutes a bottleneck in their research. ICNN faculty experts in statistical genetics, gene expression analysis, and bioinformatics will oversee the activities of highly-trained staff members who will accomplish three goals: 1) Providing expert consultation and analyses for neurogenetics and neurogenomics projects;2) Developing and maintaining a shared computing resource that will include a computational cluster for computation-intensive analyses, web-servers and state of the art software tools for a wide range of applications (including user-friendly versions of public databases, as well as workstations on which ICNN users will be trained to employ these tools;3) Providing hands-on training in analysis and informatics to the users.
Scientists are increasingly focusing their efforts to understand and devise better treatments for brain diseases on investigations of the whole genomes of humans and other mammals. The vast amounts of data generated through these studies are overwhelming the capacity of individual laboratories to conduct optimal analyses and adequately manage information. The Informatics Center for Neurogenetics and Neurogenomics at UCLA will provide a shared resource for sophisticated data analyses and computing facilities for a group of investigators who are using genetics and genome science in studies of a wide range of devastating brain diseases.
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