Stanford Neuroscience Cores for Behavior, Microscopy, and Gene Vectors Today our ability to study how the nervous system evolves during development, aging, learning, life experiences, or during disease progression is fundamentally dependent on our ability to make genetic constructs and viral products for genetic manipulation, and carry out functional validation in the whole animal, tissue slices or neuronal cells followed by post mortem and in-life imaging. The Stanford Neurosciences Cores for Gene Vectors, Behavior, and Microscopy were created in 2008-2010 to develop and centralize the underlying techniques that are fundamental to the research of the vast majority of Stanford University's neuroscience community. Towards this end, our interdisciplinary community of scholars deliberated on what would best aid them in achieving the Stanford Neurosciences Institute's (SNI) ultimate mission of using discovery to revolutionize our understanding of brain function. Careful assessment of the community's needs highlighted the necessity of a trio of state-of-the-art research cores that would be strategically equipped with resources that would provide critical support to the widest range of research projects. These cores would provide services and techniques that would not otherwise be attainable to each individual researcher, and the cores would be headed by knowledgeable leaders who operate at the frontiers of their respective specialty and are eager to provide guidance and consultation to their peers. From these efforts were born the Gene Vector and Virus Core (GVVC), the Neuroscience Microscopy Services (NMS), and the Behavioral and Functional Neuroscience Laboratory (BFNL). Invaluable support from Stanford University and the NINDS helped to make this creation a success. So far, nearly 200 Stanford laboratories and at least 75 publications have been supported by these cores, demonstrating that they have become an integral part of the neuroscience research effort at Stanford. The majority of the core users are NIH-funded neuroscience labs. In line with our mission, it has remained a central concern to support NINDS-funded projects. During the last 4 years the cores supported 23 NINDS investigators and 71 NIH investigators, holding grants from various NIH institutes and centers. The unique capabilities of these cores are not only a resource for users on our campus, but have also supported many users from different institutions regionally, nationally, and internationally. These external institutions include but are not limited to UC Berkeley, UCSF, the Gladstone Institute, UCSD, Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas (Austin, El Paso), and MIT. We are already an established national resource and considering the pace of our growth, we expect our cores to become a significant resource for all NINDS-funded researchers in need of viral constructs and neurobehavioral and imaging services. Under the proposed grant we will continue to provide the most up-to date and cutting edge services in each of the three domains. We will also expand our services as we are moving forward. GVVC will be setting up production of canine adenovirus type-2 (CAV-2) and aims to provide larger scale AAV production using double CsCl gradients. NMS will continue with all of its microscopy and image analysis services, including efforts to expand the use of its super-resolution microscope and two photon microscopes. NMS also plans to replace an aging confocal microscope, and aims to expand services when the move to the new SNI research center makes more space available. SBFNL will allocate additional resources to address more actively some of the rising concerns in the field about the predictive value and inherent limitations of animal models in drug discovery and also innovate and expand upon its automated testing capabilities. All of these advances will be shared with the neuroscience community via our newly improved resource sharing websites. The Stanford Neuroscience Cores provide much-needed infrastructure at Stanford, and they have also supported researchers from across the country. Their activities, as demonstrated by the number of investigators and publications supported, have clearly made significant contributions to the NINDS mission to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system, and to reduce the burden of neurological disease. Strong support from both NINDS and Stanford's Neuroscience Institute has been essential to the success of these cores. With continued support we will build on this success.
For Stanford Neuroscience Cores for Behavior, Microscopy, and Gene Vectors Today our ability to study how the nervous system evolves during development, aging, learning, life experiences, or during disease progression is fundamentally dependent on our ability to make genetic constructs and viral products for genetic manipulation, and to carry out functional and behavioral validation in the whole animal, tissue slices or neuronal cells followed by post mortem and in-life imaging. The Stanford Neurosciences Cores for Gene Vectors (GVVC), Behavior (BFNL), and Microscopy (NMS) were created to meet these needs and to centralize these fundamental tools and techniques that are essential for the research of the vast majority of the neuroscience community.
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