The focus of this Center is to understand the impacts of early life stress (ELS). In this context, we understand ELS to include adverse early care conditions, deprivation, separation, neglect, and abuse. This Center will attempt to integrate basic developmental behavioral neuroscience models (primate and human) to increase the understanding of the impact of ELS (behavioral &neurobiological), to identify care models that promote recovery, to determine if the capacity for recovery decreases with age, and to approach these problems via preventive intervention researchers in the hope that future interventions can benefit from a more comprehensive knowledge base. The Laboratory Core will provide a common set of state-of-the-art biochemical analyses to support all research projects and other Cores in the Center. The biochemical Assay Core Laboratory is located within the Department of Pathology &Laboratory Medicine, at the Emory University School of Medicine. The purpose of the Assay Core (Core D) is to provide a common set of state-of-the-art biochemical and genetic analyses to Center researchers. The Core laboratory will provide assessments of hypothalamic- pituitary-adrenal axis function and neurotransmitter (central and peripheral) levels for the NIMH Early Experience, Stress and Neurobehavioral Development Center. Accurate measurement of these parameters is imperative to fully characterize each of the animal and human projects of early life stress and its neurobiological consequences being investigated by the Center. Having these determinations performed by a central facility using a common set of assay modalities will provide the unprecedented opportunity to compare these models across species (without introducing the variable of assay incompatibilities). Additionally, having a Core devoted to these analyses will guarantee high quality assay performance, allow for economies-of-scale in the purchase of assay reagents and technician time, and enable Center investigators to more fully concentrate their efforts on the unique aspects of their particular project. This Core will also participate in the cross-training program of the Center in basic neuroscience and developmental neuroendocrinology.

Public Health Relevance

This Core will provide a set of state-of-the-art biochemical analyses to Center researchers, effectively reducing the possibility of assay incompatibilities, guaranteeing high quality assay performance, and improving efficiency. The Core will also participate in the cross-training program of the Center in basic neuroscience and developmental neuroendocrinology.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-L)
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
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