This proposal is for the acquisition of a Dynamic Imaging System at the University of Idaho (UI). This major acquisition is intended to advance research in NIH-funded cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience at the UI by allowing researchers to work with live cells, tissues, and small organisms to observe and document changes as they occur. Our goal is to add technological capacity that supports research on the discovery of specific cell fates within the vertebrate nervous system, the determination of roles of specific cell adhesion molecules in the regulation of neuronal number, the direct observation of the fate of virus-derived proteins in infected neural progenitor cells, and determination of plasmid inheritance in bacteria. The University of Idaho (UI) Department of Biological Sciences has built core strengths in cellular and molecular biology and neuroscience. Further growth of research programs in these core areas is dependent upon the capacity to track, in real time, the activities of live tissues, cells, and subcellular and molecular processes. The Shared Instrumentation Grant will fund a key piece of instrumentation that is not currently accessible in the region, and would fill a critical research need at the UI. Specific components of this instrument include: 1) a Nikon TiEclipse inverted microscope and necessary optical components;2) Andor spinning disk confocal system and cameras;and 3) an offline image and video analysis station and software. This equipment will support the research of four NIH R01-funded major users, and six minor users with NIH and/or other sources of federal support. The NIH sources available to minor users include two Institutional Development Awards (IDeA): an INBRE related to cell signaling;and a COBRE related to rapid evolutionary processes. The Dynamic Imaging System will be housed in the UI's Optical Imaging Core, a fee-for-use facility with ongoing support from the UI's Office of Research and Economic Development. The UI commits funds for infrastructure to ensure the immediate acquisition, maximal usage and continued support of the Dynamic Imaging System. The research programs advanced by this equipment directly align with signature areas of research excellence for UI, which were identified by the UI President for strategic institutional investment. Our detailed technical expertise section and management plan outline a vision for maintenance and use of the instrument beyond the funding period.
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