This proposal requests funds to establish a Whole Slide Imaging (WSI) facility for NIH-funded translational neuroscience research at Washington University. Whole slide imaging rapidly captures the entire content of glass histology slides into large digital files which can be archived, analyzed, and shared electronically. The proposed system includes a commercial scanner (Olympus NanoZoomer) capable of high-throughput, submicron microscopic image acquisition of up to 210 slides in brightfield or fluorescence modes, together with integrated hardware and software for data storage, image analysis, and on-line distribution. The facility will directly support the work of 10 major users representing 7 departments, working on animal models of disease as diverse as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, CNS infections, brain tumors, neurotrauma, prion diseases, and peripheral nerve injury. The investigators are funded by 19 NIH grants including a P30 Center grant, two Program Projects grants, and several training grants. If funded, this will be the only WSI facility for research at Washington University. While 80% of system time is expected to be taken by major users, remaining resources will be made available to other researchers at WU and elsewhere, according to priorities established by a facility advisory committee. Since the whole slide imaging system is capable of unattended acquisition for certain slide types, we anticipate operation for as much as 100 hours per week. The proposed system will be acquired by the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders, an interdepartmental research unit administered within the Department of Neurology. The Hope Center will commit financial support for renovation, service contracts, and personnel in Year I and will provide support for ongoing facility expenses thereafter. Installation within an established microscopy core facility will assist in user training, protocol development, scheduling, data analysis and dissemination. An experienced technician will train and assist users, and data management support will be provided by an Information Services group. Image files will be automatically transferred to a secure storage array, from which they can be accessed for quantitative analysis, atlas formation, or web navigation as either public or password-protected content. Strong expertise in image analysis and online atlas management will be provided by co-investigators David Van Essen (Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology) and Tao Ju (Department of Computer Science and Engineering). The combined technical expertise and WSI capability will enable the creation and open sharing of novel high-resolution atlases of mouse brain disease models. Relevance to Public Health: Whole-slide imaging (WSI) provides rapid digital capture of entire microscope slides. This will support research in brain diseases by speeding assessment of therapeutic effects in animal disease models, assisting research collaboration, and allowing scientist to archive and share results. Data sharing provides great dividends by facilitating comparisons between disease models, and allowing new research findings on existing data without having to perform additional animal experiments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Biomedical Research Support Shared Instrumentation Grants (S10)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IMST-A (30))
Program Officer
Levy, Abraham
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Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
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