The University of North Carolina Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (IDDRC) is an interdisciplinary program with the overarching goal of supporting and promoting research relevant to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders. The UNC IDDRC is a critical component of the new Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD), which is the focal point for clinical services, research, and training relevant to intellectual and developmenta disabilities (IDDs) on the UNC campus. The UNC IDDRC currently supports 39 investigators from 16 University departments, and includes 67 externally-funded research projects. The broad-based research program of this IDDRC is integrated around 3 themes: (1) Autism and Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders;(2) Brain and Behavior Development;and, (3) Early Detection/Intervention. The UNC IDDRC is a highly collaborative program highlighted by the presence of several NIH-funded, interdisciplinary research centers/programs. This application seeks support for: (1) an Administrative Core;(2) three research cores - a Clinical Translational Core, which includes the Research Participant Registry and Brain Measurement Laboratory;a Preclinical Core, which includes the Mouse Behavioral Phenotyping, Brain Imaging Analysis, and Confocal/Multiphoton Microscopy Labs;and the Bioinformatics/Biostatistics Core;and (3) a preclinical/clinical research project entitled "Neural Circuit Regulation of Social Reward Motivation" potentially providing important new information related to novel therapeutic targets for normalizing social behavior in individuals with ASD. The three proposed research cores provide cutting-edge, high-quality and cost effective support for this integrated, multidisciplinar, translational program of IDD-relevant research. Overall, this Center has had a major impact on developmental disabilities research and scientific training at the University of North Carolina, and renewal would allow us to continue our support of the truly exceptional program of IDD research conducted at UNC.
The proposed Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center will support research cores that provide critical resources to 39 established investigators and one signature research project. The combined effort of both the cores and investigators is highly likely to have an important positive impact on research relevant to understanding the pathogenesis and treatment of intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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