Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is a young and dynamic institution with a strong mission of service to the underserved through the training of medical and scientific professionals and through the focused development of a basic and translational research environment dedicated to exploring mechanisms of disorders with high disease burden in populations served by the institution. In keeping with the intent of the RFA and consistent with its internal strategic plan, the MSM Neuroscience Institute proposes to augment and strengthen its research programs focused on NINDS mission related research and to increase the academic preparedness of students from diverse backgrounds for advanced Neuroscience research careers. In this application, we proposed three exploratory projects that focus on: (1) Identifying new genetic targets to help treat sleep disorders (Project 1, Pi's Paul and DeBruyne). In this project, the Pi's will combine a well-established paradigm of comparative phenotyping of a genetically tractable animal model with powerful genetic mapping tools to identify novel sleep-regulatory gene;(ii) Understanding the role of Acid Sensing Ion Chanel 1a (ASICIa) -mediated signaling pathways in neurons (Project 2, PI Xiong). In this proposal, the PI will define ASICIa-mediated signaling cascades in physiological- and pathophysiological conditions;and (iii) The effectiveness of a combination therapy against delayed neuronal deterioration after subarachnoid hemorrhage (Project 3, PI Namura). This project will test the hypothesis that the combination of betaine (trimethylglycine) and fenofibrate may be a potential strategy for treating this neurological disease. Two other objectives of the application are (i) to train and develop a competitive cadre of neuroscientists from underrepresented groups by providing tools to enhance the competiveness of Neuroscience Institute faculty;and (11) to provide training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows and to expand the pool of undergraduates exposed to competitive Neuroscience research. To accomplish the above goals, we will provide effective administrative and scientific resource cores to facilitate the goals of this application.
Strengthening and augmenting neuroscience research and research training at MSM will expand the mission of NINDS and provide training opportunities for students from under-represented populations to increase their preparedness to assume leadership roles in neuroscience research in the US. NOTE: The critiques and criterion scores from individual reviewers are provided below in an essentially unedited form. The Resume and Summary of Discussion above summarizes the final outcome of the group discussion.
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