Research at the VA Pittsburgh encompasses a broad spectrum of medical fields and is aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders that are highly prevalent in Veterans, as well as in the general population, and that represent a priority for ORD funding and strategic planning. Major areas covered by research at the VA are neurological disorders (stroke, traumatic brain injuries, neurodegenerative disorders), pulmonary diseases, cancer, inflammatory disorders, infectious diseases, sepsis, wound healing, regenerative medicine. A common thread in the Medical Research Merit Programs is the use of cell, organ culture systems and mouse/human tissues that benefit from imaging-based analyses. In this proposal we aim to obtain funds to purchase the laser based, confocal equipped CELLINSIGHT CX7 High Content Screening Platform in order to meet the growing needs for more advanced and versatile imaging tools by the scientific community at the VA Pittsburgh. The funded research programs of these investigators require many capabilities: fixed imaging of a multitude of targets simultaneously, high-resolution discrimination of subcellular localization, cultured cells, slice tissue cultures and live cell imaging in combination with robust, reliable and versatile quantitative analyses. We identified the laser based, confocal equipped CELLINSIGHT CX7 High Content Screening Platform as a single instrument that provides the multiplexing capability using tissues, cells, organoids and intelligent algorithms for quantitative analyses. This instrument is not available either at the VA Pittsburgh or at our affiliate, the University of Pittsburgh. The acquisition of this equipment is timely with the recent opening of the VA?s state-of-the-art research facility where the equipment will be housed. A rational administrative plan has been developed to effectively manage efficient use of the platform and provide oversight for maintenance. The overall impact of the acquisition of this equipment is broad considering that 13 established investigators will be regular users of the microscope and additional PIs are expected to become users in the future as part of a growing cadre of newly VA funded scientists. By enabling VA investigators to obtain high quality data, we anticipate a seamless exchange of scientific information and an enhanced opportunity for collaborative projects between VA investigators and the University of Pittsburgh. Furthermore, two of the co-investigators are CDA awardees. The mentored stage of a clinician scientist is most critical for the successful development of their academic career. This new HCS platform will enhance their productivity by offering greater imaging quality and speed of data acquisition and help them transition from mentored to independent investigator status. Finally, the availability of this platform in the VA laboratories is expected to create opportunities for collaborations and synergize projects that have complementary focus.
Research at the VA Pittsburgh encompasses a broad spectrum of medical fields and is aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders that are highly prevalent in Veterans, as well as in the general population, and that represent a priority for ORD funding and strategic planning. Major areas covered by research at the VA are neurological disorders, pulmonary diseases, cancer, infectious diseases, sepsis and bone physiology. The overall impact of the acquisition of the CellInsight CX7 LZR High Content Analysis Platform is broad considering that 13 established VA investigators will be regular users of the microscope and additional PIs in varying fields of research are expected to become users in the future. This equipment represents a long-term investment aimed at enhancing the research capabilities needed for VA- funded research with the ultimate goal of increasing the pace of scientific and translational discoveries that will lead to new treatments for Veterans.