The Molecular and Cellular Geroscience CoBRE is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary Geroscience research on the OUHSC campus with the goal of developing a systematic understanding of the mechanistic links between aging and chronic disease. All the Projects in this CoBRE will use mouse models as their primary experimental platform to address the interaction between aging and the development of chronic age-related diseases. The primary objective of this Animal Model Development and Behavioral Assessment (AMD-BA) Core is to provide resources, assistance and training for 1) behavioral assessment and gait/mobility analyses, and 2) development, maintenance and phenotyping of animal models of aging and age-related chronic diseases, supporting the overall functions of the CoBRE, in a unified fashion that is not possible via other current resources. The core provides highly innovative resources for analysis of cognitive function and gait analysis. Additionally, these services will remove barriers to research that have prevented basic scientists studying age-related disease from expanding their research to Geroscience. The Core is composed of two basic components: Behavioral Assessment and Gait/Mobility Analysis and Animal Models.
The specific aims are to: 1. Provide access to sophisticated state-of-the-art Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) behavioral testing facilities that allow investigators to characterize cognition and gait/mobility in animal models of aging and age-related chronic diseases. At the same time the goal is to improve current experimental paradigms and develop new procedures to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of behavioral assessments in mouse models of aging and develop novel approaches for data analysis. The AMD-BA Core will provide training for investigators and their staff in behavioral assay procedures and the use of behavior-al testing equipment as well. 2. Provide access to animal models of aging and coordinate the sharing of tissues derived from animal models of aging and manage the Geroscience animal model tissue bank. The AMD-BA Core is a unique research facility in Oklahoma. It will provide support for the PJIs in this application and pilot projects funded by the CoBRE. This Core service will greatly enhance Geroscience research in Oklahoma and contribute to further growth of the Geroscience Program.