The LSU-HSC leads a partnership of four Louisiana institutions in a COBRE on neuroscience research. The Program Director and established scientists are mentors to selected, highly promising junior faculty who propose four research projects that have been designed for the common goal of mentoring to build new nationally competitive research. The scientific focus is on a central issue of neurobiology: to understand the cellular and molecular basis of synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival critical to clarify the pathophysiology of neurological disorders such as: stroke, neural trauma and neurodegenerative diseases. This multidisciplinary program involves cellular neurophysiology, molecular biology and behavioral neuroscience. To support the COBRE projects, core resources include facilities for imaging , neurochemistry of lipid messengers and molecular neurobiology. A recruitment plan for years 2 to 5 further benefits the collaborating institutions by actively attracting new research faculty who will work under the guidance of established neuroscientists as mentors. A relatively small administrative core funding is requested.
The specific aims to attain these objectives are: 1) to promote faculty development through research projects; 2) to further develop a critical mass of competitive extramurally funded investigators by the recruitment, start up, mentoring and retention of new faculty members; 3) to enhance the infrastructure critical for expanding neuroscience capability in Louisiana by developing three core research modules at LSUHSC; 4) to provide scientific and grantsmanship mentoring and strengthen the support network that promotes interactions; and 5) to implement interim and outcome evaluations so as to keep this COBRE program on track. This partnership rests on existing expertise and in our firm decision to build a scientifically successful neuroscience alliance in Louisiana. The four target faculty and the four to-be-recruited faculty are the critical building blocks to achieve these goals. The core resources are vital to the overall success of this consortium, not only in neuroscience but in all the biomedical sciences. The plans for mentoring junior faculty and the recruitment plan will ensure a steady stream of new nationally competitive neuroscientists in Louisiana.
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