Neurosensory disorders, particularly those creating deficits in hearing, vision, and balance/proprioception have devastating effects upon the individual's ability to interact with the environment and produce significant difficulties in communication and mobility, which in turn impact occupational and social functioning. Important advances have been made in the identification of genes producing neurosensory disorders, but the underlying pathogenesis is poorly understood. Basic research into the development of neurosensory systems, their function, and their maintenance, is needed in order to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying these disorders and to determine the optimal means of intervention. This application for a Nebraska COBRE involves established researchers and junior investigators from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Creighton University, and Boys Town National Research Hospital, who are combining and focusing their research efforts towards a common theme, the Molecular Biology of Neurosensory Systems. While this Center builds on existing expertise in the development of the inner ear, it is not restricted to the auditory system, allowing discovery of commonalities in sensory and peripheral nervous system pathways. Four multidisciplinary research projects are proposed, all led by junior investigators, which address issues of development of neurosensory systems and gene/environment interactions affecting morphogenesis and function. Core facilities allow each project to utilize various methodological approaches, including measures of gene transcription, localization of gene expression, and creation of appropriate animal models. A program of mentoring and professional interaction is established for the junior investigators, enabling them to achieve successful and independent careers. This cycle will be perpetuated by the addition of new projects and investigators. The result will be a continuing, self-sustaining, and competitive research Center that will stimulate excellence in all three participating institutions and throughout the State.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Exploratory Grants (P20)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRR1-RI-3 (01))
Program Officer
Sayre, Michael
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University of Nebraska Medical Center
Schools of Medicine
United States
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