The proposed Center for Molecular Auditory Neuroscience will enhance productivity, innovation, and collaborative interactions of auditory researchers at the University of Iowa. Center investigators are members of five clinical and basic science departments: Otolaryngology, Biology, Biochemistry, Physiology, and Communication Sciences and Disorders, with 15 auditory-related R01s, nine funded by NIDCD, a P50, two T32s, and other grants, for a total current year direct cost >$9M. There are extensive interactions among basic researchers, among clinical researchers, and interactions bridging clinical and basic research. The cores aim to strengthen these interactions and develop new ones. The Center consists of three research cores and will provide first-rate facilities for state-of-the-art experimental techniques crucial to molecular, cell, developmental and neurobiology of the inner ear;provide training in these techniques;make investigators aware of alternative experimental approaches and model systems that will facilitate their research;foster new collaborations that result in innovative approaches to problems in auditory research, including translation of basic research data to the clinic. The research cores are: (1) Histology and Imaging core to provide facilities and training for analysis of model organisms using light microscopy and EM: histology, including sectioning, staining, immunofluorescence, EM, and use of fluorescent dyes to label nerve fibers;confocal imaging, including multiphoton, of live or fixed tissue;(2) Genomics core for routine molecular biology techniques - sequencing, nucleotide synthesis, nucleic acid quantitation and quality - as well as analysis of gene expression;(3) Tissue/Cell Culture Core to provide facilities and training for preparation of in vitro cochlear model systems including sensory, neural and glial cells, organotypic inner ear cultures, and means for gene transfer into these cells. Individual experiments may use multiple cores and workflow will be coordinated among Core directors. The Administrative Core will manage day-to-day operation of the Center, coordinate activities of Core directors, and conduct symposia and seminars to facilitate interaction among the Center investigators.
This P30 will support research interactions among a diverse group of investigators engaged in related questions of basic and clinical research: deafness genetics and gene therapy, inner ear development, sensorineural cell function and maintenance, cochlear implants. These are fundamental to prevention of deafness, optimization of current treatment of deafness, and to future cochlear sensorineural regeneration.
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