IV. MACHINE SHOP SERVICE CORE Research Plan of Machine Shop Service Core The Machine Shop in the Department of Physiology has a long track record of excellent machine shop service, and it has been part of the Core Grant for the past 15 years. The Machine Shop Core provides dedicated space and technical expertise to support the design and manufacture of specialized research instruments that are required by (3ore investigators but are not available commercially. Vision research, especially that done on intact animals, involves a complex set of mechanical devices that are custom-designed by each laboratory. It is common to find that the complex demands of vision research simply cannot be met by commercially available devices, making the shop core an essential component of vision research at UCSF. The Machine Shop, for example, manufactures custom implants that are both superior to and more suitable than those available from companies. The shop provides essential repair services for equipment that was manufactured in the shop, as well as equipment that was purchased from outside. In many instances, the equipment is no longer being made, but is essential to the vision research of one or more laboratories, making this repair service of utmost importance. Further, the shop has the capacity to provide immediate service when things break during an ongoing experiment, and to make lab-calls to repair equipment that is difficult to bring to the shop. This capacity, especially, underscores the value of this service Core to the vision research community. The Machine Shop produces professional quality equipment that is customized to the exact needs of the investigators. Evidence of the high level of quality of their products comes from the large number of requests for its customized products from young scientists who are leaving UCSF and moving to their own faculty jobs. The shop is both efficient and productive. The business model for the shop is that investigators have access to shop services for free if (and only if) their research support pays part of the salary of the shop personnel. Ten years ago, 50% of the NEI Vision Core Grant investigators had access to the shops because they were members of the Department of Physiology. That percentage has dropped considerably, and only a few of the Core investigators support the shops with non-Core Grant funding sources. Therefore, their only means of access to the shops is through the Core Grant support for the shop personnel. Moreover, this support is the only means of access to the shops for vision scientists who are not in the Department of Physiology. Because of this demographic change, the business model of the Machine Shop changed from that proposed at the last Core Grant renewal in 2007, at the end of the first year of this past period (2008). From that point on. Vision Core Investigators have received service from the Machine Shop free of charge. Since the services provided by this machine shop are crucial to the research needs of many vision scientists, we propose to continue to provide salary support of the shop personnel to allow free access to all vision scientists at UCSF.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Eye Institute (NEI)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZEY1)
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University of California San Francisco
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