UAB Vision Science Research Center - Overall Core 7. Project Summary/Abstract In 1979, an NEI Core grant was first awarded to UAB. Over the next 35 years, the institution's continued commitment to growth resulted in a remarkable expansion in vision research. Participants have now increased from 13 in two departments to 23 in five departments, and there has been a concomitant increase in extramural funding. Eleven of the Core participants currently hold 14 eligble grants, another 7 have NEI new investigator status and are seeking NEI R01 support (four of these have submitted NEI R01s). Of the reminaing five participants, two are Co-Investigators an an active NEI R01 and three have submitted NEI R01s. Annually, NEI funding exceeds $3M million, not including internal UAB awards. Total annual extramural funding for vision-related research at UAB has grown to nearly $13 million. A major research focus of the participants is visual neuroscience, with 16 actively involved in anatomical, biochemical, physiological, or psychophysical studies of the retina and central visual pathways. Additionally, UAB vision research groups are focused on the study of glaucoma, AMD, myopia, keratoconus, dry eye and cataractogenesis. This application requests funds to continue to provide services and facilities to support the research activity of the participants through four professionally staffed cores. These cores provide state-of-the-art facilities and expertise in dedicated spaces designed specifically for each purpose. The Instrumentation Core is staffed by an electronics engineer who designs and builds complex novel electronic apparati and an expert machinist/tool and die maker who designs and fabricates unique mechanical devices. Both also repair and maintain current instruments greatly reducing repair costs. The Research Programming & Computational Analysis Core provides access to high-end analytical tools and is staffed by an experienced programmer/analyst with an MS in computer sciences who offers custom software development and software/hardware interfacing, and by a part-time experienced biostatistician who will assist in experimental design and statistical analysis. The Molecular & Cellular Analysis Core is staffed by an MD/PhD trained scientist who provides expertise for study design, training and access to major instrumentation for DNA, RNA and protein studies and morphologic analysis of tissues and cells. The new Ocular Phenotyping Core will be part-time staffed by a PhD who has several years of expertise in the use of all instrumentation for analysis of the structure and function of small animal models of human ocular disease. Since 1979, more than $17M has been provided in institutional support of vision research to date and more than $800,000 is committed over the next 5 years of requested NIH support. UAB vision science is in an exciting growth phase that is focused on the use of advanced technology and the recruitment of the best scientists to study and devise treatments for ocular disorders. The continuation of the P30 core grant for vision research is an essential element at the core of new discovery in vision science at UAB.
UAB Vision Science Research Center- Overall Core 8. Project Narrative Twenty-three investigators with significant overall support from the National Institutes of Health rely on the support of the UAB Vision Science Research Center Core grant to supplement resources to raise their level of scientific inquiry and discovery, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of shared resources. These investigators are studying various ocular disorders such as glaucoma, age related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, dry eye and other disorders that collectively affect the quality of life of millions of Americans. Core research supports novel studies that are designed to improve diagnostics and treatment for these devastating disorders.
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