NEI-supported investigators from Duke University and their collaborators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) request continuing support for a Center Core Grant for Vision Research. Research areas covered by this group range from deciphering basic mechanisms of signal transduction in rod and cone photoreceptors to delineating functional organization of the visual cortex, and from identifying disease genes to finding effective therapy for common eye disorders. For the past 25 years, we have used the NEI Core Grant to develop and update our resource modules, thus enhancing the capabilities of individual NEI-supported investigators and our institutions to conduct vision research. The Core Grant effectively provides (1) shared resources and services that are not readily supported by individual research grants and (2) an atmosphere conducive to sharing current techniques and ideas;both are critical to the successful research of individual investigators. Furthermore, the infrastructure created to support this grant facilitates the participation of clinical ophthalmologists at Duke in vision research, and especially the development of clinician scientists, thereby supporting and facilitating the translation of the discoveries from basic research into new diagnostic and therapeutic applications directly related to human eye diseases. We request support for three existing and one new resource modules: Morphology/Image Processing Module, Mass Spectrometry/Molecular Biology Module, Animal Models Module and Genetics/Bioinformatics Module. Support of these shared resources is vital to the creation of synergy that will give impetus to our vision research group in reaching a level of success that is greater than the sum of the individual investigator's expected achievements.
This grant supports facility infrastructure that enhances the capability of individual laboratories to address pathobiology, molecular mechanisms, genetic predisposition and outcomes of several blinding diseases, including but not limited to: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa and dry eye. This grant also provides collaborative environment critical for productive interactions between basic and clinician scientists and for raising next generation of researchers.
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