Overall Component Abstract NEI-supported investigators from Duke University and their collaborators from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill request continuing support for a Center Core Grant for Vision Research. Research areas covered by this group range from basic mechanisms of cell function and communication to functional organization of neuronal circuits, with particular interest in identifying innovative potential therapies to cure common eye disorders. For the past 30 years, we have used the NEI Core Grant to develop and update our shared resource modules, thus enhancing the capabilities of individual NEI-supported investigators to conduct vision research. The Core Grant effectively provides equipment and services that are not readily supported by individual research grants, as well as stimulating a collegial atmosphere conducive to sharing current techniques and ideas. Both are critical to success of individual investigators and members of their laboratories. Furthermore, the infrastructure created with support from this grant aids the recruitment of new investigators and facilitates the participation of clinical ophthalmologists in vision research, including the development of clinician scientists. Altogether, this supports and facilitates 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, Mass Spectrometry/Molecular Biology, Animal Models and Flow Cytometry. 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.
Overall Component Narrative This grant supports facility infrastructure that enhances the capability of individual laboratories to address pathobiology, molecular mechanisms, biomarkers and outcomes of multiple blinding diseases, including but not limited to: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, uveitis and dry eye. This grant also provides a collaborative environment critical for productive interactions among basic and clinician scientists and for raising the next generation of researchers studying biology and pathology of the visual system.
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