The role of cephalopods as invertebrate models for biomedical research cannot be overvalued from the Nobel prizes awarded in the last century to the rapid increase in publications using cephalopods in this century-an exponential increase in the last decade. Concurrent with this dramatic increase in cephalopod biomedical research, the NRCC has expanded the numbers of cephalopod species and individual cephalopods it produces. Furthermore, the NRCC has become more cost efficient and diversified its funding by obtaining a majority of its budget from user fees as well as state matching funds. The NRCC's primary mission addresses NCRR's strategic plan: (1) to provide institutional support for the development and maintenance of research models and (2) disseminate information on available models, as well as its mission, """"""""to serve as a catalyst for discovery."""""""" The NRCC was one of the first of the alternative invertebrate model centers funded by NCRR and we continue to meet the expanding needs of biomedical scientists now (serving >40% of current grants using cephalopods) and in the future (supplying cephalopods for pilot projects) as these investigators move forward in unraveling the developmental processes and biological functions of living organisms in relation to human health.
The specific aims of the proposal are (1) To continue to operate the NRCC economically by culturing key species and maintaining other species as needed, expanding the user base through cost-effective electronic advertising, and monitoring the long-term health of these populations; (2) To become the primary source of both specimens and information on the biomedical uses of cephalopods by developing our NRCC web site (www.nrcc.utmb.edu<www.nrcc.utmb.edu>), interacting with other cephalopod internet sites (i.e., CephBase and Cephalopod Page), and operating a List Server for cephalopods, FastMoll; and (3) To continue to expand the number of cephalopod species available for use in biomedicine by culturing two new squid species, Sepioteuthis australis, and Euprymna tasmanica.
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