From the Nobel prizes awarded in the last century to the rapid increase in molecular biology and proteomics using cephalopods in this century, the role of cephalopods as invertebrate models for biomedical research cannot be overvalued. Concurrent with this dramatic increase in cephalopod biomedical research, the NRCC has expanded its production of both numbers of cephalopod species and of individual cephalopods. Furthermore, the NRCC has become cost efficient and diversified in its funding by obtaining a significant portion of its budget from user fees as well as matching grants. The NRCC's primary mission addresses the NCRR's strategic goal to enhance the development of and access to nonhuman models that are critical to understanding human health and responding to emerging health threats. The NRCC was one of the first of the alternative invertebrate model centers funded by NCRR beginning in 1976. The NRCC will continue to meet the expanding needs of biomedical scientists now(serving 55% of current grants using cephalopods) and in the future, as our investigators move forward with translational research projects that unravel the developmental processes and biological functions of living organisms in relation to human health. Cephalopods have been critical to understanding the molecular biology of G-binding proteins in the retina and ion channel synthesis in neurons. Use of cephalopod hemocyanin in cancer treatment represents an exciting and direct role for cephalopods in biomedicine.
The specific aims of the present proposal are (1) To continue to operate the. NRCC economically by culturing key species;expanding production of the symbiont model Euprymna scolopes;moving to anew facility with two new collaborating non-profit institutions;and monitoring the model animals long-term health;(2) To continue to expand our user base through cost-effective electronic and print advertising;(3) To remain the primary source of both specimens and information on the biomedical uses of cephalopods by integrating our NRCC web site ( with our other cephalopod internet sites (i.e., CephBase and CephSchool);and (4) To expand the number of cephalopod species available for use in biomedicine by culturing two octopus species, Octopus bimaculoides, and Enteroctopus dofleini. We propose to use the latter to conduct a pilot project on tumor induction in cephalopods in comparison with bivalve mollusks. The NRCC with NCRR's strong support has become the archetype for the development and management an alternative model program. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences in their 1999 publication, """"""""From Monsoons to Microbes,"""""""" identified this cephalopod program specifically as one or two model programs funded by NCRR, meeting their goal of being """"""""A Catalyst for Discovery.""""""""

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Animal (Mammalian and Nonmammalian) Model, and Animal and Biological Material Resource Grants (P40)
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National Center for Research Resources Initial Review Group (RIRG)
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Chang, Michael
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Gulf Marine Institute of Technology
Gulf Breeze
United States
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