A primary goal of the DEARC is to elucidate the brain and behavioral consequences of ethanol exposure throughout a broad range of developmental stages encompassing gestation through adulthood. All projects described in this center proposal utilize rodent models, making the Animal/Behavior Core a critical component of the DEARC. The Animal/Behavior Core plays several key roles within the center: It provides guidance and training on breeding practices, ethanol exposure, surgical techniques and behavioral phenotyping. In addition, the Animal/Behavioral Core provides access to equipment for behavioral assessment and measurement of ethanol in blood and brain. Another major goal of the Animal/Behavior Core is to facilitate the sharing of animal resources through an interactive on-line database. These goals will be facilitated by the core PI and Col, each with more than a dozen years of experience. The Animal/Behavior Core will be critical in maintaining the over arching goal of the DEARC of cross-study comparisons to understand how developmental ethanol exposure changes brain and behavioral function across the lifespan. Specifically the Animal/Behavior Core will streamline the generation, use, and distribution of animal resources, while at the same time providing crucial support for the standardization of techniques, thereby assuring quality control. Finally, the Animal/Behavior Core will play an essential role in promoting cross talk among Pis and between the Pis and the Administrative Core.
Understanding now exposure to alcohol at a young age leads to increased prevalence of alcoholism is key to reducing the health burden of alcohol abuse. Animal models provide a critical approach to understanding the short and long-term brain and behavioral consequences of alcohol exposure. The Animal/Behavior Core of the DEARC provides critical support for the research group to characterize the brain/behavioral adoptions that emerge as a result of alcohol exposure at various developmental stages.
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