The Neuroscience Center Core Facilities, directed by Dr. W. Snider, were established to enable UNC neuroscientists to generate mouse genetic models for studies of neurological disease mechanisms, perform state of the art imaging and bioinformatics analysis on these models, and finally todevelop assays that can be used to advance new treatments for neurological diseases. These facilities were established with support from a NINDS core grant five years ago (renewed recently for another 5 years) and contain four cores:
- Core 1. Molecular Neuroscience
- Core 2. Confocal and Multiphoton Imaging
- Core 3. Bioinformatics
- Core 4. Translational Neuroscience
The Molecular Neuroscience Core (Core 1) will generate floxed alleles, BAC transgenics, AAV tools for animal models work, characterize targeted ES cells, and prepare libraries for massively parallel next generation sequencing. The Molecular Neuroscience Core is a turnkey operation: the investigator states the gene to be mutated, receives a construct, and ultimately characterized ES cells that can be used for blastocyst injections. The Confocal and Multiphoton Imaging Core (Core 2) provides training and support for advanced imaging methodologies for analysis of the disease models. Core 2 has state of the art Zeiss and Olympus Imaging systems for confocal, time-lapse confocal, and multiphoton analysis of living and fixed tissue preparations. Bioinformatics Core (Core 3) provides access to Bioinformatics, which is rapidlyemerging as a critical need for NINDS-funded and other UNC neuroscientists. TheBioinformatics Core provides state of the art pathway analysis, analysis of transcriptional mechanisms(ChIP-seq, RNA-seq), and epigenetic analysis. Bioinformatics will enable NINDS funded and otherneuroscientists tointerrogate mechanisms in disease models and determine global consequences ofmanipulating signaling components. Finally, the Translational Neuroscience Core (Core 4) provides medicinal chemistry consultation, implementation and initial screening in support of cell free and cell basedassay development for developing new neurological disease treatments. Overall UNC Neuroscience Center Research Cores provides state of the art technological expertise in support of translational neuroscience even in the face of reduced resources.