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Translational Neurosciences Program

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Institute of Neurobiology

A major objective of the Translational Neuroscience Program (TNP) is to provide a platform that integrates existing research resources and promotes collaboration between the basic and clinical neurosciences at the UPR-MSC. This program also increases interactions between MSC investigators and (1) neuroscientists throughout the UPR system (eleven campuses), (2) investigators associated with additional RCMI-supported disciplines (infectious disease, pharmacogenomics, proteogenomics), and (3) numerous partnering groups including the IDeA initiatives that support investigation at primarily undergraduate institutions.

The cornerstone of the TNP is the Institute of Neurobiology (INB) a free-standing interdepartmental unit of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. Founded by the eminent neurobiologist José del Castillo in 1967, the INB houses ten laboratories dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of nervous system structure and function. These laboratories utilize a variety of model systems to address some of the most challenging issues facing modern Neuroscience. Investigation at the Institute ranges from the development of spinal circuits that control locomotion to the deterioration of vision that occurs during aging. The common goal is to increase understanding of neural circuit structure and function as well as responses to stressors, trauma, and drugs of abuse. While diverse in scope, these investigations are unified by certain methodological considerations and requirements. They also share a need to detect specific proteins, messenger RNAs, or physiological events within complex three-dimensional structures. This detection must often be achieved with very high levels of spatial and/or temporal resolution that can only be accomplished with modern neuroimaging approaches.

The goal of the Translational Neuroscience Program is to integrate cutting edge imaging facilities and instrumentation with existing RCMI Molecular Neurobiology and Neurogenetics cores and technological support. Additional objectives are to promote the capacity for the neuroscientists of Puerto Rico to participate in local, national and global networking initiatives and to disseminate knowledge concerning neurological health disparities to the larger community.

The Translational Neuroscience Program agenda will be advanced by the three specific aims:

Specific Aim 1. To enhance the RCMI Neurogenetics and Molecular Neurobiology Core Facilities with advanced NeuroImaging instrumentation and infrastructure.

Specific Aim 2. To support programmatic activities that will promote dialogue and collaboration with other RCMI core facilities and between the basic and clinical Neuroscience communities.

Specific Aim 3. To stimulate national an international networking between investigators addressing health disparities in neurological disorders.

Contact:

Mark Miller, Ph.D.
Director
Email: mark.miller@upr.edu
Telephone: (787) 724-4149, Exts. 230, 271

 

Location:

Institute of Neurobiology
201 Calle Norzagaray
Old San Juan

Acknowledgement of Funding

This program is funded by RCMI grant G12 MD007600 (National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities) from the National Institutes of Health.  Please use this number to acknowledge support.

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