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F. Rob Jackson

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National Institutes of Health (NIH)
This renewal application requests support for the Tufts Center for Neuroscience Research (CNR), a NINDS-funded center that provides research core services to the Tufts neuroscience community. Our neuroscience group consists of more than 50 research laboratories, including 12 NINDS-funded investigators, in 11 Departments of Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center. At present, there are 49 NIH neuroscience grants at Tufts (~$12M in total costs this year), and the majority of them utilize core services provided by the NINDS-funded CNR. The Tufts Neuroscience Program has a strong focus in synapse neurobiology and an emphasis on neurological disease, with investigators conducting research in areas related to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS, Autism-spectrum disorders, epilepsy, depression, anxiety, spinal injury, brain cancers and sleep disorders. The CNR Cores have significant impact on Tufts neuroscience research, providing training and ready access to advanced equipment for biological imaging, gene expression profiling, electrophysiology and behavioral testing. During this funding period alone, ~80% of Tufts neuroscience research labs used CNR core facilities, and research conducted in the cores during the last 4 years has resulted in at least 92 publications, many of them describing collaborative studies by Tufts investigators. Impressively, 75 grants containing preliminary results from CNR core use were awarded to Tufts investigators during this funding cycle, the majority in the area of neuroscience. The affordable CNR research services have provided an attractive supplement to the start-up packages of 6 new junior faculty hired in the Tufts Neuroscience Department during this funding period, greatly accelerating their research programs. Tufts University has invested more than $18M in support of neuroscience in the last 7 years. These funds have been used to renovate neuroscience department space, including CNR cores, and to hire a chair and 7 additional department faculty in the last 4 years. Tufts University has generously supported CNR activities in the last 2 grant cycles; it will more than double its support in the next cycle, providing a total of $500,000 for the CNR Pilot Grant Program and other center activities.

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