News & Events
Festschrift in Honor of Dr. Norman “Skip” Spear
Friday, May 30, 2014
The DEARC is happy to announce that Dr. Sandra Mooney was recently elected to the Advisory Board for the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Study Group.
37th Annual RSA Scientific Meeting
June 21-25, 2014
2nd Annual Flux Congress
September 11-13, 2014
The Flux Congress acts as a forum for developmental cognitive neuroscientists and psychologists to share their findings, expand their knowledge base, and be informed of translational approaches. This conference is designed for scientists who use neuroimaging techniques to understand age related changes in brain function and structure.
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This core is designed to promote the highest quality research in the DEARC and it impact by:
- Providing an organizational infrastructure that facilitates attainment of Center goals and objectives
- Promoting communication, facilitating interactions, and encouraging synergisms among DEARC participants
- Providing oversight and coordinating interactions among Project PIs and Cores
- Utilizing internal and external guidance systems to ensure the quality, progress, and fiscal integrity of research components
- Facilitating integration, dissemination and translation of DEARC findings
A primary goal of the DEARC is to determine the consequences of exposure to ethanol during development on brain structure and function. The primary focus is on early development, encompassing all ages from the gestational period through young adulthood. Nearly all projects in the DEARC utilize rodent models; thus, the ANIMAL CORE is a critical component for standardization and optimization of DEARC projects. The ANIMAL CORE has multiple roles within the Center. It provides a rodent breeding program, standardized modes of ethanol administration (and administration of other drugs), standardized maintenance of pregnant, pre-weanling, and adolescent rodents, standardized determination of blood and brain ethanol concentrations (BECs and BrECs, respectively), and collaboration in the design of experiments and procedures. Because rodent models are used at both Binghamton (Binghamton University) and Syracuse (Upstate Medical University), the Animal Core is managed by one investigator at each campus who communicate regularly to ensure forward progress of the Core. Maintaining a coordinated ANIMAL CORE increases the efficient use of animals and standardizes the generation of animals. This is critical for the generation of compatible models that are the basis for anatomical, biochemical, molecular biological, and behavioral studies addressing the primary mission of the DEARC.
Cell/Molecular Biology Core
The CELL/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CORE provides several of the MAIN and PILOT PROJECTS with state-of-the-art support for their proposals primarily in assessments of fresh (unfixed) specimens. The specific services provided by the CELL/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CORE include:
- extraction of DNA, RNA, and protein from tissue samples,
- genotyping, real-time quantitative RT-PCR,
- Western immunoblotting,
- cloning and synthesis of cRNA riboprobes,
- performing radioactive and non-radioactive in situ hybridization,
- phosphorimaging analysis,
- HPLC-based neurochemical assays, and
- laser microdissection.
In addition to the methodoligcal expertise, the CELL MOLECULAR/BIOLGOY CORE provides advice and collaboration for the design, implementation, and analyses of cell and molecular biology studies. The CELL MOLECULAR/BIOLOGY CORE is directed by the capable oversight of Dr. Middleton. Through careful consultation and experimental design, DEARC PIs will benefit from uniform application of the highest level of quality control. Moreover, the raw data generated by the CELL/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CORE will be routinely added into the central DEARC database, so that any investigator can analyze them for specific effects and possible correlations with data generated from their studies. The CELL/MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CORE personnel will assist each of the PI's in this regard, and will also work closely with the ANIMAL and NEUROANATOMY CORES to ensure that the correct tissue samples are being utilized in each assay according to the experimental designs.
The NEUROANATOMY CORE is an integral part of every Main Project in the DEARC. It collaborates with DEARC members on a variety of scientific issues and methods. The NEUROANATOMY CORE provides specific expertise on the organization of neuropathological methods for analyzing neuronal plasticity associated with the prenatal and adolescent exposure to ethanol. The Specific Aims are as follows:
- NEUROANATOMY CORE personnel work with DEARC members to understand the structure/function of cell, layer, and nuclear architecture, and connections in the developing (e.g., fetal and adolescent) rodent brain;
- In conjunction with the key personnel for a particular project, the NEUROANATOMY CORE is responsible for tissue preparation. Methods to explore brain structure include histological methods and immunohistochemistry. Metabolic studies rely on 2-deoxy-D- glucose autoradiography and cFos immunohistochemistry which are paired with immunohistochemical methods to focus on specific neuronal phenotypes;
- Light and confocal microscopy and digital imaging will be provided for quantification of findings with microdensitometry, stereology, and grain counting methods; and
- Digital image processing will be provided with a live microscopic, video-conferencing system for group evaluation of methods and findings and another system for producing illustrations for publication. Thus, the NEUROANATOMY CORE provides invaluable expertise in the basic science and methods necessary to conduct all of the Main Projects and many of the Pilot Projects.