KSCIRC Neuroscience Cores

    The mission of each of the KSCIRC Neuroscience Cores is to support and enhance neuroscience research by assisting in research project development, reviewing research, molecular biology, tissue culture, surgical models, animal behavior, and imaging.

    Core A - Project Development and Analysis

    Program Director:
    Scott R. Whittemore, Ph.D.

    Core A Functions

    • Administer and oversee the Core facilities.  Includes scheduling and documenting core-related meetings, all core-related space and physical plant, and personnel issues.
    • Biostatistical assistance and analysis. Includes consultation on experimental design, adequately powering projected sample size requirements, determining the appropriate statistical procedures for analysis, assessment tests,  and periodically, developing new testing procedures and establishing protocols for their implementation, and thorough documentation of all testing procedures.
    • Grant and experimental design mentorship by senior KSCIRC faculty.  Grants and experiments will be pre-reviewed by KSCIRC faculty.
    • Overseeing pilot grants.  Funding for up to 3 pilot project grants will be awarded each year of funding.  Judging criteria based both on preference to unfunded PIs and innovation/perceived benefit to SCI research.  Awards will be potentially renewable, but such a grant will have to compete with the entire pool of applicants.

    Core B - Surgery & Animal Care

    Core B functions

    • provide standardized rat and mouse surgery and other animal procedures
    • provide extensive training for research personnel on surgical procedures, anesthesia, animal pre- and post-op care and the use of the three different spinal cord injury devices present in the Core
    • assist laboratories to develop and establish novel surgical procedures

    Core C - Behavioral and Electrophysiological Assessment

    Core C functions to:

    • provide a knowledge base and expertise to facilitate standardized behavioral and electrophysiological assessments of rats and mice.
    • train COBRE/KSCIRC PIs to perform high quality behavioral and electrophysiological assessments
    • assist with the development of novel behavioral and electrophysiological assessment techniques.

    Core D - Cell and Tissue Imaging and Histology (CTIH)

    Core D functions

    • 600 sq ft total (2 rooms) of microscopy & histology facility that includes a Nikon C2+ confocal microscope with intelligent acquisition, deconvolution, 3D measurement package, artificial intelligence image processing, LUN4 solid state laser launch (405, 488, 561, and 640 nm), DUVb high-sensitivity GaAsP detectors, an additional ORCA-Fusion Gen-III sCMOS monochrome camera, anti-vibration table, and a high performance Windows10 workstation with 31.5” 4K ultraHD display.
    • The core also includes a Nikon TiE inverted microscope coupled to a Andor NeoZyla sCMOS camera for fluorescence imaging, as well as a Nikon DS-U2 color camera for phase and bright field imaging, Nikon Elements Generation 3 software and Image-Pro Plus software (Media Cybernetics). A Zeiss Axio Observer.Z1 inverted microscope equipped with Apotome and a CO2 chamber with heated plate lids for live imaging and Ca2+ fluorescence.
    • There are two Leica CM3050 cryostats for use

    Core E - Human Translational Studies

    Core E functions to:

    • to be an innovative resource that will provide expertise for physiological and behavioral assessments of humans after spinal cord injury (SCI)
    • to globally expand the utilization of standardized activity-based training of humans with SCI
    • to support the development and implementation of unique approaches to understand plasticity in human SCI
    • to provide an integrated environment for KSCIRC/COBRE basic scientists to interact with SCI patients and clinical scientists to increase clinical relevance of current and future experimental models of SCI