Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine has received a grant for $321,780 from the Ohio Board of Regents Research Challenge Fund. The grant will help the school recruit a new faculty member to the Department of Neurosciences with expertise in neural molecular genetics and help it to create a neural transgenic/behavioral testing core facility.
The grant represents the first year of funding for the program and the medical school expects the regents to allocate a similar amount of money in the coming year for additional support of the program.
Lynn Landmesser, chair of the Department of Neurosciences, said that many recent advances in genetics and molecular biology have made it possible to identify genes and gene products that are essential for normal brain development, a process that is being greatly accelerated by the Human Genome Project. She said CWRU neuroscience researchers are well-poised to make significant advances in identifying genes, that when altered give rise to a variety of behavioral and neurological defects.
"To catalyze this effort, we will recruit a researcher with expertise in state-of-the-art neural molecular genetics, whose focus will be creating mice with the desired mutations in defined brain regions," said Landmesser. In addition, a new facility, called the neural transgenic/behavioral testing core facility, would handle the creation of such mice and the initial screening of their behavior. The total estimated cost of recruiting the new faculty member and personnel for the facility is about $1 million.
Nathan Berger, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, said, "Research in neurosciences and especially in the genetic aspect of neurosciences is one of our high priority developmental areas. We are grateful to the Ohio Board of Regents for their support."