Center for Research ExcellenceThe Neuroscience Group at The University of South Dakota was awarded an $8 million research grant in 2000 from the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Research Resources, to establish a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) in the area of Neural Mechanisms of Adaptive Behavior. This grant was renewed for $9 million until 2010.
OverviewThe Neuroscience Group, comprised primarily of Sanford School of Medicine and USD Department of Biology researchers, works on several interrelated research projects that are designed to address the major focus of the Center. The main theme is to study the structural reorganization of neural pathways that result in adaptive behaviors in response to novel experiences or disease states. Functional reorganization of neural circuits is fundamental to processes that occur during learning and memory, development, and in the central nervous system's response to stress and anxiety states or injury such as occurs during stroke or Alzheimer's disease.
The Biological Imaging Core Facility is housed within the Sanford School of Medicine and is maintained by our COBRE funding. This imaging facility is equipped with an Olympus FluoView 1000 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope. The microscope has six laser lines (LD 405 nm, multi-line argon at 458 nm, 488 nm and 515 nm, green HeNe, red HeNe) for simultaneous imaging of multiple fluorophores. It also has software for 3D reconstructions, FRET and FRAP.
The facility also houses a Bio-Rad VersaDoc 5000 Imaging System. This facility was recently expanded to include state-of-the-art conventional fluorescence imaging equipment. This includes a Zeiss Axiovert 200 inverted microscope for tissue culture work. This microscope is motorized, has an Axiocam camera system, a heated stage, multichannel fluorescence, an Apotome confocal-like slider and software for time lapse and 3-D imaging. A second upright fluorescence microscope, a Zeiss Axio Imager, is for standard work using tissue sections. It is also equipped for multifluorescence and a camera system for data acquisition. The facility is staffed by a full-time technician, Dr. Frances Day, who will aid researchers with data acquisition and image analysis.
We have established a Behavioral Core Facility that provides essential equipment to examine behaviors in a variety of animal models, which can then be related to neuropsychological and neurophysiological processes. The Core consists of modular equipment from Noldus to test anxiety, learning and memory, locomotion, sleep, stress and reward related behaviors. The Facility includes video tracking hardware designed for tasks such as the watermaze, elevated plus maze, and 8 arm radial maze. The Behavioral Core is housed in Laboratory Animal Services (LAS) in the School of Medicine and is supervised by Drs. Gina Forster and Michael Watt. ore facilities include a Biological Imaging Core Facility housed within the Sanford School of Medicine. This imaging facility is equipped primarily with an Olympus FluoView 500 Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope. The confocal microscope has three laser lines for simultaneous imaging of multiple fluophores. The facility also houses computers for image analysis including deconvolution and is staffed by a full-time technician.
For more information, contact:
Joyce Keifer, Ph.D.
Basic Biomedical Science
Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD, 57069