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Center for Translational Neuroscience

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During the initial award, we generated >$13 million in new grants to investigators and recruits, and published >130 articles or chapters and >135 abstracts or presentations. We devised a new and effective treatment for tinnitus, developed a device as well as a new drug treatment for hyperreflexia and spasticity after spinal cord injury, we developed a cure (elimination of symptoms) for spatial neglect, discovered a novel mechanism for sleep-wake control that will also impact the mechanisms behind anesthesia, and have begun to decrease the death rate among low birth weight babies in the State. However, we need an additional period of support in order to increase our critical mass of investigators, secure PPG and P50 awards, graduate from the program, and become an independent Center for Translational Neuroscience. We propose to 1) strengthen and augment translational neuroscience research through mentoring promising Junior clinician and basic scientists by established, dedicated senior Mentors, 2) expand the research programs of Early career investigators by forming research teams including successful, previously supported investigators and new Junior investigators mentored by multiple established senior investigators, 3) enhance the infrastructure critical for expanding translational neuroscience research by supporting, upgrading and expanding our Core Facilities, 4) increase the critical mass of translational neuroscience researchers at UAMS by recruiting 5 additional junior scientists, 5) maintain our successful Career Development Program for junior investigators and institute a new Leadership Program for established, early career, and junior researchers, who will be required to meet specific performance milestones, and 6) develop a strategy to "graduate" from COBRE support that will ensure the continuity of the CTN. The Research Plan proposed is designed to meet these aims and create a permanent Center for Translational Neuroscience. Given the successes outlined in our Progress Report, and despite dramatic changes in funding availability, we are confident that we will meet our goals in achieving "graduation" from this program. We look forward to continuing to mentor additional promising clinician and basic scientists, and help improve health care for our citizens.

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE (provided by applicant): Two blocks to translational research have been identified, lack of translation of basic science discoveries into clinical studies, and from clinical studies into medical practice. We designed the CTN to address blocks to these processes, while mentoring promising scientists to careers in translational research. The CTN is a beacon for translational research in the region, and is having an impact on the health of its constituents.

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