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Center for Neuroanatomy with Neurotropic Viruses

Grant Number: P40OD010996

Research Emphasis/Objectives

The use of viruses to define the synaptic organization of neuronal circuitry has experienced an explosive growth over the past decade. This experimental approach is the most widely used method to provide a polysynaptic perspective on the functional architecture of the nervous system. Consequently, it has proven to be increasingly popular among neuroscientists whose goal is to define ensemble organization of populations of neurons devoted to specific functions. The mission of this center is to provide a state-of-the-art national resource center that (1) serves as a technical and intellectual resource for those interested in using viral transneuronal tracing, (2) develops improved transneuronal tracing technologies and makes them available to investigators throughout the United States via access to center resources and training, (3) serves as a repository for well-characterized reagents essential to the application of the method, and (4) stimulates collaborative multidisciplinary studies of mechanisms underlying viral neuroinvasiveness and pathogenesis.

Image of neurons

Current Research

Research at the center is focused within two Virus Cores (Alpha Herpesvirus and Rabies Virus Cores) and a Technology and Resource Core. Reagents produced within the Virus Cores are characterized and developed for research applications in the Technology and Resource Core. Current research focuses on (1) developing tracing applications with conditional replication of alpha herpesviruses, (2) characterizing the molecular basis of direction selective transport of herpesviruses, (3) constructing and characterizing new recombinant viruses that can be used in complex tracing paradigms and for functional analysis of identified neurons, and (4) defining the distribution of receptors that influence neuroinvasiveness of alpha herpesviruses in the central nervous system.

Services Provided

The center provides reagents and training for those interested in application of the viral transneuronal tracing method.

Contact Information

University of Pittsburgh
Departments of Neurobiology and Neuroscience
4074 Biomedical Science Tower 3
3501 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15261…

Principal Investigators

Peter L. Strick, Ph.D.
Phone: 412-383-9961
Fax: 412-383-9061

J. Patrick Card, Ph.D.
Phone: 412-624-6995
Fax: 412-624-9198

Additional Contact

Amanda Fetsick
Phone: 412-383-9878
Fax: 412-383-9061