Miranda JD, Bismark M, Silva WI, Miller MM and Lasalde J

UPR-Medical Science Campus, UPR-Rio Piedras Campus, Molecular Science Research Center and Institute of


The COBRE Phase 2 Neuroplasticity Center at the UPR defines pathways and benchmarks for basic and translational research to ensure the sustained growth and evolution of a program that will advance the trajectory of competitive biomedical research in Puerto Rico over the next decades. Key components of the center are its Neuroimaging and Electrophysiology Facility (NIEF), research Subprojects, Pilot and Seed projects. The NIEF is a research core facility that provides specialized technical services, training, and access to state-of-the-art instrumentation. NIEF holds the most recent technology in fluorescence microscopy, electrophysiology and analysis software, and it is also certified by Nikon Instruments, Inc as one of the few Nikon Center of Excellence around the world. NIEF is currently located at the Molecular Sciences and Research Center (MSRC) and the Institute of Neurobiology (INB). NIEF provides the opportunity to capture high-quality confocal images of subcellular structures and molecular events with great sensitivity and high speed as well as the detection of action potentials and ion channel currents from primary and recombinant cells to cellular tissues and animal models. NIEF facilities operate 7 days a week as it may be required while counting with key support personnel. Most importantly, the NIEF serves as a coalescing hub for research Subprojects, Pilot (CP3) and Collaborative Seeds Projects (CCSP) sponsored by the Center in the past two decades of a broad network of neuroscientists within the UPR and collaborating institutions island- and world-wide. Research Subprojects and CP3 advance the Center’s goals of fostering development of junior investigators into competitive researchers on the thematic of Neuroplasticity. Meanwhile, CCSP assures interactions amongst the COBRE Phase 2 award components, infrastructure and human resources. It strongly promotes island-wide synergism in the thematic area of Neuroplasticity by providing seed funds to support small scale research activities that promote interdisciplinary collaborations between a UPR-based investigator and a collaborating investigator from institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico (public and private). The establishment of the NIEF and research projects (Subprojects, Pilots and Collaborative Seeds) was propitiated by financial support of an institutional development award under the COBRE grant (NIH-NIGMS grant P20GM103642) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and institutional funds from the University of Puerto Rico.

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