The Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research, established in 2012 with a
COBRE award, is a collaboration between Delaware State University (DSU) and the
University of Delaware (UD). Our unique Center brings together faculty and research
resources from two very different institutions: a minority-serving, undergraduate
university with an emerging strength in neuroscience research (DSU), and the state’s
flagship research university (UD). Phase II of our Neuroscience Center COBRE was focused strengthening our
infrastructure for neuroscience research, and to continue to support the research and professional development of early
stage investigators that included Project Leads, Pilot Grant PIs, and new faculty who were hired at DSU with COBRE
support. Our Center has been very successful with over 175 publications by COBRE-supported researchers, six Project
Leads “graduated” into R01 support, three pilot investigator graduated to NSF grants including a CAREER award, and
new faculty recruited to DSU with COBRE support winning K01 and R21 awards.
During Phase II our institutions made significant investments in the research infrastructure for neuroscience.
The University of Delaware established the Center for Biomedical and Brain Imaging with a 3T scanner for human
magnetic resonance imaging, and a 9.4T scanner with small bore magnet for MRI with rodent models. Delaware State
University established a Cell Electrophysiology Core facility to provide patch clamp, multi-electrode and automated
patch clamp services with cells and tissue slices to help neuroscience investigators answer their research questions.
Our phase III project will strengthen both our Center and neuroscience research in Delaware by transitioning the core
resources and biomedical research activities our Neuroscience Center into independence and sustainability.
The overarching scientific goal of our Neuroscience Center is to bring together and support neuroscientists
working at multiple scales, from human subjects to rodent and invertebrate models to improve our understanding of
the dynamic function of the brain. During Phase III we will pursue three specific aims for our Center: 1) involving a
new group of investigators in the Center’s integrated mentoring and professional development program with a pilot
grant program that will help junior faculty become independent, externally-funded researchers; 2) strengthening the
research infrastructure and capacity in Delaware by supporting our research core facilities to transition to sustainability;
and 3) to develop the Delaware Center for Neuroscience Research as a supportive, sustainable scientific community
focused on investigating dynamic structure-function relationships in the brain.
Continuing this COBRE program will have two significant long-term benefits. First, we will build on our
success to support more Delaware neuroscientists to achieve NIH funding for their research on understanding the brain.
Second, as the only COBRE based at an Historically-Black institution, our project has a uniquely significant impact in
supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the IDeA program and biomedical research in general.