The Nebraska Center for Neurosensory Systems (NCNS) is a unique collaboration between three independent research organizations located within 3 miles of each other in Omaha: the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), Creighton University (CU), and Boys Town National Research Hospital (BTNRH). These institutions have different structures and bring diversity to the research and core facilities in the NCNS.
The thematic focus of the NCNS is the discovery of the genes and molecular pathways for the development and maintenance of neurosensory systems, and the determination of the mechanisms through which gene mutations disrupt these processes. Now in Phase III of funding, the scope has broadened to include researchers in developmental neuroscience since the goals, genetic processes, and tools are similar. Understanding these developmental systems provides the scientific foundation for therapies designed to correct or replace damaged components. Our approach to this research has been formulated as:
- Identification of genes critical to the development and function of neurosensory and neurodevelopmental systems and elucidation of their role in clinically significant abnormalities and pathogenesis.
- Creation of model systems (e.g., animal and in vitro tissue culture) designed to allow determination of the mechanisms of action of these genes.
- Investigation of molecular genetic mechanisms to prevent loss of function or restore function to neurological systems