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News from the VRC

March 2012

From David Brainard:

March 13, 2012. New mouse model available.
Noga Vardi's lab has and can make available the floxed GCaMP3 mouse described in this abstract. If you have a cre enzyme in your tissue of interest and would like to perform calcium imaging, this mouse will help. Please contact Noga ( if using this mouse is of interest to your lab. Pilot projects using this mouse might be suitable for support via a VRC seed grant.

March 5, 2012. VRC seed grants.
We are pleased to announce the availability of funds to help vision investigators obtain preliminary data for grant proposals. We expect to award 4-5 grants of approximately $15,000 each this year. Possible items include support for sequencing, creation of a necessary mouse line, staff time, etc. If a grant of this size would help you leverage current resources to get a project off and running, please prepare a ~2 page application. This should contain a short description of the project, how it will lead to a grant proposal if successful (i.e. where will you submit and via what mechanism), and an itemized budget with short justification. Also include CV and current support for all investigators involved with the project. Email materials as a single PDF to David Brainard ( Deadline for the initial round of seed grants is March 31, 2012. Applications will be reviewed by the VRC Executive Committee.

Summer undergraduate interns.
We have funds to support summer undergraduate research internships for work in vision labs - $3500 per student with a $1500 co-pay from investigators. We will use some of the funds to support interns who come to Penn through established programs (e.g. Computation Neuroscience Summer Internships), but can also interns outside of any formal program. If you have identified an undergraduate who would like to work in your lab, please email David Brainard, with the particulars. If you would like to find a summer undergraduate intern but don't know where to look, again email Brainard with a short description of the research project and we will work with you to post your opportunity at some standard outlets. The undergraduate need not be a Penn student.

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