Overarching Aims

In addition to pursuing research in the domain of plasticity, the overarching aims of the CNAP COBRE are:

To promote R01 award success for CNAP project and pilot grant leaders

CNAP supported five research projects throughout our Phase 1 COBRE award, four at Kansas State University and one at Wichita State University that have worked towards achieving this goal. Currently in Phase 2, we support three projects at K-State. Two projects will utilize rodent models to examine cognitive and neurobiological changes that occur after traumatic situations or disease with the goal of better understanding these conditions and identifying treatment options. A third project will study human memory processes and will seek to identify new techniques that can improve memory for individuals with disorders. All projects will take advantage of the CNAP research cores and will connect to the Phase 2 crosscutting themes of Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, Neuromodulation and Assessment, and Advanced Computational Modeling.

To continue to develop a critical mass of researchers in cognitive/neural plasticity through recruitment of new CNAP members

New faculty and post-doctoral recruits at Kansas State University during Phase 1 expanded CNAP research capabilities and ensured growth of the center, as well as enrichment of the research climate. In Phase 2, we plan to hire three additional tenure-track faculty members who will conduct research in CNAP thematic areas, utilize our research cores, and further expand our critical mass of researchers in our thematic area.

To further improve research infrastructure through expanding three multi-user core laboratory facilities

Throughout Phase 1, CNAP resources allowed us to modernize and expand the functionality of the Behavioral Neuroscience Core, build a new Neuroinformatics Core, and develop an Electroencephalography Core. These cores provide direct support for the primary projects, pilot grants, and other CNAP programs and are available for use by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students for conducting research within the CNAP domain. In Phase 2, we will make further expansions to all three cores to provide even more advanced research tools and capabilities to support our researchers’ scientific work. Phase 2 will also see the transformation of the Electroencephalography Core into a broader Cognitive Neuroscience Core with the addition of several new research modalities.

To enhance the research capabilities of CNAP center members through strengthening the Scientific Exchange Network (SEN)

This program provides faculty, post-doctoral researchers, and graduate students with access to core facilities and training that will increase their capability to secure extramural funding. The Scientific Exchange Network increases the connections of Kansas State with nearby universities and other neuroscience COBRE centers. As a part of the program, we host joint mini-conferences for showcasing CNAP research, sharing research with major figures in relevant fields, disseminating research across the network and sparking further synergy and collaboration across institutions.

Our goal is to become a thriving thematic research center that will greatly advances the understanding of neural and cognitive mechanisms of plasticity. CNAP will attract substantial extramural funding, provide a pathway to independent extramural center grant funding, and promote a rich research climate at Kansas State and our partner institutions.