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COBRE Administrative Core

Core Director: Dr. Mark W. Miller

Grants Administrator: Ms. Bethzaida Birriel
Accountant: Ms. Brenda Caban
Purchasing Agent: Ms. Sandra Félix

The Administrative Core supports the three-fold objectives of the COBRE Center: 1) Develop and maintain a nationally competitive biomedical research program focused on the theme of Neuroplasticity, 2) Facilitate the developmental trajectory of junior investigators toward their transition to independent research careers, and 3) Support the COBRE NeuroImaging and Electrophysiology Facility (NIEF). The three Specific Aims of the Administrative Core are to organize and sustain: 1) a structured approach to faculty development that will implement a systematic mentoring strategy for COBRE Subproject PIs and newly recruited neuroscience faculty, 2) faculty career development activities that will provide programmatic instruction in Laboratory Management, Grant Writing, Manuscript Preparation and additional topics designed to accelerate the scientific development of junior faculty, and 3) a research infrastructure enhancement program that fosters collaboration and enriches the entire neuroscience community. Infrastructure enhancement activities include a COBRE Seminar Series, a Neuroscientist-in-Residence program, the Annual Puerto Rico Neuroscience Conference, and an annual COBRE Center for Neuroplasticity Retreat and Assessment Activity. Teams composed of local and external mentors provide guidance and direction aimed to promote advancement of COBRE investigators toward independence and their subsequent retention at the University of Puerto Rico. An External Advisory Committee (EAC), composed of leading neuroscientists who are committed to advancing neuroscience on the island, has been enlisted to provide guidance and to advocate on local and international levels. The Administrative Core is centered at the Institute of Neurobiology, a free-standing unit of the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus. Executive and fiscal program management will be implemented by a team of personnel with a proven track record in the operation and management of large multi-faceted research and training programs. This Administrative Core is responsible for all purchasing, hiring, and reporting aspects of the COBRE Center. Finally, the COBRE Administrative Core serves as liaison between program elements and an evaluation module that provides: 1) ongoing formative feedback intended to assess COBRE Center strengths and areas requiring adjustment, and 2) summative assessments of program accomplishments and limitations.