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Just as Nebraska Athletics has long been regarded as a pioneer in the field of collegiate strength and conditioning programs, was among the first to emphasize the link between health and nutrition and athletic performance and stood in the vanguard in life skills training for student-athletes, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) now is taking the lead by integrating athletics and research and using cutting-edge imaging technology to better elucidate the biological underpinnings of behavior and performance. No other university in the nation is conducting research in this way.
This emerging collaboration between athletics and research at UNL led to allocation of space in the East Stadium addition to Memorial Stadium for a 50,000-square-foot research area. The proposed Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior (CB3) will occupy space in the south half of the East Stadium addition, and the north half will be dedicated to the Nebraska Athletic Performance Lab (NAPL). CB3 will house a radiology unit and a state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) magnet, which will enable investigations related to behavior and performance, including the study of concussions. The research facility also will provide shared space, including 48 laboratories and a common area large enough to accommodate 40 to 50 people. This space is envisioned as a “brain trust,” allowing science work groups to exchange information. Glass walls will draw people out of offices to communicate with each other, and a bridge will connect with the NAPL, which will focus on areas critical to increased performance and health among student athletes, including technology, nutrition, psychology and learning. On August 23, UNL faculty from a wide variety of departments and key representatives of the athletic department gathered, along with current and potential NAPL partners, to take the first steps in launching this collaboration between athletics and research. The kickoff event provided an opportunity for participants to learn more about the new East Stadium research facilities, participate in a discussion of future research activities and explore ways UNL faculty and others can become involved in this unique collaboration.
KEYNOTE: HOW BIOMARKERS IN SALIVA CAN BENEFIT YOUR RESEARCH PROGRAM--Douglas Granger