I am seeking support to collaborate on a research project in a completely new area of inquiry for me. The study involves testing the ability of a newly discovered neuroprotective chemical, P7C3, to enhance memory in aging rats and possibly, if initial results are promising, in mice that are genetically engineered to develop the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease. Briefly, groups of young (<6 months) and old (>18 months) rats with be injected with either P7C3 or an inert vehicle concomitantly with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU; a thymidine analogue that is incorporated into the RNA of proliferating cells, effectively 'tagging' them for post-mortem identification). I will assess the rats on several measures of memory and anxiety/depression, including the Morris Water Maze (MWM), Novelty Suppressed Feeding (NSF), and inhibitory fear conditioning. Histological analyses will be performed on the rats' brains to quantify the change in progenitor hippocampal neurons based on age and treatment with P7C3. This new line of research is exciting to me because it is extremely current and has a real chance of making a tangible and important contribution to the development of a new therapeutic agent for cognitive decline due to both normal aging and pathological brain changes. I feel it will breathe new life into my research program and will offer my students an opportunity to be involved in cutting edge neuropsychology research. Moreover, it will enhance my classroom teaching in my courses on memory processes.