Research Groups

The National Resource for Aplysia

Founded by the NIH’s National Center of Research Resources in 1995, the National Resource for Aplysia on the campus of UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science is the only place in the world where Aplysia californica are cultured and raised for research purposes.

Aplysia from the facility serve in research on genomics, human brain function, toxicology for developmental studies, natural products, chemistry for isolation of novel anti-tumor and antibacterial compounds, in the study of transport by digestive tissues and have potential for use in studies of substance addiction and nerve senescence and regeneration.

Some researchers use the oversized Aplysia californica neuron as the model for the study of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other common brain diseases.

A secondary goal of the National Resource for Aplysia is to continue to promote advanced science education and community awareness of the relevance of the work being performed by our researchers. To this end, the Aplysia facility offers educational tours, advanced academic workshops and seminars to students, youth groups, educators and visiting scientists from around the world. Volunteer internships are also offered to qualified undergraduates with an interest in marine biology, aquaculture, animal husbandry and general biological research techniques. The facility also accepts a limited number of outstanding high school students for executive internship programs sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Public School system.