The major theme of our Alcohol Research Center is treatment through research. By enhancing our basic knowledge of alcohol's action on the brain and of individual risk factors for the development of alcohol abuse and dependence, better treatments can be developed. One important way to facilitate this translation approach to alcohol research is to encourage the development of new tools and ideas. Recent advances in molecular biology and genetics, neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, and related fields offer great promise for better defining key mechanisms and pathways that underlie excessive drinking. In turn, these targets can be used to develop effective and personalized treatment strategies. The major goal of the ARC Pilot Project Component is to identify and recruit individuals to use these unique tools and skills in order to generate novel and interesting data of relevance to alcohol treatment. This goal will be accomplished by carrying out three Specific Aims: 1) Provide a mechanism to recruit and mentor basic science and clinical investigators into the alcohol research field and to promote their ability to generate publications and independent grant funding;2) Increase efforts in promoting and developing translational research approaches in the alcohol research field by identifying critical areas where basic science and clinical practice overlap;and 3) Identify gaps in our knowledge regarding the effects of alcohol on brain and behavior, and apply specific technologies and approaches to solving these problems. Each year, we will invite researchers across the MUSC campus to submit a 5-page proposal describing a research plan that specifically addresses novel alcohol treatments or has implications for treatment. A system is in place to review and select pilot projects for funding. Projects supported by this Component will be rigorously monitored for progress, and mentoring will be offered to junior investigators and to those new to the alcohol field. By actively seeking out pilot projects from MUSC researchers across the diverse set of disciplines within the university, we will not only expand our research capabilities, but will provide training and support to investigators who seek to join us in solving the problems associated with alcoholism and excessive drinking.

Public Health Relevance

The understanding of how alcohol affects the brain has grown tremendously. A major reason for this is due to continued support of basic and clinical research that seeks to define why some individuals have difficulty in controlling their drinking. Studies carried out under this Pilot Component will test new ideas and will generate preliminary data to address unanswered questions regarding uncontrolled drinking, and will augment our ability to effectively treat excessive drinking.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Type
Specialized Center (P50)
Project #
2P50AA010761-16
Application #
8128146
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-GG (99))
Project Start
2011-01-01
Project End
2015-12-31
Budget Start
2011-01-01
Budget End
2011-12-31
Support Year
16
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$141,240
Indirect Cost
Name
Medical University of South Carolina
Department
Type
DUNS #
183710748
City
Charleston
State
SC
Country
United States
Zip Code
29425
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