The PILOT PROJECT PROGRAM is designed to bring new investigators into the field of alcohol research-by providing funds (a) to young investigators and (b) to established investigators who propose projects departing from their ongoing research. Funding from this program will be sufficient to obtain pilot data that can be used to support applications for independent research grants or can seed future reapplications for DEARC funding. The process for competing for pilot funding includes internal solicitation of proposals and a rigorous review process relying on internal and external reviews to select studies of the highest quality. This process is described in the ADMINISTRATIVE CORE. We have allotted eight slots for Pilot Projects, two projects will commence in each of the first four years of the DEARC funding. The current application lists four potential pilot projects that have passed through our internal and external review processes. The other projects have been left open to allow for the vibrancy and fluidity of the field of alcohol research (though two potential projects have been included in the description). The initial three studies are as follows. (1) Russell Matthews (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Neuroscience and Phyiology, Upstate) is an expert in the role of extracellular matrix in the developing nervous system. He proposes to examine the effects of prenatal exposure to ethanol on plastic events in the development of barrels in somatosensory cortex. (2) John Lombardo (Prof., Dept. of Psychology, SUNY- Cortland) studies the toxicity of polychlorinated biphenyls. Among the issues that he will explore is the effect of perinatal exposure to PCBs to increase ethanol intake on sexual dimorphisms. (3) Sandra Mooney (Asst. Prof., Dept. of Neuroscience and Physiology, Upstate) is investigating fetal programming. She proposes that exposure to ethanol at a key time, gastrulation or neuronogenesis, can lead to long-term changes in social behavior in adolescents. (4) Michael Nishnikov (Instructor, Binghamton University, Binghamton) will explore the role of kappa opioid receptors (a) as mediators of perinatal ethanol exposure and (b) in ethanol acting as an appetitive/aversive substance. Each of the proposed Pilot Projects integrates with at least one MAIN PROJECT and uses at least two of the scientific CORES. In summary, the PILOT PROJECT PROGRAM will serve as the seed for alcohol research in Central New York. It will encourage new researchers and new ideas to explore ethanol toxicity in developing nervous systems.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1-BB)
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State University of NY, Binghamton
United States
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