The CSORDA Pilot Program was established in 2002 and has proven to be an important mechanism for evolution of the Center by incorporating new and innovative project areas and technical expertise. We are proposing a modest program with $40,000 available each year to fund two Pilot Projects. Logistical management of the Pilot Program is the responsibility of the Administrative Core. The selection process Involves a call for proposals and analysis of the proposals by an ad-hoc Pilot Project Selection Committee chaired by Dr. Edythe London. The Pilot Committee, with input from the Advisory Board recommends projects for funding, which are subsequently presented by the Pilot Project PI to all Center personnel at one of the bi-weekly Center meetings. This process provides the opportunity for open critique and optimization of Pilot Projects by all members of the Center, and often develops productive collaborative projects between CSORDA and Pilot Project Pi's. Final decisions for funded Pilots are made at the Steering Committee meeting, with the Directors making decisions in consultation with Dr. London and the Advisory Board if consensus cannot be reached. The Administrative Core provides a mechanism for budgetary and scientific oversight of the pilots. Choice of funded pilots will be made according to the innovation and excellence of the research proposed, as well as, its likely impact in the area of substance abuse research. Priority will be given to Projects that could have high impact, those most closely related to the theme of the Center, and those that may offer new technologies and research for future incorporation into CSORDA. Two Pilot Projects have been selected for the first year of funding: Dr. Jack Feldman will use the conditional Mu knockout mice (developed in the laboratory of Dr. Kieffer) to assess cell-types in the preBotzinger Complex that are involved in opioid-induced respiratory depression, and Dr. Hongwei Dong will assess connectivity between different brain areas involved in opioid reward.

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Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
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University of California Los Angeles
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