The Pilot Core will continue to oversee the execution and development of pilot projects that bring new technologies and new investigators into the Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center (NARC). MUSC neurosciences has undergone dramatic growth within the last 5 years that has expanded the pool of young, talented investigators in preclinical and clincal arenas. The pilot core will provide an opportunity to mentor some of these young investigators into the field of addiction under the supervision of senior NARC investigators. Due to the success of preclinical pilot projects and pilot clinical trials during the current funding period, both preclinical and clinical pilot projects will continue to be solicited by advertisement and word-of-mouth, and will be competitvely reviewed by the NARC Internal Steering Committee. Once funded, the progress of projects will undergo extensive monitoring by the Core Director and the Steering Committee. As in the past, the proposed pilot grants will be evaluated and prioritized to promote primarily young investigators whose work will synergize with the overall NARC mission. To illustrate the potential of the pilot core to assist in the development of young investigators and to promote cutting edge preclinical and clinical research in addiction, the proposal contains possible pilot projects that, if formally submitted in a call for pilot grants, will be considered in a competitive manner if the renewal is funded.
The NARC Pilot Core has an excellent record of mentoring investigators towards research and funding in the neurobiology and pilot clinical trials for addiction. This effort has developed faculty funded through NIDA and NIAAA at MUSC, as well as junior non-tenure track faculty at MUSC finding tenure-track faculty positions outside of MUSC. As such, the Pilot Core is playing an important role in developing the next generation of addiction scientists and research clinicians.
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