Component VII - Pilot Studies The six projects proposed for the Pilot Study Component are thematically consistent with projects previously and currently supported by our Center. For example, the proposed study of the effects of zonisamide, a compound similar to topiramate, for controlling problem drinking is consistent with our Center's long-standing support of pharmacotherapy studies. In addition, the study of increasing physical exercise to help sedentary college students reduce problem drinking is consistent with our ongoing studies of individuals """"""""at risk"""""""" for alcoholism. The basic science studies proposed by Drs. Conti and Shoemaker to examine the role of stress at different stages of development on later alcohol use are consistent with the Center's interest in basic science questions that relate to the etiology of alcoholism. The Pilot Study Program is managed by the PI and Executive Committee, with advice from the Scientific Advisory Group. Pilot studies are approved for funding on the basis of a competitive review procedure which closely approximates the NIH procedure. It begins with an open call for proposals that is circulated within the ARC, the department and to research groups in other areas of the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine. The ARC Executive Committee reviews each proposal to verify, at first, that it is consistent with the research objectives of the ARC. If the proposal is considered to be meritorious by the Executive Committee, it is forwarded to external reviewers. The likelihood that the proposed pilot study will support the development of a larger R01 proposal, a career development award or a future major component of future Center applications, is considered in combination with the proposal's scientific merit in the final funding decision. The progress to date of ARC-supported pilot studies is outstanding. Support from the pilot studies program during the current 5-year cycle has thus far yielded 11 publications, 12 scientific meeting presentations, and?most significantly?5 grant application submissions. We expect that the group of 6 studies proposed for the next cycle of the ARC will be similarly fruitful.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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University of Connecticut
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