? PILOT AND FEASIBILITY PROGRAM The Pilot Feasibility Program seeks to introduce new investigators and ideas to the Liver Center, to promote novel ideas that may advance the field of hepatology, and to enable investigators to obtain data for future grant submissions, such as R01 applications. Candidates for funding in order of priority consist of: (1) senior postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty; (2) established University investigators in other fields who wish to apply their areas of expertise to subjects of Center interest; and (3) Center members who wish to pursue a project that is different from their current focus of interest and who need to develop preliminary data to apply for new R01-type funding. Despite limited and essentially level funding for this program during the past 31 years, this component of the Center has provided us with an annual opportunity to solicit applications for pilot project awards from throughout the Yale community. This has enabled the Center to continually revitalize its membership and to capitalize on new technologies and research opportunities of importance to the continued development of the Center's research base. For example, during the past 6 years this program has enabled the Center to bring new investigators into the Center with expertise in diverse but cutting-edge areas. Pilot Feasibility projects also were pivotal for the development of novel technologies such as iPSC-derived cholangiocytes, as well as biliary organoids derived from liver tissue or bile. The program has been successful by a variety of other metrics: awardees over the past 11 years published 66 manuscripts as a direct result of their funding and competed successfully for 36 new grants, representing a 17-fold return on investment. In addition, 45 of the 46 awardees (including those who left Yale) remain involved in digestive diseases-related research. Moreover, in the last 12 years (including grants that were just awarded September 2019), 73% of the 37 Pilot/Feasibility awardees who are still at Yale remain active Center members.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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