The function of the Center's pilot core is to promote and identify new investigators and technologies to? enhance our mission of finding improved treatments for alcoholism. To that end we have established? mechanisms for soliciting, reviewing, and monitoring pilot projects. During the last five years of funding,? nine pilot projects were initiated. The principal investigators of these projects were all junior investigators or? relatively new to alcohol research, or both. Each brought a unique set of skills and methods to the Center.? Six out of nine projects were integrated into major research initiatives. Methodologies established in these? pilots are incorporated into three of the new primary components of this Center grant application. Two? projects led to R01 funding and three are still in progress with the goal of supporting R21 or R01? applications.? Three new projects are presented in detail for funding during the initial 2 years of the new funding period.? Examples of projects that may be funded during the last 3 years of this funding period are also provided.? The projects in the initial two years bring new investigators (Drs. Olive, Howell, Veatch) and their ideas into? the Center. Dr. Olive is a new faculty member in our Center and brings expertise of in vitro microdialysis to? bear on the role of the endogenous opiate system in alcohol consumption and relapse. Dr. Howell is? developing a non-human primate model of drinking that adds an exciting new dimension to our Center. Dr.? Veatch is proposing a mouse project focusing on the role of sleep abnormalities in early abstinence and? relapse. During the last three years of funding, we intend to focus on state-of-the-art technologies and additional new investigators to enhance our mission even further. Projects in mouse neural networks, adolescent alcoholic brain imaging, socially anxious alcoholics, and alcohol education of health professionals all dovetail nicely with our research and education focus.

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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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Medical University of South Carolina
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