PILOT PROJECT CORE - ABSTRACT The center?s Pilot Project Core represents the most critical mechanism to promote innovative investigational endeavors by young and established scientists. It is particularly effective in fostering a transition of senior postdocs and early-stage investigators to the pathway to independence in their chosen research topics related to the center?s theme. It also facilitates generation of new leading-edge studies by established investigators from other fields on research subjects of our emphasis via collaboration with the center members and support from scientific cores. During the past 5 years, the core supported 14 investigators. Of these, 8 received the support for 2 or 3 years on the same projects. Ten funded investigators published total 26 manuscripts; 4 senior postdocs/junior scientists were transitioned to faculty positions; 6 acquired NIH grants (2 R01, 1 K01, 1 K08, 2 R21, 2 R30 subawards) and 4 foundation grants. We attribute this successful outcome to a combination of the seed funding and the Core?s comprehensive support mechanisms involving the Center?s other cores (e.g., Animal Core, ILCC) and interactive platforms such as Progress Report meeting, annual symposium, single-topic workshops, educational programs which generate and stimulate collaborative opportunities for the awardees. In the next funding cycle, the Core will continue to promote career development of young scientists and support a generation of new cutting-edge science in the field of ALPD and cirrhosis. Toward this goal, the Core pursues the following five specific aims: 1) to promote exploration for new and innovative research in pursuit of the center?s research theme; 2) to identify and recruit new and qualified senior postdocs and young scientists into our field of interest and support their transition to academic independence; 3) to identify and recruit established investigators with expertise in other fields into research relevant to the center?s theme; 4) support the growth of meritorious but unfunded studies into competitive projects that attract NIH support through R01 and other mechanisms; and 5) to integrate the center?s other supportive mechanisms such as cores and educational and training programs to maximize the potential of pilot projects for maturing to competitive studies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAA1)
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles
United States
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