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Pilot Core

The objective of the Pilot Core for the Indiana Alcohol Research Center is to identify promising investigators new to the field of alcohol research.  The Pilot Core facilitates entry into alcohol research through pilot funding, ongoing mentorship, and collaborations with established investigators. The core assists with development of alcohol-related research programs with the goal of securing extramural grant funding.  Through these efforts, the Core also serves the mission of identification and exploration of novel areas of long-range relevance to the Indiana Alcohol Research Center’s overall goals.

Submit a proposal for a pilot project

Current pilot projects

  • Impact of adolescent social isolation on increased risk for compulsion-like drinking text

    Adverse experiences during the critical neurodevelopment period of adolescence (e.g., social isolation) are a major risk factor for neuropsychiatric problems such as alcohol use disorders (AUDs). The literature indicates that disruptions in social interactions during the vulnerable period of adolescence can have long-term effects on behavior and underlying neural mechanisms, which imposes serious long-term costs on the individual and society. The central hypothesis of this project is that adolescent social isolation before and during alcohol exposure causes neuroadaptations within the basolateral amygdala-dorsolateral striatum and/or basolateral amygdala-nucleus accumbens neural circuits that result in higher drinking and greater aversion-resistant drinking.

    23690-Lukkes, Jodi

    Principle Investigator

    Jodi Lukkes, PhD
    Assistant Research Professor of Psychiatry
    Indiana University School of Medicine

  • Enhancing prospection with high-intensity future thinking for compulsion-like drinking text

    Less than 20% of those with lifetime alcohol use disorder (AUD) receive treatment, making treatment engagement a major hurdle to successful AUD intervention. The goals of this project are to test the prosocial effects of personally-relevant, high-intensity cues in AUD and related brain mechanisms. Our overarching hypothesis is that sensation seeking (SS) can successfully compete with alcohol reward drive. Specifically, we plan to test whether envisioning cues for  high-value future rewards can enhance behaviors related to lower alcohol-seeking behaviors, and whether these cues alter brain function in regions associated with introspective thinking and reward circuitry.  These will be the first steps toward validating a novel and clinically relevant intervention for hazardous alcohol consumption.

    16111-Oberlin, BrandonPrinciple Investigator

    Brandon Oberlin, PhD
    Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
    Indiana University School of Medicine

Core Faculty

6553-Yoder, Karmen

Karmen K. Yoder, PhD

Professor of Radiology & Imaging Sciences

Read Bio Karmen K. Yoder, PhD

Steering Committee

David Kareken, Center Director

Karmen Yoder, Pilot Core Director

Cristine Czachowski, Center Deputy Director

Christopher Lapish, Center Scientific Director

Sean O’Connor, Center Internal Scientific Advisor

Howard Edenberg, Center Internal Scientific Advisor

Bryan Yamamoto, Center Internal Scientific Advisor

Stephen Boehm, Center Investigator

Melissa Cyders, Center Core Faculty