Motor vehicular accidents, sports accidents, and assaults result in about 10,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) every year in the United States. Damaged nerve fibers within the cord cease to relay signals between the brain and the rest of the body; depending on the site of damage along the spinal cord, these injuries can interfere with breathing, bowel and bladder function, and result in paraplegia or quadriplegia. New findings on the molecular regulation of axonal pathfinding and synapse formation during development suggest that similar mechanisms could lead to more robust and directed nerve regrowth in adulthood, and the restoration of connections within the damaged spinal cord. However, more information is needed on the expression of such signals in the normal and injured adult spinal cord. In order to stimulate research in this area, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) invites applications for support of pilot studies that extend the new discoveries in developmental neurobiology to stimulate axonal regeneration, guidance, and synaptogenesis within the injured spinal cord. Researchers with expertise in development and other disciplines are encouraged to initiate exploratory studies leading to a better understanding of the basic mechanisms that contribute to repair and plasticity after spinal cord injury.