OSP FO# 11-034

AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)/National Institute on Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)/National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)/Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

PROGRAM: Genetic Susceptibility & Variability of Human Structural Birth Defects (R01)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to support innovative investigator-initiated applications using animal models in conjunction with translational/clinical approaches that take advantage of advances in genetics, biochemistry, molecular, and developmental biology to identify the specific genetic, epigenetic, environmental, or gene/environment interactions associated with the susceptibility to and variability of structural birth defects in human populations. Investigators are encouraged to: 1) develop interdisciplinary approaches involving clinicians, genetic epidemiologists, and basic biomedical scientists (e.g., geneticists, molecular, and developmental biologists, etc.); and 2) collaborate with existing population-based birth defects registries, databases, and surveillance programs at the private, state, and Federal levels, especially the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-funded Centers for Birth Defects Research and Prevention.

Development and implementation of new and innovative genetic and molecular biotechnology for identifying and characterizing genetic and environmental factors responsible for the epidemiology of malformations should be significant components of the application. Similarly, state-of-the-art methods for the assessment of environmental exposures, including sources, route, duration, and timing of exposure, and lifestyle or other factors that influence exposure should be an integral part of the application. In addition, a component that includes prevention or intervention strategies is encouraged. Research areas may focus on the following targets and include but are not limited to:

-    Research that seeks to understand the relationship between genetic polymorphisms and risk of structural birth defects in the population.

-    Effects of early exposures to targeted environmental toxicants such as endocrine disrupting chemicals, metals, pesticides, and zenobiotics that may perturb cell migration, differentiation, or development resulting in specific defects such as hypospadias and structural defects linked to abnormal brain development.

-    Studies using a systems biology approach toward understanding the complex networks of interactions between numerous genes and proteins controlling normal and abnormal development.

-    Environmental exposures and lifestyle factors of both the father and mother and how these are linked to structural birth defects in the offspring.

-    Research on the mechanism of action underlying the effects of dietary supplement use on health and reducing the risk of structural birth defects, specifically addressing genetic, molecular, biochemical, cellular, metabolic, or physiologic mechanisms and bioavailability. Also of interest is the assessment of biological measures of dietary supplement exposure and associated health effects in individuals as well as populations.

Applicants funded by this program will join the NICHD Birth Defects Working Group and participate in an annual NIH-sponsored two-day meeting designed to provide a forum to discuss research progress, exchange ideas, share resources, and foster collaborations relevant to the goals of the NIHCD’s Birth Defects Initiative. For more information, please consult the program announcement below.

DEADLINES: February 5, June 5, and October 5, until January 8, 2014

FUNDING INFORMATION: This program will utilize the NIH Research Project Grant (R01) award mechanism, and “Just-in-Time” information concepts. R01 funding levels vary according to the scope and need of the project, but cannot exceed a maximum period of 5 years. The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

AGENCY CONTACT:
Lorette C. Javois, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
6100 Executive Blvd Room 4B01D, MSC 7510
Bethesda MD 20892-7510
Rockville, MD 20852 (FedEx service)
Telephone: (301) 496-5541
Fax: (301) 480-0303
Email: javoisl@mail.nih.gov
Web: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-11-085.html

REMARKS: NIH requires that applications to this program be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). After submission via Grants.gov, applications will be retrieved and processed by the NIH Commons system (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/index.jsp). In order to prepare a responsive application, PIs should download both the complete program guidelines (PA-11-085) and the corresponding application package from Grants.gov as well as the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). PIs must also be registered Commons users.

For more information about Grants.gov and the NIH Commons, or to register as a Commons user, please contact A. Brink Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. In addition, please contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to your school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.