Research on Interventions, Drug Docking and Screening Data Resources

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

Research to Understand and Inform Interventions that Promote the Research Careers of Students in Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences (R01)
(RFA-GM-14-013)

Purpose: Test assumptions and hypotheses on the role of social and behavioral factors in interventions intended to increase interest, motivation and preparedness for careers in biomedical and behavioral research
Letter of intent due date: September 18, 2013
Application due date: October 18, 2013
NIGMS contact: Clifton A. Poodry, 301-594-3900

Drug Docking and Screening Data Resource (U01)
(RFA-GM-14-010)

Purpose: Increase the amount of publicly available, high-quality data describing structures and affinities of protein-drug ligand complexes needed for the development, validation and benchmarking of drug docking and screening software
Letter of intent due date: September 9, 2013
Application due date: October 9, 2013
NIGMS contact: Peter C. Preusch, 301-594-0828

Jeremy Brown to Direct NIGMS-Housed Emergency Care Research Office

Photo of Jeremy Brown, M.D.Last July, I announced the creation of a trans-NIH Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) housed in NIGMS. OECR now has a permanent director: Jeremy Brown, M.D. His NIH appointment will begin in July.

Although the office won’t directly fund emergency care research and training, it will coordinate and communicate about basic, clinical and translational emergency care research activities at the NIH institutes and centers that do support them, including NIGMS. These efforts will create a higher profile for this critical area of biomedical research. OECR also will partner with other government agencies and organizations engaged in broader efforts to improve emergency care nationwide.

Dr. Brown brings an impressive mix of clinical expertise, research experience, management abilities and communication skills to this important new position. We welcome him to NIH and look forward to working with him.

Progress Reports and the Public Access Policy

As NIH announced in February, it will delay the processing of noncompeting continuation awards with budget start dates of July 1, 2013, and beyond if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Whether your award requires progress reporting in the new RPPR format (all SNAP-eligible and fellowship awards) or still uses the PHS 2590 progress report (you know who you are…), you must use My NCBI’s My Bibliography feature to identify and associate publications with the correct grant number(s). Changes to My Bibliography have improved the workflow and communication between PIs and non-PI authors, so it’s now easier for you to track compliance of all papers arising from your awards, even those for which you’re not an author. This YouTube video Exit icon provides a step-by-step demonstration of the whole process.

The RPPR module in the eRA Commons will automatically create the “C.1 Publications” list for your RPPR progress report, complete with NIH Public Access Compliance indicators, based on the grant affiliations in your My Bibliography account. For PHS 2590 progress reports, you will need to run the My Bibliography compliance report yourself, print the file and add it to your PHS 2590.

You can run the Public Access Compliance report in My Bibliography at any time, so there’s no need to wait ’til your progress report is due to check that all your publications are compliant and are affiliated with the correct grants.

Funding Opportunities: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, Native American Research Centers for Health, Small Business

You may be interested in these recent funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

Renewal of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) (P20)
(PAR-13-243)

Purpose: Establish a thematic, multidisciplinary center and enhance the ability of investigators to compete independently for NIH or other external peer-reviewed support
Application due dates: September 25, 2013; September 25, 2014; September 25, 2015
NIGMS contact: Yanping Liu, 301-451-4217

Limited Competition: Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Phase III — Transitional Centers (P30)
(PAR-13-238)

Purpose: Strengthen phase I COBRE centers through improvements in research infrastructure as well as the development and support of investigators
Application due date: August 2, 2013
NIGMS contact: J. Rafael Gorospe, 301-435-0832

Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) (S06)
(PAR-13-239)

Purpose: Conduct research and research training to meet the needs of American Indian/Alaska Native communities
Letter of intent due date: July 6, 2013
Application due date: August 6, 2013
NIGMS contact: Sheila A. Caldwell, 301-594-3900

Reissue PHS 2013-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44])
(PA-13-234)

Purpose: Research and develop innovative technologies with commercial applications*
Application due date: Standard dates apply
NIGMS contact: Scott Somers, 301-594-3827

Reissue PHS 2013-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42])
(PA-13-235)

Purpose: Research and develop innovative technologies with commercial applications*
Application due date: Standard dates apply
NIGMS contact: Scott Somers, 301-594-3827

*There are important changes in the reissued SBIR/STTR FOAs, including: 1) Majority venture-capital owned companies are now eligible to apply for the NIH SBIR program; 2) All small business concerns must now register with the SBA Company Registry; and 3) NIGMS will not accept applications to the new SBIR/STTR FOAs that exceed the hard cap ($225,000 total cost for Phase I applications and $1,500,000 for Phase II applications). For more information, see the NIH SBIR/STTR Web site.

Meeting to Highlight NIGMS-Funded Systems Biology Program

National Centers for Systems Biology Portal - Find updates, news stories, training opportunities and moreFor 10 years, our National Centers for Systems Biology (NCSB) program has enabled pioneering research, research training, education and outreach programs focused on systems-level inquiries of biomedical phenomena within the NIGMS mission.

Currently, the program funds 15 centers that are focused on molecular and cellular biology, genetics, pharmacology and physiology. The centers have advanced research in these scientific areas and have significantly contributed to the development of systems biology courses, graduate programs and departments at institutions across the nation, supporting and further building research teams that integrate expertise across traditional disciplinary boundaries.

To mark the program’s anniversary, we are hosting a special annual centers meeting to inform the broader scientific community about the status and achievements of the program. In addition to presentations highlighting each center’s activities, the agenda includes a plenary talk by Arthur Lander of the University of California, Irvine, titled “Lighting the Way: Ten Years of National Centers for Systems Biology,” and presentations by young scientists whose careers have been impacted by the program.

The meeting will be held on July 11-12 in the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus. You can now register to attend and see who is participating.

Here are a few examples of how the research being conducted by the NIGMS-funded systems biology centers is advancing our knowledge in a broad range of scientific areas:

  • The Virtual Physiological Rat Project Exit icon at the Medical College of Wisconsin used data analysis and computational modeling to show that arterial stiffening alone best explains the development of hypertension in aging individuals; the methodology can serve as a model for studying the basis of other diseases.
  • The Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology Exit icon at the University of California, San Francisco, has created minimal circuits that can reprogram the self-organization of structures within the cell, offering a potential method for engineering cells to carry out specific therapeutic functions.
  • Using dynamical modeling, the San Diego Center for Systems Biology Exit icon at the University of California, San Diego, has helped explain how quantitative differences in epigenetic steady states may result in qualitatively different cell-type-specific control of signaling.
  • The Center for Complex Biological Systems Exit icon at the University of California, Irvine, has provided novel insights into the strategies underlying robust pattern formation in biological systems.
  • The Center for Modular Biology Exit icon at Harvard University has explored whether networks of interacting components, or modules, are pervasive building blocks in biological systems, and how the existence of these building blocks restrains or enhances the generation of diversity.
  • The Center for Systems Biology Exit icon at the Institute for Systems Biology is seeking out how dynamic molecular networks of cells process inputs from their environment to mount appropriate responses, such as metabolic, morphological and phenotypic changes.
  • The Center for Genome Dynamics Exit icon at the Jackson Laboratory has developed and commercialized two highly sought-after genotyping platforms that are useful in mouse research.

For more highlights, including a recent award from Science magazine for an online computational biology course Exit icon from the Center for Genome Dynamics, see the NCSB news page. An array of databases, software and other resources, including training materials, developed by the centers are available for use through the NCSB portal Exit icon.

Research on Women in Biomedical Careers

A group of NIH grantees convened last November to present and discuss their studies on causal factors and possible interventions affecting the representation of women in biomedical and behavioral research and engineering. Their work is funded through a trans-NIH initiative spearheaded by NIGMS and the Office of Research on Women’s Health. Through this effort, NIH is gathering evidence that will help guide future plans and actions in this arena.

Here are several key areas of focus that are emerging from the research:

  • Bias is powerful and often unconscious, but it can be measured, and it can be altered.
  • Mentor networks are often more effective than mentor pairs.
  • Workplace culture affects career satisfaction and performance, and aspects of culture can be measured and changed.
  • Institutional flexibility policies are typically under-recognized and under-used, in part due to ingrained academic culture and lack of leadership buy-in.

For more on the workshop, read the just-posted summary.