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September 2013 DMID Council-Approved Concepts

Concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, request for applications, or solicitations for Council's input. If NIAID publishes an initiative from one of these concepts, we link to it below. To find initiatives, go to the Opportunities and Announcements portal.

NB: Council approval does not guarantee that a concept will become an initiative.

Table of Contents

Novel, Alternate Model Systems for Enteric Diseases

For the published request for applications, see the January 27, 2014, Guide announcement, Novel, Alternative Model Systems for Enteric Diseases (U19).

Defining the Immune Response to HCV

Request for Applications

Contact: Rajen Koshy

Objective: The goal of this initiative is to define the essential elements of a successful immune response against HCV infection.

Description: This initiative will build upon and focus the work of the current Hepatitis C Cooperative Research Centers (HCRC) program on the immunological response to HCV infection. Studies supported by this initiative will show how HCV infection triggers interferon-stimulated gene expression in the liver and how activation of innate immune pathways determines the adaptive humoral and cellular immune responses that affect clearance of HCV infection. Conserved structural elements on HCV envelope proteins will be identified to facilitate developing broadly neutralizing antibodies and as potential components of vaccines. A very important new finding from the current program is that HCV-specific CD4 T cells are present very early in infection and that the onset of chronicity correlates with their rapid depletion. To understand the causes and implications of this loss, significant technology enhancements will be required to improve the isolation and purification of small quantities of CD4+ T cells and devise more sensitive assays of multiple proteins from small numbers of purified cells.

These studies (not clinical trials) will be done in the context of current clinical understanding of HCV infection, hence, using well developed clinical components, including cohorts of the earliest identifiable acute infection, chronic infection, successfully treated individuals, treatment failures, and other relevant groups. Moreover, these efforts will define the essential elements of a successful immune response against HCV infection and incorporate them into new prophylactic and therapeutic products.

Last Updated January 27, 2014

Last Reviewed September 30, 2013