Apply for a Chance To Enhance HIV Reservoir Susceptibility

Funding News Edition: April 20, 2022
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HIV researchers, you may be interested in the new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Enhancing HIV Reservoir Susceptibility to Elimination (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed), whose objectives are to:

  1. Elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms within persistently infected HIV reservoir cells that promote survival or resistance to cell killing.
  2. Identify novel therapeutic targets within persistently infected cells that will increase their sensitivity to virus- or immune-mediated cell death.
  3. Explore synergistic approaches to combine enhancement of susceptibility to cell death with other eradication strategies. These studies will inform efforts to develop more effective interventions for an HIV cure.

Note that the FOA is primarily intended to support basic research that explores hypotheses about what happens inside HIV reservoir cells to avoid elimination and how to counteract those mechanisms.

Specific Areas of Research Interest

Applications are expected to define intracellular mechanisms that determine resistance or sensitivity of HIV reservoir cells to cytolytic stimuli. For example, studies may examine programmed cell death pathways, epigenetic regulation, or other host or viral factors that contribute to HIV reservoir survival, longevity, expansion, and responses to virus production or immune targeting.

Studies also may seek to define cellular factors that impact or counteract virus-induced downregulation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) or impairment of HIV antigen presentation. Understanding how these mechanisms may differ over the course of infection and/or in different cell types or tissue compartments is also of interest.

Studies using primary cells or cell models from humans or relevant animal models must be included. Testing of therapeutic strategies or use of preclinical animal models is not required but may be included as needed to test mechanistic hypotheses.

Areas of Interest for Co-Funding

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will consider co-funding applications that include a focus on the following:

  • NIMH—Mechanisms of survival and cell death in persistent reservoirs within the central nervous system, including microglia, macrophages, and astrocytes.
  • NIDA—The influence of addictive substances or relevant signaling pathways on mechanisms of HIV reservoir cell survival and death, with a particular focus on the central nervous system and myeloid reservoirs. Studies using biological samples from individuals who use addictive substances (nicotine, cocaine, stimulants, opioids, prescription drugs, cannabinoids, alcohol, or combinations) are highly encouraged.

A word of caution: If you propose any of the following, your application will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be reviewed:

  • Studies focused primarily on improving latency reversal
  • Studies focused primarily on enhancing effector cell killing
  • Approaches designed to bypass cellular mechanisms for eradication, such as HIV-specific antibodies or immunotoxins
  • Applications that do not include primary cells from HIV/SIV-infected hosts
  • Applications proposing clinical trials

Award Information and Application Due Date

NIAID and partner components intend to fund three to six awards in fiscal year 2023.

Submit your application by August 3, 2022, by 5 p.m. local time of your organization.

Contact Details

If you have questions, touch base with the FOA’s scientific/research contact Dr. Diane Lawrence at 240-627-3202 or For questions about peer review, contact Dr. Kristina S. Wickham at 301-761-5390 or

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