Funding Opportunity To Study Fetal Immune System Development

Funding News Edition: October 08, 2020
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Can your research improve our understanding of the specific elements of maternal molecular and cellular factors that can control and effect the development of the fetal immune system? If so, apply for funding support through the reissued funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Development of the Fetal Immune System (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Molecular and cellular elements in the maternal-fetal milieu modulate education of the fetal immune system. Although maternal exposure to infectious diseases may alter these molecular elements and the fetal immune system, the extent of alterations to the fetal immune system is unknown.

Scope of Research

Ideally, your application should offer a variety of technological approaches to understand fetal immune system development in mothers exposed to acute or chronic infections.

Successful applicants will propose research to:

  • Elucidate the impact of maternal infection, inflammation, and metabolism on the robustness of development of the early immune system by employing nonhuman primate (NHP) or other animal models.
  • Address critical questions about maternal inflammatory levels in conjunction with normal fetal development specifically in the context of neuro-cognitive and metabolic immune impacts of early development.
  • Understand the contribution of specific elements of the maternal-fetal milieu that can control and affect secondary lymphoid system development and homeostasis leading to commensal microbiome fitness in the uterus and early infancy.
  • Use a variety of approaches to understand gene interactions, networks, and pathways in early immune development of the fetus and during early infancy.
  • Develop approaches that can integrate mechanisms of various endocrine and paracrine regulators in early stages of pregnancy which can affect downstream genetic variation in immune elements and functional immune development in the offspring.
  • Use novel imaging and refined scanning technologies, with higher resolution and speed, not restricted to, but as an example, single cell proteomics to understand early immune system development.

This list is not all-inclusive. NIH strongly encourages you to discuss the program relevance of your research plan with the scientific/research contact (listed below) before submitting your application.

Keep in mind, NIH will consider nonresponsive and not review applications proposing studies on:

  • Infant immunity (solely)
  • Effects of maternal microbiome and not on the relevance of these effects on fetal immune system development
  • Epigenomic approaches (solely)
  • Immunization strategies in infants

Deadline and Contact Information

The first due date is April 7, 2021. The next due date is December 7, 2021, followed by bi-annual due dates through December 7, 2023.

Application budgets are limited to $300,000 in annual direct costs. The scope of your research project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is three years.

For questions about this FOA, contact Dr. Mercy Prabhudas, NIAID’s scientific/research contact.

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