Identify Mechanisms Behind Heterogenous Influenza Response by Developing Computational Tools

Funding News Edition: May 19, 2021
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NIAID is accepting applications for a new initiative to develop and apply computational tools that can identify the mechanisms behind heterogenous responses in the population to influenza infection or vaccination. Apply for support through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Systems Approach To Understand Mechanisms of Heterogenous Response to Influenza (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Research Objectives and Scope

NIAID is implementing the NIAID Universal Influenza Vaccine Strategic Plan through studies analyzing responses to influenza infection and/or vaccination in key cohorts, and testing novel influenza vaccine candidates in clinical trials. Detailed analyses of these findings, especially using computational tools well-suited to complex and large data sets, have potential to reveal new correlates of protection, risk, or other predictive markers of response to influenza.

This initiative supports identifying mechanisms behind heterogenous seasonal influenza infection responses through developing and applying computational tools; specifically, tools that can integrate molecular, genetic, cellular, patient, or population-level data. Successful applicants will propose well-integrated, cross-disciplinary research teams with strong computational expertise. They will also propose outreach activities to promote approaches and resources developed under this initiative and promote collaborations with pertinent scientific communities. 

The FOA will also support research on the following topics:

  • Mechanisms that regulate the effects of host factors, e.g., age, sex, microbiome, immune history, or immune status on the host response to natural infection or vaccination
  • Markers of severe outcome to infection
  • Markers of response/nonresponse to seasonal influenza vaccine

Nonresponsive Research Areas

NIAID will consider applications in the following areas to be nonresponsive and will not review them.

  • Applications that do not consider the breadth of outcomes to vaccination or infection
  • Applications based exclusively on infection or vaccination studies in animals
  • Clinical trials (any phase), although this application encourages using clinical samples and data from independently funded studies
  • Applications that do not include at least one scientist with expertise in computational tool development or bioinformatics as program director/principal investigator
  • Applications that do not focus on seasonal influenza infection or vaccination

Deadline and Contact Information

Application budgets are not limited but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period, which cannot exceed five years.

Applications are due on September 8, 2021, at 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization.

Direct scientific/research inquiries to and peer review inquiries to Dr. Maryam Feili-Hariri.

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