Join NIH’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership To Research Autoimmune Diseases

Funding News Edition: April 21, 2021
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NIH’s Accelerating Medicines Partnership is now accepting applications for disease teams, technology and analytic cores, and a research management unit within its Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) program through two new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):

AMP AIM’s overarching goal is to understand cellular and molecular disease pathways and identify novel targets for intervention. Disease teams will focus on tissue interrogation technologies in the context of disease de- and reconstruction approaches, while technology and analytic cores will optimize technologies to interrogate human biopsy tissue, and the research management unit will provide centralized operational support.

Potential applicants should attend the informational webinar on May 5, 2021, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

Priority Research Topics

AMP AIM will create an infrastructure to strengthen clinical phenotyping protocols; implement diversified, nimble workflows; select and optimize emerging technologies and their application to tissue; expand systems level analysis capacity; and expedite the steps to operate under open science principles.

Each disease team will focus on one of the following diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriatic spectrum disease, or Sjögren’s syndrome.

Program-wide objectives include:

  • Design clinical observational and cross-sectional patient cohorts and controls to address prioritized scientific challenges on disease de- and reconstruction
  • Dissect mechanisms of disease at the organ level leveraging AMP AIM resources and infrastructure
  • Conduct spatial mapping of cell types and states to identify the pathways of crosstalk between cells that drive inflammation and tissue damage
  • Integrate analysis of selected environmental cues (e.g., microbiome)
  • Model integrated single cell multi-omics data in a spatial context and identify inflammatory mediators to uncover the regulatory mechanisms governing functions within and between cells that cause disease
  • Conduct comparisons between and across tissues to understand how different cell types, states, and interactions may lead to different disease manifestations
  • Deploy data storage platforms and accelerate data sharing

Each disease team will select, recruit, and deep phenotype patient populations to implement disease de- and reconstruction strategies, establishing cross-sectional and longitudinal cohorts to collect biopsy tissue and biosamples for its research projects. Teams should be multidisciplinary, with documented experience in patient recruitment and safely obtaining biopsies for clinical or research purposes.

NIH expects applicant’s proposed studies to serve as starting points for discussions around achieving AMP AIM program objectives; it is unlikely that any studies will proceed exactly as proposed or at an individual site.

Technology Cores

Technology and analytic cores will not focus on a single disease; rather, they will focus on one high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytic (e.g., single-cell proteomics) or closely related high-dimensional tissue interrogation analytics (e.g., combined single-cell transcriptomics and proteomics).

Additionally, AMP AIM seeks a Systems Biology Core to conduct systems-level analyses of multi-dimensional datasets generated by the research projects and a Tissue Acquisition Research Core to identify the most efficient methods for tissue acquisition and prepping as well as develop standard operating procedures to support tissue acquisition activities.

Research Management Unit

The research management unit will provide operational management, clinical monitoring, and coordination of program-wide activities, which will include establishing necessary working groups, developing study timelines, and providing clinical monitoring.

Key Application Details

For both AMP AIM opportunities, application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The maximum project period is five years.

The FOA focused on disease teams allows clinical trials, although you should propose them only as a delayed onset study.

The application deadline for both FOAs is July 15, 2021.

Contact Dr. John Peyman, NIAID’s scientific/research contact for AMP AIM, if you have questions about the program’s priorities and objectives.

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