June 2017 DMID Council-Approved Concepts

Concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, requests 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 Opportunities & Announcements.

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

Table of Contents

Centers of Excellence for Translational Research

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2019 initiative

Contact: Michael Schaefer

Objective: Expand the product development pipeline by supporting discovery and preclinical development of medical countermeasures against select pathogens.

Description: This initiative will support multidisciplinary translational research centers focused on generating, validating, and advancing medical countermeasures (therapeutics, immunotherapeutics, vaccines, vaccine technologies, and medical diagnostics) for select emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Each Center will conduct interdependent research and development activities organized around a specific countermeasure-focused theme. Emphasis will be placed on integration of current research knowledge and infrastructure with highly innovative and synergistic approaches to facilitate countermeasure development that addresses related constraints or barriers to product development, licensure, and usage. Clinical trials will not be supported under this program.

Example themes could include:

  • New or improved therapeutics against antimicrobial-resistant pathogens
  • Development of broad-spectrum countermeasures or technologies
  • Countermeasures targeting intracellular pathogens
  • Development of broad-spectrum antiviral immunotherapeutics
  • Development of a next-generation vaccine
  • Host-targeted interventions as therapeutics

Partnerships for Countermeasures Against Select Pathogens

For the published request for applications, see the August 21, 2017 Guide announcement, Partnerships for Countermeasures Against Select Pathogens (R01).

Repurposing Target-Based Pharmaceutical Libraries for Discovery of Therapeutics Against Eukaryotic Pathogens

For the published request for applications, see the September 12, 2017 Guide annoucement, Repurposing Target-Based Pharmaceutical Libraries for Discovery of Therapeutics against Eukaryotic Pathogens (R21/R33).

Maintenance, Housing, and Research Support of Non-Human Primate Colonies and Cohorts for the Vaccine Research Center

Request for Proposals—proposed FY 2019 initiative

Contact: Patrick Wilson

Objective: To have the capacity to expeditiously conduct collaborative preclinical research.

Description: The mission of the NIH, NIAID, Vaccine Research Center (VRC) is to conduct research to facilitate developing effective vaccines to elicit humoral and/or cellular immune responses to prevent human diseases. To fulfill this mission, the VRC must have the capacity to expeditiously conduct collaborative preclinical research which is facilitated by VRC’s Translational Research Program (TRP). The TRP serves three major functions at the VRC: 1) provides centralized support and service for all in vivo research conducted at the VRC, 2) conducts collaborative research and animal model development, and 3) operates a fully accredited lab animal facility. This initiative intends to provide the acquisition and research support for the entire Non-Human Primate program.

Through this initiative, VRC’s TRP will be able to respond to demands for non-human primate (NHP) research protocols toward the development of vaccines, including immunotherapeutics (e.g., broadly neutralizing antibodies and passive transfer), for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and to enable collaboration with researchers. The primary species required by the VRC is Specific Pathogen Free (SPF), Indian-origin, rhesus macaques; however, other species such as cynomolgus macaques, marmosets, or other NHP species may be required as approved by the VRC Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC).

Through this initiative, the following support will be provided for VRC’s TRP:

  • Site selection for research facility
  • Acquisition and colony management
  • Transportation of NHPs to research facility
  • Animal Biosafety Level (ABSL) 2, ABSL3, and ABSL4 collaborative research protocols
  • Study specimen collection, testing, and management
  • Health monitoring and SPF surveillance
  • Electronic data management
  • Regulatory support and study coordination

Support services provided under this initiative allow VRC’s TRP to conduct basic and translational research through NHP research protocols. Support services may include the acquisition of NHPs, qualified personnel, materials, equipment, and facilities not otherwise provided by the government, necessary to perform the work. The required work may include purchasing, acquiring, transporting, establishing, and maintaining NHP research cohorts using select offspring or government-owned NHPs for VRC ACUC-approved experimental protocols. The nature of investigations conducted by VRC scientists involve the use of BSL2, BSL3, and possibly BSL4 infectious agents (e.g., simian immunodeficiency viruses and Ebola virus) and require long-term, overlapping, labor-intensive studies that will require animals to be maintained on study protocols for longer than 12 months post-inoculation. Procedures will be conducted in accordance with individual protocols issued under VRC or NIAID ACUC-approved Animal Study Proposals.

Through this initiative, VRC’s TRP will be able to rapidly begin in vivo testing of novel vaccine candidates and immunotherapeutics in NHPs using new and/or proven vaccine/therapeutic strategies.

Content last reviewed on September 12, 2017