June 2021 DAIT Council-Approved Concepts

Concepts represent early planning stages for program announcements, requests for applications, notices of special interest, 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

Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Concepts

FY 2023 Concepts

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)—Using the Collaborative Cross (CC) Mouse Model for Immunoregulatory and Infectious Disease Research

Notice of Special Interest—proposed FY 2022 initiative

Contact: Joy Liu

Objective: 

  1. To characterize Collaborative Cross (CC and CC-RIX) mouse lines that more faithfully reproduce human immune responses and advance understanding of the host genetics involved in immune regulation and function
  2. To screen CC mouse lines to identify and characterize lines suitable for specific studies and disease models within the mission of NIAID (e.g., fundamental immunology, immune-mediated diseases, infectious diseases)

Description: This initiative will solicit R01 and R21 applications that use CC (CC and CC-RIX) mouse lines to advance our understanding of the host genetics involved in immune regulation and function, and identify and characterize lines suitable for specific studies and disease models within the mission of NIAID. This initiative is a continuation and extension of expired PAR-18-781, Collaborative Cross (CC) Mouse Model Generation and Discovery of Immunoregulatory Mechanisms (R21, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)—Dirty Mouse Models of Human Immunity

Notice of Special Interest—proposed FY 2022 initiative

Contact: Joy Liu

Objective: To characterize immune system development, regulation, and function in dirty mice by 1) comparison of mouse line(s) housed in a “clean” environment with animals housed in a “dirty” facility (normobiotic mice) during homeostasis or in various disease models and 2) in vitro comparison of immune profiles in primary human cells and cells from dirty mice. These studies will advance our understanding of the impact of the host’s microbial exposure and experience on developing and maintaining immunity, and provide the necessary data to encourage the inclusion of dirty mouse models in future research studies.

Description: This initiative will solicit research projects (R21s) to conduct immunologic characterization of dirty mice to determine their usefulness as research models to advance understanding of human immunity during development and in homeostasis, or during infectious and immune-mediated diseases.

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)—Immune Responses to Arthropod Feeding on Vertebrate Hosts

Notice of Special Interest—proposed FY 2022 initiative

Contact: Joy Liu

Objective: 

  1. To understand the immunological events in the vertebrate host that occur during and after feeding by hematophagous and ectoparasitic arthropods at the bite site (skin) and systemically
  2. To identify and characterize arthropod salivary components that exhibit immune modulatory properties
  3. To determine the factors and mechanisms responsible for immune-mediated disease (e.g., allergy such as alpha-gal syndrome, dermatitis) triggered by hematophagous or ectoparasitic arthropods

Description: This initiative will solicit R01 and R21 applications to study the immunological events in the vertebrate host that occur during and after feeding by hematophagous and ectoparasitic arthropods at the bite site (skin) and systemically; the role of arthropod salivary factors in establishing vector-borne infections and immune-mediated diseases; and local as well as systemic immune modulation by arthropod salivary molecules. This initiative is a continuation and extension of expired PAR-18-860, Immune Response to Arthropod Blood Feeding (R21, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)—Somatic Cell Gene Editing Therapies To Improve Transplantation Outcomes

Notice of Special Interest—proposed FY 2022 initiative

Contact: Nasrin Nabavi

Objective: The use of somatic cell gene editing (SCGE) therapies for treating human diseases has seen exciting progress in recent years, with multiple therapeutic approaches now in clinical trials to treat cancers, confer resistance to HIV, and correct genetic abnormalities associated with hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, and thalassemia; however, application of SCGE to improve transplantation outcomes has received little attention.

The goal of this initiative is to encourage applying SCGE technologies to transplantation immunology. Taking advantage of new insights and tools generated by The Somatic Cell Genome Editing Program launched in 2018 by the NIH Common Fund, this NOSI aims to stimulate multidisciplinary collaborations between transplant immunologists and gene editing experts to explore the use of SCGE technology to address unmet needs in allotransplantation, such as preventing or treating rejection; achieving transplant tolerance; prolonging allograft survival; protecting from the toxicities of pharmacologic immunosuppression; and improving organ/cellular function of transplanted grafts.

Description: Successful applications will use cutting-edge technologies and employ interdisciplinary collaborations to apply progress made in SCGE to transplantation research. The initiative will support studies that test approaches in human tissues or organs excluded from clinical use, and/or employ animal models of vascularized composite allograft, islet, or organ transplantation, including rodent, porcine, or nonhuman primates, to address research needs in allotransplantation. Approaches may include ex vivo or in vivo modifications of donor or recipient organs, tissues, or cells to reduce graft immunogenicity, and/or improve allograft survival and function through, for example, the disruption of deleterious genes or insertion of protective or regulatory genes to modulate immune responses, mitigate ischemia reperfusion injury, and/or repair organ damage, and prevent rejection.

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI)—Understanding the Immune Functions of DEAD/H-box Helicases

For the published notice of special interest, check the July 22, 2021 Guide notice, Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Understanding the Immune Functions of DEAD/H-box Helicases.

SUNBEAM-Analysis and Bioinformatics Center

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2023 initiative

Contact: Gang Dong

Objective: The objective of this initiative is to establish a mechanistic -omics center to support the Systems Biology in Early Atopy (SUNBEAM) birth cohort, which DAIT initiated in 2021 with the participation of several of DAIT’s clinical consortia. The objective of SUNBEAM is to recruit 2,500 pregnant women and study them and their offspring for three years in order to describe the early presentation of atopic dermatitis and food allergy, and identify the molecular events that characterize developing these conditions. Currently, the funds available for SUNBEAM support the set-up of its 12 clinical sites, recruiting and maintaining the cohort, and collecting and storing biosamples. Using state-of-the-art -omics approaches, this new initiative will conduct assays of SUNBEAM biosamples and perform bioinformatics analyses.

Description: This initiative will support the detailed molecular analysis of cord blood and peripheral blood collected from the participants in the SUNBEAM birth cohort study. Studies include but are not limited to blood transcriptomics, high parameter analysis of blood cells, proteomics, and metabolomics.

Limited Competition To Continue the Controlling and Preventing Asthma Progression and Severity in Kids

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2023 initiative

Contact: Lisa M. Wheatley

Objective: The PARK (Preventing Asthma in high Risk Kids) trial is designed to evaluate whether anti-IgE (omalizumab) can prevent asthma in two- to three-year old children at high risk due to aeroallergen sensitization and recurrent wheeze. The grant application scored in the 5th percentile, and the trial is mentioned in numerous publications as being an important step to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of asthma. In this trial, the children are treated with omalizumab or placebo for two years and then followed for an additional two years. Asthma will be diagnosed in the second post-treatment year.

Description: This initiative will support the two-year follow up of the enrolled participants to completion and analysis of this clinical trial.

Development of Microbiome-Related Approaches for Diagnosis/Mitigation/Treatment of Radiation Injuries

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2023 initiative

Contact: Carmen Rios

Objective: This request for applications serves as the Radiation and Nuclear Countermeasures Program’s only mechanism to solicit investigator-initiated, early-stage research directed toward characterization of the microbiome, including its possible role in the body’s response to radiation exposure, identifying potential microbiome targets for radiation drug development, and identifying novel microbiome-based biomarkers of radiation injury.

Description: This initiative will support the research and development of microbiome-related approaches to diagnose/mitigate/treat acute radiation syndrome and the delayed effects of acute radiation exposure.

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