NOSI Invites Research Projects on Mechanisms of Mycobacterial-Induced Immunity

Funding News Edition: October 08, 2020
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Advanced immunologic analyses of systemic and tissue-specific responses to tuberculosis (TB) could dramatically enhance our understanding of immune mechanisms required for protection and provide fundamental information to improve TB vaccine design. Through Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Mechanisms of Mycobacterial-Induced Immunity in HIV-Infected and/or Uninfected Individuals to Inform Innovative Tuberculosis Vaccine Design, NIAID invites innovative studies to identify and understand the immune responses that mediate protection from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection or progression to active TB disease.

Research projects submitted for this NOSI should include characterization of the timing, anatomical location, and contribution to disease outcome of mucosal or systemic immune responses to mycobacterial infection or vaccination. Studies may focus on any stage of mycobacterial infection or following vaccination with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) or investigational TB vaccines and may include HIV-infected or uninfected individuals.

Examples of specific research priorities include:

  • Elucidating mucosal and systemic adaptive immune responses, including signaling networks and regulatory mechanisms, throughout the course of mycobacterial infection/disease or following vaccination and how HIV infection may shift the balance of these responses
  • Preclinical evaluation of novel TB vaccine candidates with concurrent in-depth immunologic analyses
  • Analyzing innate immune pathways and mechanisms in response to Mtb infection or TB progression, including trained immunity and the effect on downstream activation of adaptive immune responses
  • Applying systems immunology approaches for analysis of systemic and tissue-specific responses to Mtb, nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM), BCG or investigational TB vaccines
  • Immune mechanisms that result in direct killing or elimination of Mtb
  • Effect of prior/chronic exposure to mycobacterial species (including NTM) or BCG vaccination on subsequent immune responses to Mtb infection, TB reactivation, investigational TB vaccine efficacy, or disease recurrence in HIV-infected or -uninfected individuals
  • Analyzing the role of non-classical T cells in immunity to Mtb infection
  • Determining the contribution of the humoral immune response to protection against Mtb
  • Identifying processes associated with mobilization/homing and maintenance of protective immune cells in the lung
  • Investigating the timing and nature of immune responses leading to protection against disseminated TB in BCG-vaccinated children to determine whether BCG activity can be modified to protect adults against Mtb infection or disease
  • Developing novel functional assays to monitor protective host immune responses in humans against mycobacterial infections or candidate vaccines to increase information output and/or significantly minimize the sample amount needed for a given evaluation
  • Analyzing clinical trial samples evaluating TB vaccine candidates to identify immune correlates of protection from Mtb infection, or risk of TB disease progression

The following topics will not be supported under this NOSI:

  • Projects focusing solely on mechanisms of TB pathogenesis that do not include analysis of immune parameters
  • Projects focusing primarily on reagent or animal model development
  • Projects addressing primarily Tuberculosis-Associated Immune Reconstitution Syndrome

Application Information

Remember, a Notice of Special Interest is the standardized format through which NIAID shares or updates research priorities in an area that does not have set-aside funds or special review criteria.

Submit applications in response to this NOSI by using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or subsequent reissuances.

  • PA-20-185, NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-195, NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

For budget, project period, due date, and other submission requirements, defer to the FOA through which you apply.

For your application to be considered for this initiative, you must include “NOT-AI-20-071” in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF 424 R&R form.

Send questions about the NOSI to the NIAID scientific/research contact appropriate to your area of research:

Contact Us

Email us at deaweb@niaid.nih.gov for help navigating NIAID’s grant and contract policies and procedures.

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