Apply To Study Molecular Dynamics of HIV Through Existing Datasets

Funding News Edition: July 07, 2022
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NIAID seeks applications that propose studies of molecular dynamics behind key processes in the HIV life cycle. If your research can provide integrated structural, computational, and functional approaches to understanding the dynamics of key molecular processes in the HIV life cycle, consider applying through the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Molecular Dynamics of HIV (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Molecular dynamics (MD) can capture the movement of proteins and other biomolecules in full atomic details at femtosecond time scales to simulate a variety of biomolecular functions. Multi-scale dynamic modeling extends the scale of simulations to include multi-component complexes or whole cellular environments. Over the past decade, researchers have solved many high-resolution structures of key HIV and HIV/host cell molecular complexes. NIAID intends to leverage these accumulating datasets to better understand the dynamic interactions that exist throughout the HIV viral life cycle.

Research Areas of Interest

Your application should address a crucial component of the HIV life cycle, immunological response, or therapeutic intervention that is amenable to structural determination and dynamic modeling. Projects may not be based on purely theoretical modeling of sequence data but should be centered instead around datasets generated by appropriate atomic or molecular scale approaches.

Below are HIV-related research areas that NIAID is most interested in:

  • Env-mediated receptor binding and membrane fusion
  • Capsid interactions with cytoplasmic and nuclear transport machinery
  • Transcription, latency, and epigenetic regulation
  • HIV genomic RNA recognition and recruitment to sites of viral assembly
  • HIV assembly, budding, and release
  • HIV recognition by, and escape from, innate immune factors
  • Binding of HIV antigens to B-cell surface immunoglobulin receptors
  • Affinity maturation of anti-HIV neutralizing antibodies
  • Mechanisms of action of novel anti-HIV therapeutics and their interactions with host or viral targets

Nonresponsive Research Areas

Keep in mind that NIAID will consider nonresponsive and not review applications that:

  • Are not primarily focused on dynamic modeling of HIV/host cell structural data relevant to NIAID research priorities of HIV prevention, treatment, and cure
  • Involve only theoretical modeling of protein/nucleic sequences or other biological data without a focus on experimental structural datasets
  • Do not include functional analyses and testing of hypotheses derived from the modeling simulations
  • Propose a clinical trial

A Word About Data Sharing

Remember that applicants should make all research data available to the public through the Protein Data Bank or BioMagResBank upon publication. NIAID expects applicants to submit structures of complexes solved by electron microscopy to a publicly accessible resource such as the Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB). In addition, dynamic trajectory data should be placed on a publicly available server.

Submission Information and Deadline

Budgets are capped at $500,000 in annual direct costs. The scope of your project should determine the project period, which cannot exceed five years. Applications are due on December 7, 2022, by 5 p.m. local time of the applicant organization.

Direct any scientific inquiries to Dr. David McDonald, NIAID’s research contact, at 301-761-7815 or For peer-review related questions, contact Dr. Vishakha Sharma at 301-761-7036 or

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