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 Find a Funding Opportunity.
NB: Council approval does not guarantee that a concept will become an initiative.
Table of Contents
- Detection of HIV for Self-Testing
- Dysregulation of Immune Cell Regulatory Pathways by Mtb in the Context of HIV Infection
Program Announcement With Special Receipt, Referral, and/or Review Considerations—proposed FY 2018 initiative
Contact: Diane Lawrence
Objective: The objective is to support interdisciplinary research and development of innovative diagnostic technologies designed to facilitate increased in-home HIV testing. The proposed research should define milestones that demonstrate sensitivity, specificity, and feasibility to address the need for 1) increased awareness of infection status, especially during the initial two to eight weeks of infection when viral load and risk of transmission are greatest and/or 2) enhanced monitoring of viral suppression in HIV-infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Description: This initiative will support basic and translational research collaborations to develop and optimize simple qualitative assays to directly detect HIV (RNA, DNA, or protein) or other biomarkers that reliably correlate with viral load. The assays should allow sensitive detection of HIV at the earliest possible time post-infection or after loss of viral suppression by ART, ideally corresponding to a plasma viral load of 200 to 1,000 copies/ml. For monitoring viral suppression, the assay should appropriately consider the need to prevent detection of cell-associated HIV DNA and RNA. Developing such technology will require collaboration among experts in the fields of virology and biotechnology (e.g., microfluidics, bioengineering, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, manufacturing).
Applications will describe a five-year project in two phases. The initial research phase would define the intended goal(s) for detection and outline milestone-driven proof-of-concept studies. The later R33 phase would involve expanded assay development and optimization, determination of performance specifications, and validation with human samples. Successful projects would inform later product development efforts; ultimately, the assays should be simple to use with no training required, allow convenient sampling of biospecimens, be easy to repeat for regular testing, provide a rapid readout, and be designed to be relatively inexpensive and easy to package and distribute.
For the published request for applications, see the April 7, 2017 Guide announcement, Dysregulation of Immune Cell Regulatory Pathways by Mtb in the Context of HIV Infection (R61/R33).