September 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

Genomics Centers for Infectious Diseases

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2019 initiative

Contact: Liliana Losada Brown

Objective: To continue state-of-the-art, large-scale Genomic Centers for Infectious Diseases (GCID) that will provide emerging genomic technologies and capacity for high-throughput sequencing; metagenomics and microbiome analysis; microbial and targeted human genotyping and computational platforms; software tools; and data analysis.

Description: The GCID will pursue hypothesis-driven research in infectious diseases by merging next generation sequencing, genomic technologies, and functional genomics. The Centers will have five core elements: 1) large-scale, cost-efficient, state-of-the-art sequencing and genomics technologies capabilities, 2) robust genomics technology and methods development for infectious diseases in the areas of sequencing and other emerging technologies, such as synthetic genomics, genome editing (e.g., CRISPR-cas), and single cell RNA sequencing, 3) collaboration with scientific and clinical infectious disease communities and scientific working groups, 4) strong data and sample management systems, including processing of human clinical samples, and 5) data analysis capacity and bioinformatics innovation with state-of-the-art computational capabilities and development of new and improved computational tools and algorithms for analysis of large, diverse, and complex data sets to support basic, translational, and clinical research studying human pathogens, invertebrate vectors of infectious diseases, and host-pathogen interactions.

The Centers will provide the broad scientific community with critical genomic research resources including sequencing capacity, methods, protocols, technologies, data sets, training, and scientific and technical expertise. The Centers will also be flexible and scalable to efficiently and rapidly respond to public health needs as they arise, such as emerging and reemerging infectious disease outbreaks. The knowledge generated, including research data, analytical software tools, computational models, and experimental protocols and reagents, will be disseminated to the scientific community through publicly accessible databases and reagent repositories.

Bioinformatics Resource Centers for Infectious Diseases

Request for Proposals—proposed FY 2019 initiative

Contact: Stanley Knight

Objective: To provide data-driven and computational infrastructures and data-sharing platforms to support large-scale, system-level data integration and modeling, and enable predictive biology for pathogens and host-pathogen interactions for discovery research, clinical investigation, and therapeutic development for infectious diseases.

Description: The Bioinformatics Resource Centers (BRCs) will continue to provide established infrastructures as well as scientific and technical expertise to enhance, expand, and make accessible bioinformatics resources and services. Resources include data standardization and collection, software tools and algorithms, analytical pipelines and services, and databases and infrastructures that use state-of-the-art technologies to enable data organization, integration, mining, analysis, sharing, and dissemination. These resources will be made accessible to the infectious diseases community through web interfaces and web services.

Specifically, the BRCs will provide:

  • Infrastructures for integrating, computing, accessing, and sharing data for basic, translational, and clinical research studying human pathogens and related organisms, invertebrate vectors of human pathogens, and host-pathogen interactions.
  • Bioinformatics tools and services for data mining, visualization, and analysis, including computational approaches for in silico experimentation, advanced methods for predicting phenotypes such as antimicrobial resistance, emergence and transmission of pathogens, and epidemiology modeling, as well as user workspaces with capability of integrative data and workflow management.
  • Application of tools in clinical settings to support decision-making for diagnosis and development of therapeutics.
  • Interactive access, visualization, and retrieval of data, tools, and other resources within each BRC and across BRCs through web interfaces and web services.
  • Platforms for next-generation systems biology investigations to support systems level predictive modeling and knowledge.
  • Outreach activities and training opportunities to facilitate collaboration, expand the user-base, and increase utility of the resources and services provided.

Ultimately the BRCs are responsible for understanding and collecting the evolving bioinformatics needs of infectious diseases researchers and of the many pathogen research communities supported by DMID. The bioinformatics infrastructures provided shall be flexible and scalable, and have the capacity to efficiently and rapidly respond to needs as they arise, such as emerging and re-emerging outbreaks.

Content last reviewed on September 26, 2017