September 2021 DAIDS 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) 2023 Concepts

Limited Interaction Targeted Epidemiology: Viral Suppression (LITE-VS)

For the published request for applications, check the April 13, 2022 Guide announcement, Limited Interaction Targeted Epidemiology: Viral Suppression (LITE-VS) (UG3/UH3, Clinical Trial Optional).

Enhancing HIV Reservoir Susceptibility to Elimination

For the published request for applications, check the March 29, 2022 Guide announcement, Enhancing HIV Reservoir Susceptibility to Elimination (R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed).

Molecular Dynamics of HIV

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2023 initiative

David McDonald

Objective: This initiative will support computational dynamic modeling of molecular complexes regulating the HIV life cycle, immune responses, and therapeutic interventions using existing and new HIV/host structural datasets. Addition of the dimension of time to the three-dimensional structures already studied by structural biologists is expected to facilitate novel insights into their function. Research teams are expected to include computational modelers with structural biologists, virologists, immunologists, and other appropriate expertise to validate model systems.


  • Molecular dynamics (MD) simulates the movement of atoms and molecules over time, providing testable models of complex molecular behavior. This initiative will support innovative structural, computational, and functional approaches to study the dynamics of molecular processes in the HIV life cycle.
  • The initiative will leverage the growing number of high-resolution HIV/host cell biomolecular structures by directly funding MD simulation research and incentivizing computational specialists to collaborate with HIV researchers.
  • Research teams should include structural dynamics modelers along with appropriate structural, virologic, immunologic, and/or cell biological expertise.
  • Projects should address a critical component of the HIV life cycle, antibody response, or therapeutic intervention that is amenable to structural determination and dynamic modeling.

Example research foci:

  • HIV capsid interactions with cytoplasmic and nuclear transport machinery
  • HIV transcription, latency, and epigenetic regulation
  • HIV assembly, budding, and release
  • HIV capsid maturation
  • HIV/host lipid interactions
  • HIV recognition by and escape from innate immune factors
  • Binding of neutralizing antibodies to HIV envelope proteins
  • Binding of HIV antigens to B-cell surface immunoglobulin receptors
  • Mechanisms of action of novel anti-HIV therapeutics and their interactions with host or viral targets

Examples of research that would not be supported through this initiative:

  • Applications that are not primarily focused on dynamic modeling of HIV/host structural data relevant to NIAID HIV research priorities
  • Applications that involve only theoretical modeling (e.g., based on amino acid sequences alone) without known molecular structures as starting points
  • Applications that do not include functional analyses of the modeling simulations
  • Applications that propose a clinical trial

A Multi-omics Approach to Immune Responses in HIV Vaccination and Intervention

Request for Applications—proposed FY 2023 initiative

Amy Palin

Objective: The objective of this initiative is the integration of bioinformatics and hypothesis-driven experimental approaches to define signatures of outcomes of HIV/SIV vaccination or intervention. New advances in high-throughput “omics” technologies have enabled profiling human immunity with great precision. The HIV field can leverage these systems-based approaches to analyze the immune response to infection, vaccines, therapeutics, or cure interventions in humans or animal models. The resulting high-throughput data can then be mined computationally to generate novel hypotheses about the underlying biological mechanisms, which can in turn be tested in animal or ex vivo models. The insights gained can then guide the design of new therapeutics and vaccines. This iterative cycle framework will bridge basic and applied science, as well as animal and human immunology, for scientific discovery and translational medicine.

Description: This initiative will support projects focused on an integrated, iterative approach to define molecular signatures predictive of outcomes in response to HIV immunization, therapies, or other interventions. Goals include development of improved vaccines, antibodies, therapies, and other immunomodulatory preventative, therapeutic, and cure interventions for HIV; mechanistic insights about the factors that lead to variation in outcomes; and engaging computational biologists to the HIV field. Molecular signatures found in samples from clinical trials and animal models will support hypothesis generation and validation. Both wet lab and computational components will be required. Clinical trials are not allowed but use of data and samples from clinical trials funded through other mechanisms is encouraged. Animal models, including nonhuman primates, are allowed. Integration of human and animal approaches is highly encouraged.

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