Regenerating the Brain
Neuroscience Meets Cancer
It is time to deliver the May 2016 Clinical and Translational Neuroscience newsletter. It is hard to believe that it’s the end of semester already, but as classes wind down, those engaged in research don’t get to take a break! This month we draw your attention to some interesting funding opportunities and changes in NIH reporting.
As always, check out the Clinical and Translational Neuroscience section of the IHSI website. And if you have an item to share with the neuroscience community at Illinois, we would love to include it in this newsletter. Email Gillian Cooke, research development specialist, or call her at (217) 300-6709.
Is Brain Regeneration Possible?
A controversial new clinical trial has just been approved at Anupam Hospital in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, India and is being led by Dr. Himanshu Bansal of Revita Life Sciences. According to The Telegraph newspaper, up to 20 patients who are considered clinically dead from traumatic brain injury will be recruited for a study that will investigate whether their central nervous system can be brought back to life. A range of treatments will be investigated, including stem cell injection directly into regions of the brain. Patients will be monitored after treatment to explore for signs of regeneration, and the team hopes to see results in as little as three months. The idea that we can “erase the history of the brain and re-start life” is likely to cause controversy in both the neuroscience field and the broader health sciences research community. The group believes that this is the first step to full recovery in patients with traumatic brain injury.
Read more about this controversial study here.
Online Partnership to Accelerate Research
Given decreased funding opportunities, and increased competition for awards, the Online Partnership to Accelerate Research (OnPAR) was created to re-accelerate the biomedical research and development enterprise. The goal of OnPAR is to match high-scoring but unfunded NIH biomedical research projects with significant areas of interest to private foundations, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and/or other private biomedical research funders.
NIH Program Officers will inform applicant Principal Investigators that have scored well, but below the Institute/Center payline, about OnPAR. If an applicant scored in the top 30% and is not funded by NIH, they are welcome to submit an abstract for consideration. Qualified applicants are invited to register with OnPAR and participate in the submission and review process. It is not necessary to re-write an application. OnPAR will accept the NIH abstract that was submitted by the applicant, and if invited, they will submit the NIH application and summary statement.
Learn more about OnPAR at their website.
The RePORT Expenditures and Results (RePORTER system) is an electronic tool that allows users to search a repository of both intramural and extramural NIH-funded research projects from the past 25 years and access publications since 1980, as well as any patents resulting from NIH funding. The information found in RePORTER is drawn from several extant databases: eRA databases, Medline, PubMed Central, the NIH Intramural Database, and iEdison. RePORTER includes information on research projects funded by the NIH as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). RePORTER also includes links to publications and patents citing support from these projects.
On May 3, 2016, the NIH informed recipients of NIH grants that information on project personnel listed in section D (Participants) of their annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) will be displayed in RePORTER beginning with RPPRs of grants funded in fiscal year 2016. Prior to this announcement, RePORTER only listed information on the principal investigators of funded grants. In keeping with a May 2013 White House Executive Order to make federal agencies’ information resources more accessible to the public, NIH will supplement the current information it publishes on PIs with similar information on all personnel supported by NIH research grants. The information to be made public is limited to:
- Role on the project
- If applicable, foreign organization and country
By making this information publicly available, the NIH hopes to provide the general public with a more accurate representation of the scientific workforce they support, provide valuable information to members of the scientific community, acknowledge the contributions of everyone involved in the research NIH supports, and demonstrate NIH’s commitment to open government.
For more information, read this notice from the NIH.
Intersection of Neuroscience and Cancer
The NIH has announced two new funding opportunities in hopes to leverage advances in neuroscience research to understand the role of the nervous system in cancer processes. This will include the use of knowledge, tools, experimental models, and reagents to uncover novel mechanisms used by the nervous system to promote central and non-central nervous system tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis. They have published information about a Research Project Grant (R21) mechanism, which is suitable for early phase, pilot, or exploratory/developmental projects, and an (R01) grant mechanism, which is suitable for larger scale, later phase projects based upon strong preliminary data. Projects suitable for this FOA are expected to be transdisciplinary to address significant questions that advance our knowledge of cancer.
Check out either of these pages to get more information on the R01 and R21 grants that are companion funding opportunities.
IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES
- Neural Regulation of Cancer: October 26, 2016
Email Gillian Cooke, IHSI research development specialist, with a calendar item or announcement to share with the neuroscience community at Illinois.