Translational Neural Devices Program
Clinical Aging Research
Synapse: Save the Date
Mozak Helps Reconstruct the Brain
Neuroscience News keeps you updated on interesting clinical and translational neuroscience events and funding opportunities. Make sure to visit the IHSI website for all the latest health research news and grant information for Illinois investigators and collaborators.
As always, if you have an event or announcement to share with the neuroscience community at Illinois, we are happy to include it here. Email Gillian Cooke, IHSI research development manager, with your item.
Intent to Fund Translational Neural Devices Program | NOTICE OF INTENT
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), encourages investigators with expertise and insights into neurotherapeutic and neurodiagnostic devices to begin to consider applying for these new FOAs.
The UG3/UH3 cooperative agreement mechanism is milestone-driven and involves NIH program staff's participation in developing the project plan, monitoring research progress, and appropriate go/no-go decision-making. All projects will have two phases. The initial UG3 phase will support translational device activities leading to submission of an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) application for a Non-Significant Risk (NSR) study. All projects will start at the UG3 phase but the duration of UG3 will depend on the maturity of the project at entry. Only successful UG3 projects that have met all milestones and other requirements will be eligible for transition to the second UH3 phase after NIH administrative review. The UH3 phase will support an Early Feasibility Study or a small clinical study.
The Fast-Track phased U44 cooperative agreement mechanism is milestone-driven and involves NIH program staff's participation in developing the project plan, monitoring research progress, and appropriate go/no-go decision-making. All projects will have two phases, Phase I and Phase II. The initial phase will support translational device activities leading to submission of an Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) application for a Non-Significant Risk (NSR) study. All projects will start at Phase I but the duration of Phase I will depend on the maturity of the project at entry. Only successful Phase I projects that have met all milestones and other requirements will be eligible for transition to Phase II after NIH administrative review. The Phase II will support an Early Feasibility Study or a small clinical study.
For both, it is expected that devices within the scope of this program either:
- Are very close to the 'final system' and manufactured using very close to the same manufacturing process as the device to be marketed or studied in a larger clinical trial following the completion of this project, or
- Require early feasibility clinical data to inform the final device design or manufacturing processes.
It is also expected that devices within the scope of this program have either received Pre-Submission feedback from the FDA or will conduct a Pre-Submission to the FDA in the first year of the UG3 phase/U44 Phase I.
See the IHSI health funding opportunities blog for updates in the coming months.
Address Clinical Aging Research Questions | APPLY NOW
Clinical trials and epidemiologic research projects (case-control or cohort studies) typically generate data with potential utility beyond the specific hypotheses and questions for which they were originally designed. There is considerable potential in using secondary analyses of existing clinical data sets and biorepositories to explore important research issues regarding biological changes affecting health across the life span and on disease and disability in old age. Secondary analyses of existing data sets and stored biospecimens are also a cost-effective means to explore new hypotheses on such issues and for informing the design of future studies in clinical aging research.
In addition to databases and biorepositories generated by clinical research, information collected through health administration activities may also provide a rich source of data relating to health maintenance and disease prevention practices; the incidence and prevalence of chronic conditions and diseases (including multiple morbidities); patterns of geriatric care and medication use; health outcomes (including disabilities) resource utilization (including comparative effectiveness research); and economic impact. These administrative data sets have potential advantages in availability; large size and representativeness; breadth of medical and demographic information; localization of care (community, hospital, and long-term facilities); and suitability for linkage with other data sets. In some settings, such as disease prevention or screening programs, results of clinical studies or stored specimens may also be available.
These funding opportunity announcements will support activities addressing specific hypotheses in clinical aging research and/or inform the design and implementation of future epidemiologic or human intervention studies, or current geriatric practice in maintenance of health, management of disease, and prevention of disability. Applicants are encouraged to consider data from a variety of sources, including those supported through investigator-initiated research activities, cooperative agreements, and contracts from public or private sources.
For more information see R21 and R01 notices.
RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND OUTREACH
New Insights on Resilience, Reserve In Older Adults | GATHER IDEAS
The Summit agenda was organized around six topics centered on resilience and reserve, posed primarily in the form of questions:
- How do we operationalize brain reserve, cognitive reserve, cognitive resilience, and compensation?
- What are threats to successful brain and cognitive aging?
- What are earlier-life contributions to reserve and resilience?
- What are the later-life contributions to reserve, resilience and compensation?
- How do we validate approaches that aim to harness reserve to improve the aging brain?
- What are innovative approaches in cognitive aging?
The presentations and ensuing discussions were punctuated with “cameo appearances” by three unannounced speakers, who provided snapshots of cutting-edge findings relevant to the overall topic but not covered elsewhere on the agenda: Dr. Tammie Benzinger illustrated the complexity of the relationship between neuropathology and behavior by describing an example of a case of a person with an autosomal dominant genetic mutation for Alzheimer’s disease who appears to have escaped the ravages of cognitive impairment. Dr. Robert Willis showed data linking retirement with cognitive decline to demonstrate that the “mental retirement” effect is largest for people who held jobs that were lower in complexity, but essentially absent in people who retired from more complex occupations. Dr. Amar Sahay revealed that newly born nerve cells in the hippocampi of older mice have to compete with established neurons, often unsuccessfully. He described new approaches to ensure that the new cells become functionally integrated into this brain region, helping to aid memories formation with age.
For those unable to attend—and for those who attended but just want to see it again!—a video of the entire Summit will be posted on the NIA website in about a month. The video will also be available on the MBRF and FNIH websites.
In 2018, they plan to publish a set of scientific papers based on the content of each of the six sessions at the Summit as a special section in an issue of Neurobiology of Aging. So, stay tuned; more will be coming on this topic that is so important to the health and well-being of older adults.
For more information see the NIA blog.
Carle Neuroscience Conference: Synapse | SAVE THE DATE
Carle Foundation Hospital and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology are pleased to announce this neuroscience conference is scheduled for Friday, August 25, 2017, at The Forum at Carle in Urbana, Illinois. Please mark your calendar.
The conference, renamed as "Synapse: A Collaborative Neuroscience Conference," is a multidisciplinary event which provides an education forum through which neuroscientists, physicians, faculty, researchers and ancillary providers can be recognized for their collaboration, engaged around future opportunities and provide a platform where care and research synergize. Synapse will encompass not only traditional neuroscience but also sleep medicine, back care, and epilepsy as it involves a merger of the Carle Neuroscience Institute (CNI) Update and the Carle Back Care Forum. Attendees have the option of selecting an afternoon breakout track (spine and non-spine) with a reception to follow the conference.
Fee: $50 (MD, DO, DC); $15 (residents and students); $25 (others)
Students attending this conference will receive a certificate of attendance but will not be issued continuing education credit for professional licensure. Should a student require continuing education credit for professional licensure, please be sure to register under the rate associated with the professional licensure.
Watch for information about registration in upcoming Neuroscience News emails.
Scientific Discovery Game Significantly Speeds Up Neuroscience Research Process
Since Mozak launched in November 2016, the novice players—numbering roughly 200 a day—and Allen Institute neuroscientists have been able to reconstruct neurons 3.6 times faster than previous methods. The game provides a framework to greatly increase the number of people who can tackle this core task in neuroscience.
The players have also outperformed computers at tracing the complicated shapes of neurons. With minimal oversight, they can produce reconstructions that are 70 to 90 percent complete, compared to roughly 10 to 20 percent for the most effective computer-generated reconstructions.
The approach is similar to Foldit, a puzzle-solving game developed by the same UW team that employs video gamers to predict how proteins will fold.
“New technologies have allowed us to create three-dimensional images of individual neurons, but our ability to catalog these brain cells, map their structure and understand the relationships between them has been shockingly slow,” said Center for Game Science director Zoran Popović, a professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. “There’s a big bottleneck in processing and analyzing the data coming in, which is where the Mozak community is making a big impact.”
Mozak has also enabled Allen Institute researchers to shift away from tools that require complicated training and extensive expert input, without sacrificing quality.
“Mozak is a great opportunity for us to work with citizen neuroscientists to answer questions about the diversity of cell types that exist in the brain and help us reach our scientific goals much quicker,” said Staci Sorensen, a morphology researcher at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. ”It’s really exciting that regular people out in the world can, in a short period of time, be taught how to reconstruct neurons on the same level as experts who have been doing this a long time.”
You can read more here.
IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES
- Synapse Conference: August 25, 2017
- NSF DARE Application deadline: October 20, 2017
Please email Gillian Cooke, IHSI research development manager, with your calendar item or announcement to share with the clinical and translational neuroscience community at Illinois.