Blueprint for Neuroscience
Michael J Fox Foundation
Carle Illinois Seed Funding Awardees
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.
Monitoring Cognitive Change Using Mobile Apps | SUBMIT YOUR PROPOSAL NOW
Recent work has demonstrated both that declines in normal cognitive ability begin to occur by age 30, and that pathological processes related to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may also begin in midlife if not before, which makes it highly desirable to be able to measure even subtle cognitive decline in midlife. Currently, however, there are formidable challenges to estimating cognitive trajectories in midlife relating to the sensitivity of measures, the expense and participant burden of “gold standard” cognitive testing, and confounds between the negative effects of aging and improvements related to repeated test exposure.
The challenges for mobile monitoring of cognitive change are non-trivial, but modern approaches to psychometric testing have dramatically reduced the amount of time and number of items required to estimate cognitive ability levels at a single point in time, because items can be selected adaptively and optimally for the individual being tested. In addition, several studies have confirmed the theoretical superiority of burst measurement designs to measure true longitudinal change unconfounded by practice effects. Dramatic improvements in computer hardware have made it feasible to administer valid cognitive tests over the internet, and even on mobile devices.
This effort will include the development (or support for development) of apps on the Android and iOS platforms, the validation of tests and items to be used on the two leading smartphone platforms in age groups ranging from 20 to 85, and the norming of successfully validated measures to nationally representative U.S. population samples that will also receive gold standard measures, including the NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Behavioral and Neurological Function. A goal of this project is to also support data collection efforts from participants enrolled in projects awarded through this FOA as well as other NIH-funded studies though FY2022, and enable the widespread sharing of both the collected data and the test instruments.
Deadline for submission: Letter of Intent-October 2, 2017; Full Application-November 2, 2017.
As always, if you are looking for a partner to develop a research proposal with, reach out to Gillian Cooke for assistance!
NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience | CONSIDER TEAMING UP
The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, known as "Blueprint”, is a collaborative framework that includes the NIH Office of the Director and 15 NIH Institutes and Centers that support research on the nervous system. By pooling resources and expertise, Blueprint identifies cross-cutting areas of research, and confronts challenges too large for any single Institute or Center. Over the past 10 years, the Blueprint has aimed to accelerate the pace of discovery in neuroscience research, and it generated many successful initiatives, programs, and resources to benefit the entire neuroscience community seek input from the scientific community for how best to continue to support research on the brain and nervous system. In the past month, the Blueprint has issued two announcements about potential funding opportunities that will be published in the summer and fall of 2017.
The first will be a reissue of RFA-NS-17-009. The program is designed to facilitate completion of the doctoral dissertation and transition of talented graduate students to strong neuroscience research postdoctoral positions who are from diverse backgrounds underrepresented in neuroscience research. The FOA is expected to be published in summer 2017 with an expected application due date in December 2017. Applicants who will need one to two years to complete their PhD dissertation research training (F99 phase) at the time of potential award (July 2018) and intend to apply for and transition to a mentored postdoctoral research training experience (K00 phase) should begin to consider applying for this reissued RFA. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful mentoring teams and responsive projects.
The second promotes a new initiative indicating an intent to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on Dynamic Neuroimmune Interactions in the Transition from Brain Function to Dysfunction. The FOA is expected to be published in fall 2017 with an expected application due date in winter 2017. The goal of this FOA will be to transform our understanding of how dynamic interactions among multiple cell types involved in neuroimmune interactions (e.g., neurons, glia cells, neurovascular units) mediate the transition from normal brain function to disease conditions. Previous findings have markedly advanced our knowledge of neuroimmune interactions during normal brain function and in the context of established diseases. However, there is a lack of understanding of how multiple neuroimmune components mediate transitions from normal brain function to the early stages of central nervous system (CNS) disorders, how changes in immune signaling are integrated into neuronal networks, and how disease progression is orchestrated by multiple neuroimmune components.
With this FOA, the NIH encourages projects that combine diverse expertise and use innovative approaches to address these questions at the molecular, cellular, and circuitry levels. The outcomes of this research will provide an integrated view of the dynamic changes among multiple neuroimmune components and how they contribute to the onset and progression of CNS disorders.
MJFF Two Million Dollar Prize | GET IDEAS TOGETHER
The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) has long supported the pursuit of an alpha-synuclein PET tracer, in addition to funding of alpha-synuclein therapies and projects investigating peripheral measures. In 2011, with little activity in the field, MJFF established a public-private Alpha-Synuclein Imaging Consortium to begin work toward such a tool. The ability to image alpha-synuclein deposition in the brain would be a game-changing achievement for the Parkinson's disease (PD) field. The accumulation of aggregated alpha-synuclein is a pathological hallmark of PD and a priority target for drug development given its hypothesized contribution to neurodegeneration. In vivo imaging of alpha-synuclein pathology could be useful as a biomarker of the presence of disease and disease progression and as a pharmacodynamic tool for drug development. With this prize, the Foundation seeks to attract research teams and accelerate momentum to speed the development of such a tracer.
The winning contestant must demonstrate that the radiotracer binds with relatively high selectivity to alpha-synuclein according to pre-specified criteria and must demonstrate proof-of-concept in human subjects, including people with Parkinson's disease and/or another synucleinopathy. See below for more details on submission requirements. There is no deadline for submissions. The $2 million award will be issued to the first contestant who submits compelling evidence of a viable selective tracer and agrees to its widespread use. If no award is given by mid-2018, The Michael J. Fox Foundation will evaluate the state of the field and utility of such a prize.
For more information, see the MJFF website.
RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND OUTREACH
2017 Carle Illinois Seed Funding | WINNERS INCLUDE NEUROSCIENCE INVESTIGATORS
After a successful initial set of collaborative research projects in 2016, Carle Foundation and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign opened up the second round of seed funding to investigators and clinicians earlier this spring. The recent call for proposals specified that funding would focus on projects relating to four priority areas: population health, imaging, data analytics, and rural health. Carle and Illinois are pleased to announce that five proposals have been selected to receive support:
- Measuring cerebral spinal fluid shunt flow with MRI using flow enhancement of signal intensity (Shunt-FENSI) (Illinois PI: Brad Sutton; Carle PI: Jason Huston)
- Improving quantitative molecular imaging accuracy in clinical practice and assessing response to therapy (Illinois PI: Shiva Abbaszadeh; Carle PI: Brett Yockey)
- Patient specific models for virtual prototyping and 3D printing: simulation-based imaging to predict risk of peripheral vascular complications in TAVR (Illinois PI: Arif Masud; Carle PI: Naveed Adoni)
- Impact of hormonal changes and environmental chemicals on sleep disruptions in a population of menopausal women (Illinois PI: Megan Mahoney; Carle PI: Charles Davies)
- Infrared spectroscopic imaging based histopathology and subtype classification of B-cell lymphomas (Illinois PI: Rohit Bhargava; Carle PI: Priyank Patel)
A couple of the program’s initial seed project teams are already making strides toward landing external funding to extend their collaborative work. Illinois Professor Jacob Sosnoff and Carle’s Dr. Sanjiv Jain applied for an R21 grant last fall and have an R01 grant submission to the National Institutes of Health currently in progress. Another collaboration, involving Illinois PI Dipanjan Pan and Carle PI Blair Rowitz is actively pursuing outside funding based upon initial results from a feasibility study of their research. The program’s third call for proposals is expected to be announced during the 2017-2018 academic year, pending available funding.
Again, a big congratulations to all of the winners from this round!
Carle Neuroscience Conference: Synapse | REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Carle Foundation Hospital is pleased to announce the 2017 Neuroscience conference will be held on Friday, August 25, 2017, at The Forum at Carle in Urbana, Illinois. Registration is now open, so be sure to grab your spot!
The Neuroscience conference, renamed as "Synapse: A Collaborative Neuroscience Conference," is a multidisciplinary event that 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.
Find more information and register here.
IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES
- Synapse Conference: August 25, 2017
- Mobile Cognition: Letter of Intent, October 2, 2017; Full Application, November 2, 2017
- NCI Application deadlines: October 10, 2017, April 11, 2018, October 10, 2018, April 11, 2019
- 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.