RELEASE DATE:  December 6, 2002

NOTICE:  NOT-ES-03-005


National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 
(NIEHS), National Institutes of Health, intends to solicit 
proposals for the purpose of establishing a research resource 
to identify factors that independently or through 
interaction(s) with genetic factors, foster the development of 
anencephaly.  Anencephaly, is a neurulation cranial defect in 
which the skull bones, forebrain, and cerebrum are partially 
or totally absent. Part 1 of the project, the design and 
planning phase, will take approximately one year to complete. 
Part 2 of the project, the recruitment phase, will take 
approximately four years to complete. The major tasks in this 
study are to: (1) recruit up to 500 family triads at a rate of 
125 family triads per year (father, mother, baby) in which the 
mother is carrying or has had an anencephalic baby (only fetal 
cadaveric tissue obtained following an elective abortion, from 
a stillborn baby or after the baby dies if liveborn, will be 
used in this study); (2) collect fresh tissue from the 
anencephalic fetuses and use this to isolate DNA and, if 
possible, to establish cell lines; (3) collect blood from the 
parents, and if available also from the siblings, and isolate 
DNA, plasma and serum from the blood; (4) measure RBC folate 
levels in the mother's blood; (5) create and administer a 
comprehensive questionnaire to collect epidemiological data 
from the parents; (6) enter sample tracking and other data 
into a central database using the internet, and (7) after 
isolating DNA and establishing cell lines from the triads' 
blood and tissues, the contractor(s) will aliquot and freeze 
all DNA, plasma and serum aliquots, and cell lines, and ship 
these to the niehs or a designated archive. These samples will 
at a later date be assayed for genetic polymorphisms and 
levels of potential toxicants associated with increased risks 
for anencephaly. (The fetal tissue collected under this 
contract will not be used for the derivation of human 
embryonic stem cells or transplantation studies, and 
therefore, does not fall under the National Institutes of 
Health guidelines for research using human pluripotent stem 
cells (DHHS Code of Federal Regulations, 65 CFR 69951, 
effective August 25, 2000).  The estimated period of 
performance is five years.  The government estimates that 
approximately 29,640 direct labor hours may be required to 
complete this project. This acquisition is 100% set aside for 
small business concerns, for which the size standard is 500 
employees. The NAICS code is 541710. The anticipated release 
date of the RFP is January 8, 2003 with proposals due by 
February 26, 2003. Interested organizations should request 
either a streamlined or full RFP package. If no selection is 
made a streamlined version of the RFP will be provided, which 
will include only the statement of work, deliverables and 
reporting requirements, special requirements, mandatory 
qualification, and technical evaluation criteria. Requests may 
be telefaxed, or e-mailed to the points of contact listed 
below. Electronic copies of the CBD synopsis and RFP will be 
made available on the internet at on or about January 
8, 2003. Government-wide numbered notes 1, 22, 26. 

Original Point of Contact

Velvet Torain, Contract Specialist, Phone 919-541-0400, Fax 
919-541-2712, Email 
Juanita Clement, Contract Specialist, Phone 919-541-7893, Fax 
919-541-2712, Email

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