EXPANSION OF FOCUS PAS-03-160: GENE/ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION IN 
NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASE

RELEASE DATE:  July 20, 2004

NOTICE:  NOT-ES-04-009  

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov)

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is announcing an 
expansion of focus for PAS-03-160: Gene/Environment Interaction in 
Neurodegenerative Disease.  The original program announcement 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-03-160.html
focused on gene-environment interactions in the etiology of amyotrophic 
lateral sclerosis (ALS).  Effective immediately, in addition to ALS, 
applications are being encouraged in Parkinson’s disease (PD) especially 
targeted to the areas identified below.  These specific research needs were 
identified as being of high priority at a meeting held at NIEHS, 
Environmental Factors in Neurodegenerative Disease: Synthesis and Next Steps.  
Please note that for one specific area only we are encouraging the use of the 
R03 (small grant) mechanism.  For all others, the R21 and R01 mechanisms as 
described in the original PAS are appropriate.
  
o Interaction of environmental agents with ubiquitin/proteasomal pathways and 
pathologies.
o Interaction of environmental agents in inflammatory processes.
o Interaction of environmental agents in non-neuronal cells (astrocytes, 
glia, microglia).
o Identification and testing of environmental compounds that may affect
alpha-synuclein expression.
o The role of neuroprotective agents (nicotine, caffeine, endogenous estrogen 
etc) in the expression of PD.
o R03s for secondary data analyses of epidemiological studies.  

While the above is not an exhaustive list of PD research areas, it is the 
areas of priority for the Institute.

Although manganism is relevant from a public health perspective, applications 
using manganese intoxication in an animal may not be valid models of PD and 
therefore are not encouraged. 

INQUIRIES

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues for ALS to:

Annette Kirshner, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Administrator
Cellular, Organ and Systems Pathobiology Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-23
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  919-541-0488
Fax:  919-541-5064
Email:  kirshner@niehs.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues for animal models and cellular 
mechanisms to:

Cindy Lawler, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Administrator
Cellular, Organ and Systems Pathobiology Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-23
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  919-316-4671
Fax:  919-541-5064
Email:  lawler@niehs.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues for PD studies in humans to:

Kimberly Gray, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Administrator
Susceptibility and Population Health Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-21
Telephone:  919-541-0293
Fax:  919-316-4606
Email:  gray6@niehs.nih.gov


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