Full Text PA-97-010
 
NIAID/ASTP MINORITY FELLOWSHIPS IN TRANSPLANTATION
 
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 39, November 15, 1996
 
PA NUMBER:  PA-97-010
 
P.T. 22, FF

Keywords: 
  Transplantation Immunology 
  Transplantation of Organs 

 
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
The American Society of Transplant Physicians
 
Application Receipt Dates:  April 5, August 5, and December 5, 1997
 
PURPOSE
 
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Society of
Transplant Physicians (ASTP) invite applications for Individual
Postdoctoral Fellowships from racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities for research on the etiology,
pathogenesis, diagnosis and/or treatment and prevention of transplant
rejection.
 
HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000
 
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program
Announcement (PA), "NIAID/ASTP MINORITY FELLOWSHIPS IN
TRANSPLANTATION", is related to the priority area of immunization and
infectious diseases.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of
"Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or
Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00473-1) through the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402-0325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
 
Individuals must be, at time of application, citizens or noncitizen
nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted to the
United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an
Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151 or I-551).  Noncitizen
nationals are persons who, although not citizens of the United
States, owe permanent allegiance to the United States.  They are
generally persons born in lands that are not States, but are under
United States sovereignty, jurisdiction, or administration (e.g.,
American Samoa).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not
eligible. Individuals must have received, as of the beginning date of
the National Research Service Award (NRSA) appointment, a Ph.D.,
M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng. D., Dr.P.H., or
D.N.S., or equivalent degree from an accredited domestic or foreign
institution.  Certification by an authorized official of the degree
granting institution that all degree requirements have been met is
also acceptable.
 
This PA is intended to support racial/ethnic minority individuals,
women, and persons with disabilities.
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
The mechanism of support will be the NRSA for individual postdoctoral
fellows (F32).  Individuals may receive up to three years of
aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level including any
combination of support from institutional training grants and
individual fellowship awards.
 
FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
In Fiscal Year 1997, the NIAID and the ASTP plan to jointly fund two
F32 awards.  This level of support is dependent on the receipt of a
sufficient number of applications of high scientific merit.  The
usual PHS policies governing NRSA administration and management will
apply.  Although this program is provided for in the financial plans
of the NIAID and the ASTP, awards pursuant to this program
announcement are contingent upon the availability of funds for this
purpose.  Funding beyond the first and subsequent years of the grant
will be contingent upon satisfactory progress during the preceding
years and availability of funds.
 
New applications submitted for the April 5, August 5, and December 5,
1997 receipt dates will be eligible for funding under this
announcement.  Competing continuation applications for already funded
projects will NOT be eligible for award from NIAID and ASTP under
this PA.  Although NIAID has a continuing interest in the research
areas of this PA, the latest anticipated award date under this PA is
September 30, 1998.
 
RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
 
Background
 
Research on the immune system and methods to regulate it are part of
the mission of the NIAID. Transplantation is a life-saving treatment
for tens of thousands of patients and can also provide an
extraordinary improvement in their quality of life.  However, despite
major improvements in surgical techniques, tissue preservation
methods and immunosuppressive drugs, 10-50% of transplanted organs
and tissues fail within the first year following transplantation.
For organs where there is alternative therapy (e.g. kidney), one-year
patient survival is 92%.  However, for organs such as hearts, lungs
and livers, patient survival is approximately the same as graft
survival and is as low as 50%. Transplantation is being performed to
replace damaged or non-functional organs and tissues, to supplement
cells incapable of providing an adequate level of function, and to
correct defective genes via gene therapy.  Therapeutic
transplantation in humans involves every major organ both singly and
in combination. In addition, a variety of tissues and cells,
including corneas, skin, fetal liver tissue, bone marrow, pancreatic
islet cells, adrenal cells, hepatocytes, fetal brain cells and muscle
cells have been transplanted. Also, in experimental animal models,
promising results have been obtained with transplantation of a wide
array of tissues and cells including heart muscle, neural tissue and
nerve and bone cells.
 
Graft rejection has replaced problems in organ and tissue
preservation and surgical complications as the primary cause of graft
loss.  Additionally, in bone marrow transplantation and in
transplantation of solid organs which have appreciable amounts of
lymphoid tissue, graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD; attack of recipient
tissues by immunocompetent cells of the donor) remains a significant
risk. While powerful immunosuppressive drugs have greatly reduced
graft loss due to rejection, these drugs are toxic to one or more
organs and increase the risk of infection, the incidence and severity
of malignancy, and the occurrence of atherosclerosis. To overcome
these problems, it is desirable to eliminate immunosuppressive drug
therapy by specifically regulating the immunologic processes involved
in the rejection of transplanted tissues.  This requires
identification of the various antigens recognized on the graft,
elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the
response to these antigens, and determining the genetic control of
these processes.  This information can then be used to avoid
mismatches of antigens when possible or to prevent the recognition
of, or render the recipient non-responsive to, these specific
antigens.
 
Research Objectives and Scope
 
The objective of this PA is to encourage postdoctoral training of
individuals in state-of-the-art research that focuses on the
etiology, pathogenesis, diagnosis and/or treatment and prevention of
rejection of transplanted organs or tissues.
 
INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN
SUBJECTS
 
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups
and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH supported
biomedical and behavioral research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.  This new policy results
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which
have been in effect since 1990. The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
 
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should
read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as
Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and printed in
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11, March
18, 1994.
 
Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy from the program
staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide
additional relevant information concerning the policy.
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES
 
Applications must be submitted on the application for Public Health
Service Individual Research Service Award PHS 416-1 (rev. 8/95).
Applications may be submitted for the following receipt dates only:
April 5, August 5, and December 5, 1997.  Applications kits are
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may
be obtained from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health,
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone
301/435-0714, email:  ASKNIH@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.
 
The completed original and two legible, single-sided copies of the
application must be sent or delivered to:
 
Division of Research Grants
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
Bethesda, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
 
NRSA (F32) applications must include at least three sealed letters of
reference attached to the face page of the original application.  F32
applications submitted without the required number of reference
letters will be considered incomplete and will be returned without
review.
 
Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research
Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research
Resources may wish to identify the Center as a resource for
conducting the proposed research.  If so, a letter of agreement from
the GCRC Program Director must be included in the application
material.
 
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS
 
Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS
referral guidelines.  Applications that are complete and responsive
to the Program Announcement will be evaluated for scientific and
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in
accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures. Review
Criteria
 
The review criteria focus for individual fellowship applications on
three main components:
 
o  the applicant;
 
o  the research proposed (both its scientific merit and training
potential); and
 
o  the training resources and environment, including the sponsor.
 
It is important to remember that the F32 program is a training
mechanism and not a research mechanism.  Major considerations in the
review are the applicant's potential for a productive scientific
career, the applicant's need for the proposed training, and the
degree to which the research training proposal, the sponsor, and the
environment will meet the needed training.  For more details, see
Review Criteria on page 4 of the instructions for application form
PHS 416-1.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications assigned to the NIAID will compete for available funds
with all other favorably recommended applications. The following will
be considered when making funding decisions:
 
o  quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review,
o  program balance among research areas of the announcement,
o  availability of funds, and
o  whether the applicant is a racial/ethnic minority, a woman, or
disabled.
 
INQUIRIES
 
Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to
clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.
 
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
 
Stephen M. Rose, Ph.D.
Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building, Room 4A14
Bethesda, MD  20892-7640
Telephone:  (301) 496-5598
FAX:  (301) 402-2571
Email: sr8j@nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
 
Leslie Boggs
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building, Room 4B28
Bethesda, MD  20892-7610
Telephone:  (301) 496-7075
FAX:  (301) 480-3780
Email: lb114t@nih.gov
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS
 
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance No. 93.855 - Immunology, Allergy and Transplantation
Research.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health
Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by
Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS
grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.
This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency
review.
 
The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco
products.  In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of
1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any
portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education,
library, day care, health care or early childhood development
services are provided to children.  This is consistent with the PHS
mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the
American people.
 
.

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