ORAL MUCOSA AND HIV INFECTION RELEASE DATE: March 5, 2003 RFA: DE-04-002 National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) (http://www.nidr.nih.gov/) CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.121 LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: August 19, 2003 APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: September 17, 2003 THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of this RFA o Research Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Funds Available o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Letter of Intent o Submitting an Application o Peer Review Process o Review Criteria o Receipt and Review Schedule o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE OF THIS RFA This initiative will encourage studies to examine the structure, biology, genetics, physiology and biochemistry of the oral mucosa and to compare these features with other mucosal surfaces, especially vaginal and rectal mucosa, in regard to susceptibility or resistance to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and replication. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES Background Compared with the risks of becoming infected with HIV through unprotected rectal/vaginal intercourse, professional needle-stick injury, or IV drug injection, the relative risk of adults becoming infected through the oral route appears to be relatively low. Understanding this resistance in the oral cavity may suggest novel methods to prevent or diminish HIV infection at other mucosal sites. The oral mucosa differs from other mucosal surfaces in that it is generally thicker, composed of both keratinizing and non-keratinizing stratified squamous epithelial cells, and bathed in saliva. Oral epithelial cells are rich sources of microbicidal agents and innate host immune factors. Yet how the oral mucosa resists HIV infection while serving as a portal for many other types of viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus or human papillomavirus is undetermined and requires further research Thus far, only a few studies suggest that oral epithelial cells may be infected with and harbor HIV. HIV provirus has been found in the epithelial tissues of HIV-infected individuals, although any evidence of a productive infection is limited. HIV may gain access to target cells via epithelial cell transcytosis or through direct infection from the apical mucosal surface. HIV infection of subsets of epithelial cells, inhibition of spread of infectious virions throughout the epithelium and prevention of a productive HIV infection remain to be determined. Research is also needed regarding the interaction of mucosal cells with lymphocytes in the production of a local immune response against HIV. Emphasis must be placed on defining the potential barrier function of the oral mucosa, identifying properties of this mucosal surface that differ from those of the vagina and rectum, and determine if differences in mucosal properties are related to enhanced or diminished infection by HIV. Data from these studies are expected to elucidate mechanisms of enhancing the protection of mucosal tissues against HIV infection. The oral mucosal surface is highly amenable to research; it is a readily accessible tissue and established sampling and experimental techniques are currently available. Although the NIDCR supports research on the production of mucosal innate immune factors, interactions with salivary components, and infection by viruses such as EBV, few studies are examining the importance of these tissues in the potential prevention of HIV infection and AIDS-related oral manifestations. In particular, more research is needed on the uniqueness of the oral mucosa, compared to other mucosal surfaces such as vaginal or rectal tissues, in HIV infection. We anticipate that this initiative will stimulate additional research in defining the immunological, genetic, physiological and biochemical aspects of the oral epithelium that confer susceptibility or resistance to HIV infections. Scope The objective of this RFA is to stimulate research on the mechanisms responsible for oral mucosal resistance to HIV infection. Examples of responsive projects include, but are not limited to: o Compare the structural and biological properties of oral-pharyngeal mucosa with vaginal and rectal mucosa; o Compare the anti-HIV capacity of oral mucosa from infants and adults; o Determine if the oral mucosa possesses novel barrier functions to retroviruses as compared to other viral pathogens and define these functions; o Investigate whether the oral mucosa permits entry, transcytosis, harboring and shedding of HIV; o Characterize and compare the genetic and protein profiles of oral epithelial cells from healthy versus AIDS patients; o Characterize and compare the cellular and molecular components, physiology and function of oral epithelial cells from healthy individuals and AIDS patients; o Investigate and compare innate and acquired immunology of oral, vaginal, and rectal mucosal epithelial surfaces as it relates to HIV infection; o Identify salivary components that interact with HIV and possibly control susceptibility of oral epithelium to HIV infection; o Elucidate the actions of antiretroviral drugs on oral mucosa or microbicidal activities in the oral cavity and ancillary organs, i.e. salivary glands, tonsils, etc., as well as in other mucosal sites; and, o Determine the impact of co-infections, inflammatory diseases, and tissue injury on mucosal susceptibility. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This RFA will use NIH R01 and R21 award mechanisms. As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. Future unsolicited, competing-continuation applications based on this project will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and will be reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures. The earliest anticipated award date is April 2004. Applications that are not funded in the competition described in this RFA may be resubmitted as NEW investigator-initiated applications using the standard receipt dates for NEW applications described in the instructions to the PHS 398 application. This RFA uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the modular as well as the non-modular budgeting formats (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm). Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular format. Otherwise follow the instructions for non-modular research grant applications. This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_i_1.htm. FUNDS AVAILABLE The NIDCR intends to commit approximately $1.2 million total cost (direct cost and applicable facilities and administrative F&A cost) in FY2004 or FY2005 to fund four to six new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to this RFA. An applicant may request a project period of up to four (4) years and a budget for direct costs up to $500,000 per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NIDCR provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o For-profit or non-profit organizations o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories o Units of State and local governments o Eligible agencies of the Federal government o Domestic or foreign o Faith-based or community-based organizations INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH programs. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Applicants should request funds for one trip per year for an annual meeting to be held at NIH in Bethesda, MD. The purpose for these meetings is to discuss scientific advances in our understanding of the resistance of the oral mucosa to HIV infection and to discuss the potential for collaborations, data sharing, data repositories and other research opportunities. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues: o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to: Dennis F. Mangan, Ph.D. Division of Basic and Translational Sciences National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Building 45, Room 4AN-12J Bethesda, MD 20892-6402 Telephone: (301) 594-2421 FAX: (301) 402-8319 Email: Dennis.Mangan@nih.gov o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: H. George Hausch, Ph.D. Division of Extramural Activities National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research National Institutes of Health Building 45, Room 4AN-44F Bethesda, MD 20892-6402 Telephone: (301) 594-2904 FAX: (301) 480-8303 Email: George.Hausch@nih.gov o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to: Mary Daley Division of Extramural Activities National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Building 45, Room 4AN-44B Bethesda, MD 20892-6402 Telephone: (301) 594-4800 FAX: (301) 480-8303 Email: md74u@nih.gov LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: o Descriptive title of the proposed research o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator o Names of other key personnel o Participating institutions o Number and title of this RFA Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIDCR staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to Dr. Hausch at the address listed above. SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). The PHS 398 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR R21 APPLICATIONS: All application instructions outlined in the PHS 398 application kit are to be followed with the following modifications for R21 applications: 1. FACE PAGE, Item 6: Up to a total of two years of support may be requested. Total direct costs for the two years may not exceed $275,000. 2. RESEARCH PLAN: Items a-d may not exceed fifteen (15) pages, including tables and figures. The following information should be taken into account for items a, b and c: o Item a, SPECIFIC AIMS--The instructions for this section suggest that the applicant state "the hypotheses to be tested". Since some applications submitted in response to this RFA may also be design- or problem-driven (e.g., development of novel technologies), or need- driven (initial research to develop a body of data upon which future research will build), hypothesis testing per se may not be the driving force in developing such a proposal and, therefore, may not be applicable. The application should state the hypotheses, design, problem and/or need which will drive the proposed research. o Item b, BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE--In this section, it is important to identify clearly how the application addresses the specific objectives of this RFA and the purpose of the R21 mechanism. Item c, PRELIMINARY STUDIES/PROGRESS REPORT—No preliminary data are required for an R21 application. 3. APPENDIX. Up to five articles may be submitted as appendix materials. SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS: R01 applications requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs and all R21 applications must be submitted in a modular grant format. The modular grant format simplifies the preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level of budgetary detail. Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 modules. Section C of the research grant application instructions for the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step- by-step guidance for preparing modular grants. Additional information on modular grants is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm. R21 Applications: Applicants may request direct costs in $25,000 modules up to a total of 11 modules ($275,000) over a two year period. USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Type the RFA number on the label. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA label is also available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed, photocopies, in one package to: Center For Scientific Review National Institutes Of Health 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710 Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be sent to: H. George Hausch, Ph.D. Division of Extramural Activities National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research National Institutes of Health Building 45, Room 4AN-44F, MSC 6402 Bethesda, MD 20892-6402 APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by the application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA. If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within 8 weeks. The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is the application for the RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes. While the investigator may still benefit from the previous review, the RFA application is not to state explicitly how. PEER REVIEW PROCESS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the NIDCR. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the NIDCR in accordance with the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will: o Receive a written critique o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score o Receive a second level review by the NIDCR National Advisory Council. REVIEW CRITERIA The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals: o Significance o Approach o Innovation o Investigator o Environment The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Your application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, you may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward. (1) SIGNIFICANCE: Does your study address an important problem? If the aims of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field? (2) APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? (3) INNOVATION: Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does your project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies? (4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)? (5) ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which your work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your application will also be reviewed with respect to the following: PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed. (See criteria included in the section on Federal Citations, below). INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria in the sections on Federal Citations, below). CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section f of the PHS 398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) will be assessed. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS o DATA SHARING: The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. o BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. o R21 APPLICATIONS: The potential for ground-breaking, precedent- setting research, with particular emphasis on novel and innovative approaches; and the potential to stimulate new concepts or approaches regarding important biomedical/behavioral problems, or provide a technique/system of wide applicability. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: August 19, 2003 Application Receipt Date: September 17, 2003 Peer Review Date: October-November 2003 Council Review: January 2004 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: April 2004 AWARD CRITERIA Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include: o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review) o Availability of funds o Programmatic priorities REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION: Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained. MONITORING PLAN AND DATA SAFETY AND MONITORING BOARD: Research components involving Phase I and II clinical trials must include provisions for assessment of patient eligibility and status, rigorous data management, quality assurance, and auditing procedures. In addition, it is NIH policy that all clinical trials require data and safety monitoring, with the method and degree of monitoring being commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for Data Safety and Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html). INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH: 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 clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at http:// grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm. The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community. The policy continues to require for all NIH- defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences. INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 1998. All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as participants in research involving human subjects that is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm. REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS: NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human subjects. You will find this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html. HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see http://escr.nih.gov). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review. PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award. URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92). All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm. The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke- free workplace and discourage the 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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