Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Next Generation Chemistry Centers for Fusion Oncoproteins (UM1 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
April 05, 2023
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :
June 29, 2023
First Estimated Application Due Date:
November 17, 2023
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 01, 2024
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
July 01, 2024
Related Announcements


Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to support a new initiative, the Targeting Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers (TFCC) Network, for the purpose of identifying and developing novel treatment strategies for childhood cancer fusion oncoproteins. The TFCC will have two components: (1) UM1 Next Generation Chemistry Centers (NGC) for Fusion Oncoproteins, which will focus on combining innovative chemical biology technologies and chemoproteomic approaches to target fusion-driven cancers; and (2) U01 research projects focused on molecular mechanisms by which fusion oncoproteins drive pediatric cancers with the goals of identifying potential drug targets and understanding their mechanistic underpinnings on disease formation.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to establish meaningful collaborations and develop a responsive grant application for the UM1 Next Generation Chemistry Centers (NGC) for Fusion Oncoproteins.

The NOFO is expected to be published in Summer 2023 with an expected application due date in late Fall 2023. Details of a planned pre-application webinar will be announced in the Guide after the publication of the NOFO.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise and insights in the areas of medicinal chemistry and chemical biology as applied to targeting fusion oncoproteins, or other oncoprotein targets, to consider applying for this new NOFO. Collaborative investigations focusing on fusion oncoproteins that combine expertise in pediatric oncology, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, and drug development are encouraged and these investigators should consider applying for this application.

It is expected that the TFCC UM1 applications will propose independent research projects using innovative chemical biology technologies and chemoproteomic approaches to target fusion oncoprotein-driven cancers. The goal of these discovery efforts will be to identify and develop small molecules that effectively disrupt fusion oncoproteins through mechanisms such as (but not limited to): altering the function of individual fusion oncoproteins, blocking critical fusion protein interactions, interacting with coding and/or noncoding RNAs required for fusion protein oncogenesis, or selectively inducing degradation of fusion proteins or other factors representing critical fusion oncoprotein dependencies. Compounds envisaged to be derived from these efforts may be either at the level of chemical probes and tools to delineate underlying biology, advanced leads to support further optimization to a candidate, or potential drug candidates themselves. In addition to the research proposed in their applications, each NGC Center will be expected to participate in collaborative projects with TFCC U01s and potentially other members of the fusion oncoprotein community.

Applications must focus on fusion oncoproteins found in tumors that have a high risk of treatment failure and for which there has been little progress in identifying targeted agents. As such, applications focusing on fusion oncoprotein targets for which clinical proof of concept has been achieved are excluded from eligibility. Applications should focus on the development of small molecules produced through fully synthetic (or semi-synthetic) methods, and these may also include, for example, natural products, peptides, or nucleic acids. Applications focused on pediatric solid tumors and brain tumors are encouraged.

Activities for proposed UM1 projects are expected to be performed at NGCs having multi-disciplinary capabilities, whose services and expertise are aligned with the projects they will be supporting. These capabilities will come from multiple laboratories collaborating within an NGC and may include (but are not limited to):  chemical screening and analysis, assay development and biochemical screening, enzymology, and mechanistic pharmacology, structural and computational biology, synthetic and medicinal chemistry, ADME/PK, in vivo pharmacology and testing.

To find out more about the program, potential applicants are encouraged to view the presentation on establishing a “Targeting Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers Network” at the NIH Videocast Past Events ( beginning at 2 hours, 36 minutes, and 40 seconds into the meeting. The slides included in the presentation are downloadable at

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling

$1.5M in direct costs per year

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Sharad Verma, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis 
Telephone: 202-657-3694

Malcolm Smith, M.D., Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
Telephone: 240-441-7623

Joseph Agyin, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis 
Telephone: 240-276-7873