Notice of Updates to the IMAG Multiscale Modeling Initiative (PAR-15-085)

Notice Number: NOT-EB-16-011

Key Dates
Release Date: December 22, 2016  

Related Announcements
PAR-15-085

Issued by
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR)
The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) - Biomathematics
Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research Program (BER)
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Office of In-Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health (OIR), CDRH
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Office of Device Evaluation (ODE), CDRH
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories (OSEL),  CDRH
National Science Foundation (NSF) - Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE)
National Science Foundation (NSF) - Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
National Science Foundation (NSF) - Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - Human Research Program (HRP)
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) - Division 311

 

Purpose

The purpose of this Notice is to clarify the programmatic goals and specific interests of the interagency funding opportunity announcement (FOA) PAR-15-085, Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (U01).  The application submission process will remain the same.  This Notice is providing additional information to:
(1) express particular interest in applications proposing the development of non-standard mathematical, statistical and computational modeling methods that address multiscale modeling research challenges that would benefit from joint interagency funding. 
(2) update the Specific Interests of the 22 participating funding components and the associated Scientific/Research contacts. 

(1) The funding components from the seven funding agencies are very interested in jointly funding integrated research efforts incorporating research on non-standard multiscale modeling methods within a single project.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications to develop multiscale models that are high risk, and push boundaries for novel multiscale modeling methodologies. Applications should emphasize addressing the multiscale modeling methodological challenges, while using domain applications as testbeds for addressing these challenges.

(2) The Specific Interests section below lists updated interest statements from all 22 funding components.  Below, are excerpted statements from the six non-NIH funding components, describing examples of non-standard multiscale modeling methods:
ARO:  innovative modeling methods, especially from traditionally "pure" areas of mathematics such as topology, differential geometry, and algebra
DOE:  new methods for characterizing and imaging molecular systems, and to synthesize and redesign biology processes
FDA:  models to predict whether a proposed medical product design will function properly and safely
NASA:  an overall conceptual framework or organizing principle by which we might better understand how the organism as a whole responds to space flight
NSF:  Advances in methods and tools for predictive modeling, simulation, and analysis of emergent behavior in complex multiscale systems are of interest, including the issues of verification, validation, and uncertainty quantification across scales.
ONR:  Basic research in modeling dynamical properties of networks and determining causal effects and influences is needed in networks of interconnected nodes such as social and biological/neural networks

It would be helpful if the applicants identify the agencies that may have interest with specific research efforts within the potential research proposal. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the Scientific/Research contacts based on the Specific Interests of the participating funding components.

Each of the 22 funding components participating in this FOA are involved in contributing to the review and funding process; and reserves the right to fund or not to fund those efforts regardless of decisions of other agencies.  For those applications that are selected for potential joint funding by non-NIH funding components, the PD/PI may be requested to submit the same application directly to interested funding agencies after the review is completed. 

Specific Interests:
The following section describes the updated specific interests from two of the 22 participating funding components of this FOA. All interests are examples and are not limited to these cases. Applicants are strongly encouraged to see the full listing of Specific Interests in the guidelines (Section I) and contact the funding components.

The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO), Biomathematics Program is interested in basic, high-risk, high-reward research that uses, develops, and analyzes mechanistic multiscale mathematical models to uncover fundamental relationships in a wide variety of biological systems. The models may use mathematical techniques from fields traditionally used in modeling, such as probability, dynamical systems, and partial differential equations, but innovative modeling methods especially from traditionally "pure" areas of mathematics such as topology, differential geometry, and algebra. Of particular interest currently are projects that use mathematical modeling to find commonalities in mechanism between different biological systems and that express these underlying principles in mathematical terms, as well as research taking advantage of recent advances in neuroscience and newly-available experimental data to gain a fundamental understanding of brain physiology, cognition, and neurological disease through multiscale modeling.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Mathematical Data Science (MDS) Program is concerned with basic research in mathematics, probability and statistics, signal processing, machine learning, data engineering, and information theory.  The program aims to develop rigorous mathematical and algorithmic answers to questions that are currently addressed using heuristics or non-principled approaches. Recent advances in technology have led to the era of massive data sets which are not only larger, both in terms of sample size and dimensionality of the data, but also more complex. The data can be multi-modal, multi-relational and gathered from different sources. The massive data sets (“Big Data”) introduce unique computational and statistical challenges that require the development of new theoretical principles that can extend the inference and learning algorithms to massive scales. An outstanding question that the MDS program is addressing is how to balance the tradeoff between computational accuracy and computational resources when analyzing large and complex datasets.  Some of the most challenging datasets include networks of interconnected nodes such as social and biological/neural networks. Basic research in modeling dynamical properties of networks and determining causal effects and influences is needed in this area. In addition, the program is interested in addressing the challenges of collaborative decision making and developing crowdsourcing methods for solving complex problems. The application to ONR should include the full work and the budget corresponding only to tasks associated with the interests of the MDS program. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the applicants to provide justification for the interagency funding support. Specifically, the applicant should explain why interagency support is needed and how will the efforts that are funded by different agencies benefit the effort that is targeting the MDS program. Proposers are encouraged to contact the Program Officer to discuss their research interest prior to the submission of formal proposals.

Prior Consultation with Scientific/Research Staff
Consultation with relevant Scientific/Research staff is strongly encouraged, not later than the Letter of Intent due date. This is not the same as the Letter of Intent, and should be included as a separate communication to the Scientific/Research Contacts, see Section VII.  If requested by the applicants, staff can advise whether the proposed project meets the goals of this FOA.  Staff will not evaluate the technical and scientific merit of the proposed project; technical and scientific merit will be determined during peer review using the review criteria indicated in this FOA. During the consultation phase, if the proposed project does not meet the programmatic needs of this FOA, applicants will be strongly encouraged to consider other Funding Opportunities. 

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Grace Peng, Ph.D.
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
Telephone: 301-451-4778
Email: grace.peng@nih.gov

Jennifer Couch, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6210
Email: couchj@ctep.nci.nih.gov

Wen Chen, Ph.D.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Telephone: 301-451-3989
Email: chenw@mail.nih.gov

Pankaj Qasba, Ph.D.
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: 301-435-0050
Email: qasbap@nhlbi.nih.gov

Michael J. Pazin, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 301-496-7531
Email: pazinm@mail.nih.gov

Coryse St. Hillaire-Clarke, Ph.D.
National Institute of Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-9350
Email: sthillaireclacn@mail.nih.gov

Gregory Bloss, M.A., M.P.P.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Telephone: 301-443-3865
Email: Gregory.Bloss@nih.gov

Gayle Lester, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases
Telephone: 301-594-3511
Email: lester1@mail.nih.gov

Hung Tseng, Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Division of Skin and Rheumatic Disease
Telephone: 301-594-5032
Email: tsengh@mail.nih.gov

Regina Bures, Ph.D.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Email: buresrm@mail.nih.gov

Susan Volman, Ph.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Telephone: 301-435-1315
Email: svolman@nida.nih.gov

David Balshaw, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-2448
Email: balshaw@niehs.nih.gov

Bill Riley, Ph.D.
Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR)
Telephone: 301-402-1146
Email: william.riley@nih.gov

Virginia B. Pasour, PhD
U.S. Army Research Office (ARO)
Telephone: 919-549-4254
Email: virginia.b.pasour.civ@mail.mil

Ramana Madupu, Ph.D.
Department of Energy (DOE), Biological and Environmental Research
Telephone: 301-366-2916
Email: ramana.madupu@science.doe.gov

Donna R. Lochner
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Telephone: 301-796-6309
Email: donna.lochner@fda.hhs.gov

Mary Ann Horn, Ph.D.
National Science Foundation, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (NSF-MPS)
Telephone: 703-292-4879
Email: mhorn@nsf.gov

Vipin Chaudhary, Ph.D.
National Science Foundation, Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering (NSF-CISE)
Telephone: 703-292-2254
Email: vipchaud@nsf.gov

Michele Grimm, Ph.D.
National Science Foundation, Directorate for Engineering (NSF-ENG)
Telephone: 703-292-4641
Email: mgrimm@nsf.gov

Pedja Neskovic, Ph.D.
Office of Naval Research (ONR)
Telephone: 703-696-4304
Email: predrag.neskovic@navy.mil

Jennifer Fogarty, Ph.D.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Email: jennifer.fogarty-1@nasa.gov