Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Advancing NEI AGI Research on newly Identified Factors Into Models of Visual System Regeneration
Notice Number:
NOT-EY-22-002

Key Dates

Release Date:

January 10, 2022

First Available Due Date:
February 16, 2022
Expiration Date:
October 16, 2024

Related Announcements

  • PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-20-195 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Project Grant (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-21-155 - Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-19-134 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-20-319 - NEI Translational Research Program (TRP) on Therapy for Visual Disorders (R24 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • PA-21-259 - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) (Omnibus/Parent R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PA-21-262 - Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) (Omnibus/Parent R41/R42 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Issued by

National Eye Institute (NEI)

Purpose

The National Eye Institute (NEI) is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to encourage novel research that incorporates newly identified factors into new or existing models of visual system regeneration. These factors were identified by a consortium of research teams as part of the Audacious Goal Initiative (AGI) and are being shared broadly with the research community. Applicants beyond the original consortium are strongly encouraged to apply.

BACKGROUND

The NEI Audacious Goal Initiative (AGI) is to restore vision through regeneration of neurons and neural connections in the eye and visual system. Through several funding opportunity announcements, the initiative has supported cross-disciplinary research to advance knowledge and technology needed to make progress. In particular, RFA-EY-15-002 invited applications to use discovery-based science to identify unknown biological factors critical to the regeneration of neurons, axon guidance, and making new functional connections. The resulting consortium identified molecules and signaling pathways that can either promote or inhibit regeneration of neurons in the visual pathway.

Six projects have been completed, employing different approaches to screen, identify, and validate targets that may prove useful in efforts to restore function to the visual system. In particular, the projects successfully identified a) molecules associated with optic nerve regeneration; b) how Muller glia regenerate retinal neurons; and c) biological mechanisms that may help integrate transplanted photoreceptors.

For a description of the projects see https://www.nei.nih.gov/about/goals-and-accomplishments/nei-research-initiatives/audacious-goals-initiative/agi-projects/discovery-based-projects

The result of this collective enterprise includes next-generation sequencing data now stored and publicly available via the St Jude Cloud, a partnership between Microsoft, DNAnexus, and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This data portal serves as a platform for accessing the raw data in addition to high-level data summaries, visualizations, and publications resulting from each of the projects.

Access to the platform is available here: https://viz.stjude.cloud/community/audacious-goals-initiative-agi-retina~2/about

For an archived 2019 ARVO Special Session describing the 6 projects and the St. Jude Data Portal see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QfEDbP-IYg

Application and Submission Information

This notice applies to due dates on or after February 16, 2022 and subsequent receipt dates through October 16, 2024. 

Submit applications for this initiative using one of the following funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) or any reissues of these announcement through the expiration date of this notice.

PA-20-185 - NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-20-195 - NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Project Grant (Parent R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-21-155 - Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-19-134 - Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) for Health Professional Schools and Graduate Schools (R15 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PAR-20-319 - NEI Translational Research Program (TRP) on Therapy for Visual Disorders (R24 Clinical Trial Optional)

PA-21-259 - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) (Omnibus/Parent R43/R44 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

PA-21-262 - Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) (Omnibus/Parent R41/R42 Clinical Trial Not Allowed

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:

  • For funding consideration, applicants must include “NOT-EY-22-002” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF424 R&R form. Applications without this information in box 4B will not be considered for this initiative.

Applications nonresponsive to terms of this NOSI will not be considered for the NOSI initiative.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions:

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Cheri Wiggs, Ph.D
National Eye Institute (NEI)
Telephone: 301-402-0276
Email: Cheri.Wiggs@nih.gov