Notice Number: NOT-HD-19-037
Release Date: November 05, 2019
First Available Due Date: February 05, 20209
Expiration Date: November 08, 2022
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
The purpose of this Notice of Scientific Interest (NOSI) is to support research in the area of physics and mechanics of embryonic development. Applicants should propose hypothesis-driven developmental biology research with the prospect of gaining new and critical information about tissue mechanics relevant to vertebrate development and understanding the basis for developmental disorders. Interdisciplinary research through collaborations between developmental biologists, physicists and engineers is encouraged.
In the past, research on developmental biomechanics was focused on developing theoretical models and using in vitro experimental approaches for model validation. However, it is now well recognized that morphogenesis occurs through interactions between multiple tissue layers, and that physical parameters contributing to these processes are not displayed appropriately when studying individual cells in culture. The challenge is to match theoretical models to experimental data and integrate the analyses across time and space so that cellular mechanisms can be linked to tissue-level behavior. Consequently, to better understand the role of the physical and mechanical forces exerted during development, the focus of this NOSI is to promote studies aimed at understanding biomechanics of morphogenesis in vivo.
In recent years, there has been considerable progress towardunderstanding the genetic control of morphogenesis. It is evident that regulated gene expression determines the chemical environment of cells and tissues and thereby regulates biophysical processes. In turn, changes in physical forces feedback to regulate gene function and cell fate. Advancing our knowledge of the physical aspects of development will thus provide a broader view of how the genome of multicellular organism functions in association with physical forces to specify final shape and architecture of an organ and/or an entire organism.
The objective of this research program is to advance our knowledge of the contributions of biophysical and biomechanical processes during normal and abnormal embryonic development. This will be achieved by encouraging applications with innovative concepts and approaches for studying developmental tissue mechanics in living organisms. While achieving this goal will depend on the availability of reliable non-invasive measuring devices, developing such tools is not the focus of this NOSI. However, this NOSI runs in parallel with a companion NOSI (NOT-HD-19-038) that uses the NIH Exploratory/Developmental grant mechanism (R21) with similar scientific goals, but with additional scope to promote the development of new and innovative tools, including non-invasive devices, for reliable measurement of physical parameters of cells and tissues in vivo and in tissue explants, in the context of complex tissue layers.
Potential Research Areas
Research projects proposed in response to this NOSI are intended to advance our knowledge of the biophysical and biomechanical aspects of embryonic development. High impact interdisciplinary research through collaborations between developmental biologists, physicists and engineers is encourage. Studies can be focused at any level from the molecular and cellular, to tissue and organ level. However, it is important to note that the goal is to promote studies conducted in vivo, as emphasized below:
Examples of activities that this NOSI intends to support include, but are not limited to the following:
Application and Submission Information
This notice applies to due dates on or after February 5, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through November 8, 2022.
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 these notices.
All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the funding opportunity announcement used for submission must be followed, with the following additions:
Please direct all inquiries to the contacts in Section VII of the listed funding opportunity announcements with the following additions/substitutions: