RELEASE DATE:  April 9, 2003 

NOTICE:  NOT-HL-03-010

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Response Due Date: June 23, 2003


The NHLBI is soliciting input and recommendations for scientific topic areas 
for new Specialized Centers of Clinically Oriented Research programs in 
pulmonary medicine.


The NHLBI has recently changed the Specialized Centers of Research (SCOR) 
program into a new program called the Specialized Centers of Clinically 
Oriented Research (SCCOR) program.  This change was made based primarily on 
recommendations from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council.  
The original SCOR program required both basic and clinical research, but the 
preponderance of research supported was basic.  The new SCCOR program still 
requires both basic and clinical scientists working together on a unified theme, 
but much more emphasis is placed on clinical research.  The changes reflect the 
desire of the Institute to accelerate translating of basic research advances to 
clinical application.  The guiding principle of the new SCCOR program is the 
central focus on clinically relevant research and the key change to achieve 
this goal is the new requirement that at least one-half of funded projects be 

The primary objective of the SCCOR program is to foster multidisciplinary 
research on clinically relevant questions enabling basic science findings to 
be more rapidly applied to clinical problems.  It is expected that results from 
SCCOR grants will have a positive effect on the prevention, diagnosis, and 
treatment of pulmonary disease.  Among the requirements of a SCCOR are:

1.  The overall concept of a SCCOR program focuses on both clinical and basic 
scientific issues related to topics relevant to the mission of the NHLBI.  It 
requires that at least 50 percent of the funded projects be clinical, with a
minimum of three funded projects.  All basic research projects must be related 
to the overall clinical focus of the SCCOR.

2. For a project to be considered clinical, the research must fit Parts 1 and 
2 of the definition of clinical research in the PHS 398 application form.  That 
is, the research must be either patient-oriented research, or an epidemiologic 
or a behavioral study.

Patient oriented research is defined as Aresearch conducted with human subjects 
(or material) of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive 
phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with
human subjects.  It is intended that the requirement for investigator 
interaction with the study participants will eliminate research involving 
archived tissue. 

3.  At least 50 percent of the projects and 50 percent of the cores must be 
located at the applicant institution and at least one of the clinical projects 
must be at the applicant institution. 

4.  SCCOR applicants are encouraged to establish links with existing resources 
including General Clinical Research Centers, the NHLBI Programs in Genomic 
Applications, and NHLBI clinical research networks, as appropriate.

Each NHLBI SCOR/SCCOR program is limited to 10 years of funding.  Under this 
policy a given SCOR grant is awarded for a 5-year period following an open 
competition.  Only one 5-year competing renewal is permitted, for a total of 10 
years of support. The Division of Lung Diseases (DLD), NHLBI, currently funds 
three SCOR programs that are in their second 5-year period of funding: 
Pathobiology of Fibrotic Lung Disease, Pathobiology of Lung Development, and 
Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Asthma.  These three SCOR programs will 
sunset at the end of their 10-year cycle and be replaced with new SCCOR 
programs.  There are currently 16 SCOR centers funded in these three programs 
at an approximate total cost of $27 million dollars/year.  Because of the 
requirement for more clinical research, the direct cost cap on an individual 
SCCOR application has been increased to $2.5 million in the first year.  
Therefore, it is anticipated that fewer than 16 centers will be funded in the 
new competition.  In addition, the DLD supports two SCOR programs in 
Neurobiology of Sleep and Sleep Apnea and Airway Biology and Pathogenesis of 
Cystic Fibrosis and a SCCOR program in Translational Research in Acute Lung 
Injury that have all recently undergone an open competition.


The NHLBI seeks your help in identifying scientific topics for new SCCOR 
programs that will accelerate the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of 
pulmonary diseases.  The topics can be disease- or syndrome-specific, 
approach-specific, e.g., regenerative medicine, or other clinically oriented 
topic areas that could be effectively addressed using the SCCOR mechanism.  
The topic must present opportunities for clinically oriented research that 
will benefit human pulmonary health and prevent or improve treatment of 
pulmonary disease.   Disease areas that will not be considered for new SCCOR 
programs are sleep related disorders, cystic fibrosis, acute lung injury, and 
acute respiratory distress syndrome.  Respondents are asked to address the 

Specific topics related to pulmonary medicine that present major opportunities 
for clinically oriented research with the potential to have a positive impact 
on pulmonary diseases.  

Within a topic area, list the scientific opportunities that you consider the 
most important and promising for a SCCOR program and why you think this area 
would benefit from the SCCOR mechanism.  It is important that the topics 
suggested can focus both the basic and clinical research on important clinical 
questions.  If you propose more than one topic for new SCCOR programs, list 
them in priority order.


All responses will be compiled and reviewed by an NHLBI convened advisory group 
composed of extramural scientists.  Based on the recommendations of the 
advisory group and the recommendations of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood 
Advisory Council, the NHLBI plans to announce new SCCOR programs in fiscal year 
2005 for anticipated funding in fiscal year 2007.

To respond, please send an email, fax, or letter to the following address:

Carol E. Vreim, Ph.D.
Two Rockledge Centre
6701 Rockledge Drive
Suite 10018, MSC 7952
Bethesda, MD 70892-7952
Tel: (301) 435-0233
Fax: (301) 480-3547

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