Notice of Opportunity to Provide Medicinal Chemistry Consultant Services to Support Investigators Applying to RFA-NS-09-003, “Optimization of Small Molecule Probes for the Nervous System” (R21)

Notice Number: NOT-NS-09-004

Key Dates
Release Date: December 29, 2008

Issued by
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), (


The purpose of this notice is to announce that the NINDS is seeking experienced medicinal chemists to provide small molecule design support to investigators applying to the Research Funding Announcement NS-09-003, entitled; “Optimization of Small Molecule Probes for the Nervous System” (R21).  It is expected that medicinal chemistry planning will be included as part of a successful project proposal. Chemistry expertise will be needed to help design and evaluate small molecule analogues in support of structure-activity relationship studies and compound optimization.  NINDS, and other NIH Institutes participating in the Program (NIAAA, NIDA), acknowledge the importance of having medicinal chemistry input to the small molecule design and optimization required of this Program, and will therefore support funding allowance within proposals responding to RFA-NS-09-003 for attaining such expertise. Applicants to this Program that do not presently have access to such a resource will be able to choose from a listing that will be provided upon request by the Program Director, of qualified medicinal chemists that are willing to provide support as an active participant in the proposed studies.  As it is expected that compound acquisition in this Program will be substantially guided by external procurement using available cheminformatic tools the consultant services described in this notice will not require the provision of chemical synthesis support. 


The service described in this notice is aimed at facilitating a partnership of medicinal chemists with investigators wishing to apply to the Research Funding Announcement (RFA-NS-09-003) entitled “Optimization of Small Molecule Probes for the Nervous System”, and issued by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).  This Program aims to facilitate the discovery of new small molecule probes (pharmacological tools) for investigating biological function in the nervous system by providing funding for advanced medicinal chemistry and the biological testing of compounds.  Successful applications to the Program will have identified probe candidates via screening of small molecule collections, using in vitro assays of biological activity developed to interrogate these collections, and be able to relate structural features of these small molecules to their biological activity.  Project proposals will nominate small molecule probe candidates from distinct structural series for the further, iterative design and testing of analogues in structure-activity relationship studies, using in vitro assays of biological function adapted to the medium throughput screening requirements of this work.  These studies will have the goal of developing a small molecule probe possessing the attributes (eg: affinity, selectivity, activity) required for its use in future pharmacological studies proposed by the investigator. Applicants to the RFA-NS-09-003 Program are strongly encouraged to utilize publicly available cheminformatic capabilities for the acquisition of compounds, and semi-custom synthesis of analogues, which is required of these studies.  Applications to the Program will include biology and medicinal chemistry components, and it is expected that costs will be divided equally between the two components.  While Program applicants can propose the provision of both components required in an application it is anticipated that many investigators emerging from a high throughput small molecule screening effort will lack access to the medicinal chemistry expertise needed for effective follow-up in a molecular probe optimization effort.  For this reason, NINDS and other participating NIH Institutes will make available to applicants a list of medicinal chemists that will be available to participate in project proposals by contributing the required chemistry component.

Chemists participating in the service are expected to participate in the grant planning as regards its chemistry component, and fulfill chemistry activities as required by the Program in the event that the proposal is funded. These activities will include the following:

Medicinal Chemists applying to provide this service will be pre-qualified by Institute Program staff before acceptance to the listing, using criteria which include the following:

Please Note the Following:

How to Apply

Applicants to the medicinal chemistry consultant listing service should send their curriculum vitae, list of references, and proposed consulting budget to Dr. Mark Scheideler at the email address listed below.  The closing date for applications is January 30, 2009.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received.  Applications received after the closing date will be reviewed subsequent to this date on a need basis.

For further information regarding eligibility for the medicinal chemistry consultant listing service, specific requirements of the work, and process for applying to the listing, please contact:

Mark Scheideler, Ph.D.
Senior Scientific Officer, NINDS
Telephone: 301-496.1779
Email address:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.