Request for Information (RFI): Challenges and Opportunities in Understanding Nuclear Organization in Space and Time (4D Nucleome)

Notice Number: NOT-RM-18-017

Key Dates
Release Date: July 9, 2018
Response Date: August 6, 2018

Related Announcements

Issued by
Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)



In 2015, the NIH launched the “4D Nucleome” (4DN) Common Fund Program that aims to understand the principles underlying nuclear organization in space and time, the role nuclear organization plays in gene expression and cellular function, and how changes in nuclear organization affect normal development as well as various diseases ( ). The initial phase of the 4DN Program included five years of support for twenty-nine Cooperative Agreement awards ( ) and ten smaller two-year projects ( ). The program is currently focused on developing technologies, datasets, computational tools and community standards to enable studies of the 4D Nucleome, including novel tools to explore the dynamic nuclear architecture and its role in gene expression programs, models to examine the relationship between nuclear organization and function in both normal development and disease, and reference datasets from consortium-selected commonly used cell lines using a diverse array of OMICS- and imaging-based technologies. 4DN data, reagents and tools are shared with the larger scientific community through a publicly available 4DN community portal ( ).

In spite of the extraordinary progress of the past few years, it is clear that our knowledge of the principles underlying functional genome organization is still too limited to understand how cells access, read, and interpret genetic information. NIH is currently considering support for a second phase of the 4DN Program, starting in 2020. In order to help identify the needs and priorities in this area of science, and plan future activities and initiatives that can most significantly impact biomedical research, the 4DN Working Group of the NIH Common Fund is seeking comments from the global community regarding the conceptual, technical and methodological limitations that remains to be addressed, and to help prioritize technology-development efforts and research activities that are most likely to propel this field forward for the greater benefit of the biomedical research community.

Information Requested

As part of the initial planning process for a second phase of the 4DN Program, the 4DN Working Group requests input from the scientific community on the challenges that remain towards a comprehensive analysis of the mammalian 4D Nucleome. Specifically, we welcome your responses to the following questions:

- Knowledge or technology gaps that still exist in this field. This can include scientific/technological areas that go beyond or extend the current areas of focus of the 4DN Program.

- Second phase significant impacts and benefits of the 4DN program for the broader biomedical research community. 

- Impact on a more comprehensive knowledge of the 4D Nucleome towards understanding and treatment of disease, and whether a second phase of 4DN help us get closer towards that goal.

How to Submit a Response

Written comments should be emailed to  All responses must be submitted by August 6, 2018. Please include the Notice number (NOT-RM-18-017) in the subject line. Response to this RFI is voluntary. Responders are free to address any or all the categories listed above. The submitted information will be reviewed by NIH staff.  NIH will confirm written response submission, but respondents will not receive individualized feedback.  

Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Any personal identifiers (e.g., names, addresses, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the de-identified comments will be used for the purpose of planning for a potential second phase of the program. Proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should not be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s). Respondents will not receive individualized feedback concerning their responses.

This RFI is for information gathering and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and/or the NIH Common Fund. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Judy Mietz, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6250

Olivier Blondel, Ph.D.
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Telephone: 301-451-7334