Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)
The Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund) intends to publish a funding opportunity to support research and development awards for the NIH Common Fund supported Human Virome Program (HVP). More information on the HVP can be found at https://commonfund.nih.gov/humanvirome.
This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and develop their approaches. The funding opportunity is expected to be published in August 2023 with an expected application due date at least 60 days after publication. No foreign applications will be allowed.
The funding opportunity will use the cooperative agreement U01 mechanism for Research Project Cooperative Agreement (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) Details of the planned funding opportunity are provided below.
The NIH Common Fund HVPs overall goal is to establish a research consortium to extensively characterize the human virome and create tools, models, methods that will enable in-depth study of its variation in relation to host factors and its influence on health and disease. It is anticipated that exploration of the human virome will provide insights into the health effects of tri-kingdom interactions (host-microbiome-virome) occurring within the human body and inform future studies examining novel disease connections. For the purposes of the NIH Common Fund HVP, members of the virome are viruses that establish a population within the human body (i.e., not transient) either as latent, persistent, integrated, or lytic in the human host itself or in any of the prokaryotic or eukaryotic members of the microbiome in the human host. Despite recent technological advances, significant challenges remain that have hindered progress, including detection sensitivity, contaminant removal, scalability, and sample adequacy.
The new funding opportunity will support cooperative agreement awards on tool and technology development as part of the HVP consortium. The goal of this initiative is to support the development of tools, models, and methods to address the technological and methodological challenges that are currently hindering robust interrogation into the constituents and functionality of the human virome. Current challenges include the heterogeneity of virome elements and the lack of universal viral molecular markers (analogous to bacterial 16S rRNA domains), sequencing errors that may lead to the false identification of viruses or variants, lack of standard references, difficulties working with low biomass samples, host and environmental DNA contamination, and inadequate bioinformatic tools for virome analysis.
The projects selected will work collaboratively with each other and other components of the HVP consortium to develop and implement improved virome protocols, including wet-lab and bioinformatics analysis.
Funding for the HVP will come from the NIH Common Fund, which supports cross-cutting programs expected to have exceptionally high impact. All Common Fund initiatives invite investigators to develop bold, innovative, and high-risk approaches to address problems that may seem intractable or to seize new opportunities that offer the potential for rapid progress.
Applications are not being solicited at this time.
Please direct all inquiries to:
Amanda Melillo, Ph.D.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)