Release Date:  February 9, 2000
PA NUMBER:  PA-00-055

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute


The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) 
and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invite investigator-
initiated research grant applications to study the molecular mechanisms 
underlying the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus in hemochromatosis and other 
forms of iron overload, and to encourage clinical studies leading to a better 
understanding of the development of diabetes in patients with iron overload.

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas. This PA, The Role of Growth 
Factors in the Development of Diabetes Complications, is related to the 
priority area of diabetes and chronic disabling conditions. Potential 
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign for-profit and 
nonprofit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges,
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal Government. Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal 

This PA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) research project 
grant (R01) and Exploratory/Development Research Grant (R21) award 

The R21 awards are to demonstrate feasibility and to obtain preliminary data 
testing innovative ideas that represent clear departure from ongoing research 
interests.  These grants are intended to 1) provide initial support for new 
investigators; 2) allow exploration of possible innovative new directions for 
established investigators; and 3) stimulate investigators from other areas to 
lend their expertise to research within the scope of this solicitation.  
Applicants for the R21 must limit their requests to $100,000 direct costs per 
year and are limited to two years.  These R21 grants will not be renewable; 
continuation of projects developed under this program will be through the 
regular research grant (R01) program). NHLBI will accept assignment only of 
RO1 applications. Applicants interested in submitting R21 applications may 
wish to seek guidance from Institute Program Directors listed under 

This PA will use the modular grants application and award process.  Specific 
application instructions have been modified to reflect "MODULAR GRANT" and 
"JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being examined by the NIH.  The modular 
grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs may be 
requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets.  Only limited 
budgetary information is required under this approach.  The just-in-time 
concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there is a 
possibility for an award.  It is anticipated that these changes will reduce 
the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute staff.
Refer to instructions under APPLICATION PROCEDURES, below.  Complete and 
detailed instructions and information on Modular Grants can be found at  

Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
project will be solely that of the applicant.  The NIH Grants policy 
statement applies to these awards.



Hereditary hemochromatosis is the most common genetic disorder known in the 
United States.  As much as 10 percent of the population is heterozygous for 
this condition, and the homozygous state is believed to affect as much as 0.5 
percent of the population, or more than one million people.  In affected 
individuals, inappropriately increased absorption of iron may result in its 
progressive accumulation in the liver, heart, pancreas and other organs, 
eventually producing hepatic cirrhosis, cardiac failure, diabetes mellitus, 
arthritis, gonadal dysfunction and other disorders.  The identification of 
the gene, now designated as HFE, that is mutated in most patients with 
hereditary hemochromatosis has been a major advance that has resulted in a 
diagnostic genotypic test for this form of iron overload.  Population studies 
suggest that the disorder is greatly under-diagnosed.  Diabetes mellitus is a 
major complication of hemochromatosis and virtually all the secondary 
manifestations of diabetes may develop, including retinopathy, nephropathy, 
neuropathy and vascular disease.

At the basic science level, the molecular mechanisms underlying the 
pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus in all forms of iron overload remain 
obscure.  Iron-induced, free radical mediated damage to the pancreatic beta-
cell has been postulated but careful studies in this area are lacking, 
hindered, in part, by the lack of a suitable animal model.  Some data suggest 
that insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction in patients with iron 
overload develop well before insulin deficiency and are still reversible with 
iron depletion.  Iron overload as a potentially reversible cause of diabetes 
needs more careful examination.

Clinically, the discovery of the gene, HFE, responsible for most cases of 
hereditary hemochromatosis, has revolutionized both the understanding and 
diagnosis of this disorder and created new opportunities for studies of 
diabetes as one of the major complications of the disease.  In patients with 
hemochromatosis, the development of diabetes is an irrevocable step in 
disease progression that leads to premature death, even if the excess iron is 
subsequently removed.  Conversely, hereditary hemochromatosis is a 
preventable cause of diabetes mellitus.  If patients are identified before 
the development of glucose intolerance, removal of the excess iron can 
prevent the subsequent development of diabetes.  Because of the importance of 
hemochromatosis as an often unrecognized cause of diabetes and because of the 
significance of diabetes as a critical complication in hemochromatosis, 
clinical studies are needed.  These may include (i) determination of the 
prevalence of hereditary hemochromatosis as an undiagnosed cause of diabetes 
mellitus, (ii) determination of the prevalence of HFE mutations (both 
heterozygous and homozygous) in patients with diabetes, (iii) development of 
new strategies for the management of diabetes in patients with 

Objectives and Scope

Appropriate topics for investigation would include, but are not limited to:

o Epidemiological investigations of the relationship between body iron 
burden, HFE mutations, especially Cys282Tyr and His63Asp, glucose tolerance, 
insulin sensitivity and diabetes.

o Elucidation of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the 
pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus in (or associated with) iron overload 

o The potential role of iron-induced, free radical or lipid peroxidation-
mediated damage to the pancreatic beta-cell and to hepatocytes.

o Effects of increased body iron burden on insulin resistance and glucose 
transporter function in several insulin target cells: e.g., muscle, 
adipocyte, hepatocyte.  A number of reports suggest that increased iron leads 
to insulin resistance but the mechanisms responsible for this resistance are 

o Investigations of differential gene transcription/translation in beta 
cells, hepatocytes and enterocytes caused by exposure to elevated iron.
o Investigation of the effectiveness of iron chelation therapy in preventing 
or reversing iron-overload mediated diabetes. 
o Investigations of ceruloplasmin status vs. the incidence of diabetes.  It 
is clear that patients with aceruloplasminemia get diabetes and that this 
condition is associated with parenchymal iron accumulation, but it is not 
known whether quantitative (or functional) variations in ceruloplasmin might 
have similar but less obvious effects.
o Studies of the natural history of diabetes associated with hemochromatosis.
o Since individuals at risk can be identified early, serial metabolic 
characterizations before and early in the disease to define the initial 
events in progression to diabetes are of interest.
o Examination of insulin resistance to learn if it is caused by 
hemochromatosis or if people with both conditions are more likely to progress 
to diabetes. 

o Study of the extent to which diabetes is reversible when iron overload is 

o Development of suitable animal models for study of diabetes of iron 


It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and 
their subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research. This new policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research," which was published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 
59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide For Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 
11, March 18, 1994, available on the web at:


It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by 
the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. 
This policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for 
receipt dates after October 1, 1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children as Participants in 
Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the NIH Guide for 
Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL 
address: https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html
Investigators may also obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES. Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated 
in the application kit.  Application kits are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research, or may be obtained from the Division of 
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301-710-0267, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Applicants planning to submit an investigator-initiated new (type 1) 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended/revised 
version of the preceding grant application types requesting $500,000 or more 
in direct costs for any year are advised that he or she must contact NIH 
program staff before submitting the application, i.e., as plans for the study 
are being developed. Furthermore, the application must obtain agreement from 
the staff that the NIH will accept the application for consideration for 
award. Finally, the applicant must identify, in a cover letter sent with the 
application, the staff member and Institute or Center who agreed to accept 
assignment of the application.  This policy requires an applicant to obtain 
agreement for acceptance of both any such application and any such subsequent 
amendment. Refer to the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 20, 1998 at 

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which direct costs 
may be requested as well as a maximum level for requested budgets. Only 
limited budgetary information is required under this approach.  The just-in-
time concept allows applicants to submit certain information only when there 
is a possibility for an award. It is anticipated that these changes will 
reduce the administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute 
staff.  The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used 
in applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.


Budget Instructions

Modular Grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 modules, up 
to a total direct cost request of $250,000 per year. (Applications that 
request more than $250,000 direct costs in any year must follow the 
traditional PHS 398 application instructions.) The total direct costs must be 
requested in accordance with the program guidelines and the modifications 
made to the standard PHS 398 application instructions described below:

PHS 398

o  FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct Costs 
(in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000) and Total Costs [Modular 
Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs] for the initial 
budget period Items 8a and 8b should be completed indicating the Direct and 
Total Costs for the entire proposed period of support.

of the PHS 398. It is not required and will not be accepted with the 

categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is not required 
and will not be accepted with the application. 

o NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION - Prepare a Modular Grant Budget Narrative 
page. (See https://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for 
sample pages.) At the top of the page, enter the total direct costs requested 
for each year.  This is not a Form page.

o Under Personnel, list key project personnel, including their names, percent 
of effort, and roles on the project. No individual salary information should 
be provided. However, the applicant should use the NIH appropriation language 
salary cap and the NIH policy for graduate student compensation in developing 
the budget request.

For Consortium/Contractual costs, provide an estimate of total costs (direct 
plus facilities and administrative) for each year, each rounded to the 
nearest $1,000. List the individuals/organizations with whom consortium or 
contractual arrangements have been made, the percent effort of key personnel, 
and the role on the project. Indicate whether the collaborating institution 
is foreign or domestic. The total cost for a consortium/contractual 
arrangement is included in the overall requested modular direct cost amount.  
Include the Letter of Intent to establish a consortium.
Provide an additional narrative budget justification for any variation in the 
number of modules requested.

o BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH - The Biographical Sketch provides information used by 
reviewers in the assessment of each individual's qualifications for a 
specific role in the proposed project, as well as to evaluate the overall 
qualifications of the research team. A biographical sketch is required for 
all key personnel, following the instructions below. No more than three pages 
may be used for each person. A sample biographical sketch may be viewed at: 

- Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;
- List position(s) and any honors;
- Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, on 
research projects ongoing or completed during the last three years.
- List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations;

o CHECKLIST - This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application.  If the F&A rate agreement has been established, indicate the 
type of agreement and the date. All appropriate exclusions must be applied in 
the calculation of the F&A costs for the initial budget period and all future 
budget years.

o The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the individual to 
contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if additional information 
is necessary following the initial review. 

The program announcement title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face 
page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.
Submit the signed, original, single-sided application, including the 
Checklist, along with five signed photocopies and five collated sets of 
appendix materials in one package to:

BETHESDA, MD 20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this PA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  The 
CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one 
already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of applications already reviewed, but such applications must 
include an introduction addressing the previous critique.


Applications will be assigned on the basis of established NIH referral 
guidelines.  Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate scientific review group convened in accordance with 
the standard NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo a 
process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will 
be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second-level review by 
the appropriate national advisory council or board.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health. In 
the written comments, reviewer will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed 
research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each 
of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall 
score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that the 
application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely 
to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For 
example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its 
nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

o  Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of 
the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What 
will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive 
this field?

o  Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses 
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the 
project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider 
alternative tactics?

o  Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or method?
Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing 
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

o Investigator: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to 
carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level 
of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)? 

o  Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments 
take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ 
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional 

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o  Adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their subgroups, 
and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans 
for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. 

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration to the proposed 

o  The adequacy of the proposed protection of humans, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent that they may be adversely affected by the project 
proposed in the application.

o  Availability of special opportunities for furthering research programs 
through the use of unusual talent resources, populations, or environmental 
conditions in other countries which are not readily available in the United 
States or which provide augmentation of existing U.S. resources.


The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review; 
o  Availability of funds;
o  Program priority.


Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Dr. David G. Badman
Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS-13C MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-7717
FAX:  (301) 480-3510
Email:  db70f@nih.gov

Dr. Charles M. Peterson
Blood Diseases Program
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7950
Bethesda, MD 20892-7950
Telephone: (301) 435-0051
FAX: (301) 480-0868
Email: PetersoC@gwgate.nhlbi.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Aretina Perry-Jones
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AN-38B, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8862
FAX:  (301) 480-3504
Email:  PerryA@extra.niddk.nih.gov

Ms. Jane Davis
Division of Extramural Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive MSC 7950
Bethesda MD  20892-7950
Telephone:  (301) 435-0166
FAX: (301) 480-3310
Email:  davisj@gwgate.nhlbi.nih.gov


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Assistance Nos. 93.848
and 93.847. Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health Service 
Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 
USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74 and 92. This program is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking 
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early 
childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.

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