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Full Text PA-96-035
NIH GUIDE, Volume 25, Number 10, March 29, 1996
PA NUMBER:  PA-96-035
P.T. 34


National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
National Institute on Aging
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
(NIDCD) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) invite grant
applications for the support of research fundamental to understanding
the neurochemistry of pathways in the olfactory and gustatory systems
throughout the life span.  This research includes the identification
and characterization of the neurotransmitters, neuromodulators,
receptors, and secondary messengers throughout the chemosensory
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"
a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This Program
Announcement (PA), Chemical Senses:  Neurotransmitters and
Neuromodulators, is related to the priority areas of diabetes and
chronic disabling conditions and special population objectives.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full
Report:  Stock No. 017-001-11474-0 or Summary Report:  Stock No.
017-001-11473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government
Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-512-1800).
Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and
non-profit organizations, public and private, such as universities,
colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local
governments, and eligible agencies of the Federal government.
Foreign institutions or organizations in foreign countries are not
eligible for First Independent Research Support Transitions (FIRST)
(R29) awards.
The support mechanisms for grants in this area will be the individual
investigator-initiated research grant (R01) and the First Independent
Research Support and Transition (FIRST) (R29) Award.
The physiology and chemistry of the neural circuits of the olfactory
and gustatory systems have been extensively studied, and certain
chemically distinct synapses in these chemosensory systems have been
identified.  The relation of these findings to synaptic function and
to central processing of chemosensory information is far from fully
understood.  There is evidence that the levels of neural activity
within olfactory structures can influence the synthesis of
transmitter and trophic substances and the strength of synaptic
connections.  It is not known how these changes alter the processing
of olfactory information.  Little is yet known about the transmitters
and their receptors at the principal relays throughout the
chemosensory pathways; the transmitters at the receptor cell-nerve
interfaces in the chemosensory systems have not been unequivocally
identified.  The neurochemistry of the central olfactory system poses
a challenging issue because of the wide variety of transmitter
substances represented, particularly in the olfactory bulb.  A better
understanding of the mechanisms of neurotransmission in the
chemosensory systems is possible through the application of
contemporary tools such as biochemical and molecular probes, brain
slice and organotypic culture preparations, transgenic animal models,
electrophysiologic recording in anesthetized and in freely moving
animals, and computational modeling.  These important tools have had
only limited use in studies of the neurochemistry of the chemosensory
systems; their use in investigations of the transmitters and
receptors of the chemosensory systems holds promise for the eventual
development of effective prevention and treatment of chemosensory
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
(NIDCD) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) are interested in a
broad range of mechanistic studies that will elucidate the
neurochemistry of the pathways of the olfactory and gustatory systems
over the life span.  This research includes the identification and
characterization of the neurotransmitters, neuromodulators,
receptors, and second messengers throughout the chemosensory systems.
Multidisciplinary studies of neurotransmitter and neuromodulatory
mechanisms relevant to structure-function relations are encouraged as
are collaborative efforts that lead to the integration of information
from levels spanning the molecular to the behavioral.  Collaboration
is encouraged among investigators, including molecular and cell
biologists, pharmacologists, and other scientists who are using novel
approaches to study the neurochemistry of sensory systems.
Investigators are encouraged to address pivotal issues in the
chemical senses in response to this Program Announcement and to
utilize innovative methods and approaches to address them.  Research
issues, methods, and approaches in the chemical senses might include,
but are not limited to, those below.
Research issues
o  Identification and characterization of the transmitters at the
receptor cell-nerve interface in the olfactory and gustatory systems.
o  Molecular properties of amino acid receptors in the chemosensory
o  The role of transmitters in the regulation of neuronal growth,
plasticity, and survival.
o  Neuron-glial communication.
o  The role of simple gases, such as carbon monoxide, in
o  Functional significance of neurochemical and molecular diversity
of subsets of neurons in the olfactory bulb.
o  Age-related changes in transmitter levels and transmitter-receptor
relationships within the chemosensory systems.
o  Age-related mechanisms governing transmitter responses to injury
of the chemosensory systems.
o  Ability of neurotoxins to affect the levels of transmitters and
their receptors as a function of aging.
o  Mechanisms whereby an age-related change in one neuroactive
substance can interact with and alter the levels of other neuroactive
substances in the chemosensory systems.
Methods and approaches:
o  Biochemical and molecular probes to identify and characterize the
neurotransmitters and receptors involved in the central processing of
chemosensory information.
o  Electrophysiologic and imaging techniques that are sufficiently
sensitive to analyze neural circuit activity.
o  Confocal imaging and photolytic activation of compounds as dual
probes of transmitter and synaptic function in brain slices.
o  Transgenic animals with altered transmitters and receptors.
o  Use of agonists and antagonists to investigate transmitter
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) and supersedes and strengthens the previous policies
(Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study Populations, and
Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study Populations), which
have been in effect since 1990.  The new policy contains some
provisions that are substantially different from the 1990 policies.
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 reprinted in the Federal
Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) to correct typesetting
and errors in the earlier publication, and reprinted in the NIH GUIDE
FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS of  March 18, 1994, Volume 23, Number 11.
Investigators also may obtain copies of the policy 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. 5/95) and will be accepted at the standard application
deadlines as indicated in the application kit.  Applications kits are
available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may
be obtained from the Grants Information Office, Office of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health,
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone
301/710-0267, email:  ASKNIH@odrockm1.od.nih.gov.  The title and
number of the program announcement must be typed in Section 2 on the
face page of the application.
Applications for the FIRST Award (R29) must include at least three
sealed letters of reference attached to the face page of the original
application.  FIRST Award (R29) applications submitted without the
required number of reference letters will be considered incomplete
and will be returned without review.
The completed original application and five legible copies must be
sent or delivered to:
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the
DRG.  Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant
without further consideration.
Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in
accordance with NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial
merit review, all applications will receive a written critique and
may undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of all
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
o  scientific, technical, or medical significance and originality of
proposed research;
o  appropriateness and adequacy of the experimental approach and
methodology proposed to carry out the research;
o  qualifications and research experience of the Principal
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the
area of the proposed research;
o  availability of the resources necessary to perform the research;
o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to
the proposed research; and
o  adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research.
Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be
The Initial review group will also examine the provisions for the
protection of human subjects and animal welfare and the safety of the
research environment.
Applications will compete for available funds with all other
applications assigned to that Institute.  The following will be
considered in making funding decisions: quality of the proposed
project as determined by peer review and availability of funds.
Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.
The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential
applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:
Jack Pearl, Ph.D.
Division of Human Communication
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Room 400-C
6120 Executive Boulevard - MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464
FAX:  (301) 402-6251
Email:  Jack_Pearl@nih.gov
Judith A. Finkelstein, Ph.D.
Neuroscience and Neuropsychology of Aging Program
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 3C307
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-9350
FAX:  (301) 496-1494
Email:  FinkelsJ@gw.nia.nih.gov
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:
Sharon Hunt
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Executive Plaza South, Room 400-B
6120 Executive Boulevard - MSC 7180
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-0909
FAX:  (301) 402-1758
Email:  SH79F@nih.gov
Joseph Ellis, Chief
Office of Extramural Affairs
National Institute on Aging
Gateway Building, Suite 2N212
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC-9205
Bethesda, MD  20892-9205
Telephone:  (301) 496-1472
FAX:  (301) 402-3672
Email:  EllisJ@gw.nia.nih.gov
This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance Nos. 93.173 and 93.866.  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.  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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