The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) invite grant applications for research on the interactions between stem cells and the microenvironment in vivo.*
Unlike organs such as the skin and the gut that self-renew throughout life, the nervous system in adult mammals is restricted in its ability to replace neurons and glia that have been lost through injury, disease, alcohol and drug abuse, or even advancing age. Stem cell research offers enormous potential for treating many congenital, developmental, psychiatric, or degenerative diseases of the nervous system for which there are no treatments or cures.
Potential areas of research interest include: identification, localization, and comparison of known or novel cues within the developing, adult, and aging nervous system that influence the mitotic potential, cell cycle, and differentiation of stem and progenitor cells along specific lineages; characterization of the cell-extrinsic and cell-intrinsic signaling pathways and components involved in transducing the action of local cues on stem and progenitor cells in vivo; investigation of the causal relationship between site-specific changes of endogenous cues resulting from injury, disease, exposure to alcohol, drugs of treatment or abuse, and any resulting alterations of stem cell activity; evaluation of the effects of external factors such as stress, exercise, or enriched versus impoverished living conditions on the microenvironment within the host organism, and how these changes in the microenvironment influence the behavior of stem cells at different periods throughout the lifespan of the organism; investigation of local cellular interactions that determine and maintain the structural and functional integration of progenitor cells into the host nervous system and existing circuitry; and development of assays facilitating the discovery of novel endogenous signals that modulate stem cell behavior and fate, as well as signals generated by stem cells that regulate components of the local host tissue.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Arlene Y. Chiu, Program Director, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2207, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1447; fax: 301-480-1080; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-03-172.html.