The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) encourage grant applications for research on the biology of non-human stem cells in the central nervous system (CNS).
One of the most exciting frontiers in medicine is the potential of stem cells for treating congenital and degenerative disorders. In the CNS, cell replacement is of particular interest because, unlike other tissues, the mature brain and spinal cord have little capacity for self-repair. CNS neurons are very restricted in their ability to regrow in situ, and the adult brain appears to have a limited ability to produce new neurons. Recent reports of multipotent stem cells that are able to generate cells with neuronal properties have raised expectations that some stem cells may be able to replace lost neurons and glia, repair defective circuits, and restore functions compromised by age, physical damage, or disease.
Potential areas of research interest include studies to: compare the mitotic potential and fates of different types of neural and non-neural progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo; compare the functional properties of neural precursor cells implanted at different stages of differentiation; characterize the migratory properties of stem cells in the developing, adult, or aging nervous system; investigate the ability of progenitor cells to revert to a more plastic, multipotent state; examine changes in gene and protein expression as stem and progenitor cells differentiate along specific lineages; compare the efficacy and risks of different modes of cell delivery in large and small mammals, and in animals of different ages; assess the ability of transplanted cells to integrate with the host nervous system and modify dysfunctional states; and develop novel techniques, such as non-invasive methods, to tract the integration and/or function of transplanted cells.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Arlene Chiu, Program Director, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2206, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: (301) 496-1447; fax: (301) 480-1080; email: email@example.com
For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-01-078.html.