The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) encourage grant applications for research on the integration of neurobiological and cerebrovascular mechanisms in the adult, aged, and pediatric brain in health and disease.*
This announcement encourages studies focused on improving the understanding of the dynamic interactions within the neurovascular unit (NVU)--a construct consisting of brain microvascular endothelium, glia, neurons, and the extracellular matrix that maintains spatial relations among them. Knowledge of these interactions may stimulate new strategies for basic, translational, and clinical research on many neurological disorders, including stroke, vascular dementia, and intracerebral hemorrhage.
Potential areas of research interest include studies to: develop and characterize in vivo and in vitro models that reflect the unique features of neurovascular communication in the brain under normal, aging, and disease conditions; examine the genes and proteins that are uniquely expressed by the NVU and mechanisms by which brain cells regulate endothelial cell gene expression and vise versa; identify pattern-specific gene and protein expression within the NVU to provide a platform for further investigations on integrating brain-vascular biology as it pertains to conditions such as angiogenesis, cell adhesion, antigen presentation, metastasis, and local inflammation; explore the genesis and regulation of the NVU, its stem cell origins, and the interactions of microvessel networks in the regions of the central nervous system with developing neurons and in areas of adult neurogenesis; identify signal transduction pathways of brain and capillary endothelial cells in the regulation of the extracellular matrix under normal and disease conditions; identify regional diversity of NVU properties within the brain and the microvasculature throughout the lifespan; identify changes in NVU integrative functions in vivo and/or in situ using imaging approaches; explore the cell-cell interactions among the cellular and matrix elements of the NVU; and examine the plasticity of the NVU and the changes in cell-cell and cell-matrix signaling throughout the lifespan.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Thomas P. Jacobs, Program Director, Neural Environment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2112, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1431; fax: 301-480-2424; 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-04-072.html.