The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) encourage grant applications for research to isolate, characterize, and identify the precursor cells involved in skeletal muscle growth and repair.*
Mammalian muscle contains a set of cells capable of regeneration and repair. These regenerative cells play an important role in the growth of postnatal muscle, with skeletal muscle representing 40-50 percent of the weight of adults. An important question in muscle development and muscle repair is the origin of these cells and their relationship to stem cells that circulate within the blood.
Potential areas of research interest include: projects to identify, isolate, culture, and characterize cells that are precursors of muscle growth or regeneration; projects to generate and use panels of markers for use in characterization and isolation of skeletal muscle precursor cells; studies to determine the origins and fates of muscle precursor cells; characterization of differences between skeletal muscle cells and other muscle precursor cells derived from muscle; research on mechanisms governing the role of muscle precursor cells in muscle plasticity, adaptation, and aging; characterization of biological functions of muscle precursor cells; projects to create methods of culture to maintain muscle precursor cells in stages when they proliferate; studies to clarify the mechanisms of muscle precursor cell differentiation; research to develop and optimize methodologies for directing the differentiation of muscle precursor cell populations; applying muscle precursor cell therapies to muscle diseases and disuse muscle atrophy or wasting (also called sarcopenia); and use of precursor cells in the context of exercise, functional electrical stimulation, or other therapeutic strategies.
For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Giovanna Spinella, Program Director, Neurogenetics Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2132, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5745; fax: 301-401-1501; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-02-136.html.