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Funding News - Research Sought on Mechanisms of Transmission and Dissemination of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) invite grant applications for research on the mechanisms of transmission and dissemination of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).*

TSEs or “prion diseases” are neurodegenerative disorders that can lead to dementia, motor dysfunction, and, eventually, death. Prion diseases include bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease in mule deer and elk, and kuru and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Little is known about the natural spread of TSEs within affected populations. Understanding the natural pathways by which TSEs arise and are transmitted may be critical for protecting populations at risk for acquiring these diseases.

Areas of research interest include, but are not limited to: the natural spread of TSEs within species; the spread of TSEs across species barriers; the mechanisms involved in the transport of prions from the gastrointestinal tract or other mode of entry to the central nervous system (CNS); the roles of age-related factors in the transport and entry into the CNS and the consequent pathological manifestations; the possible involvement of inflammatory or other cofactors in the dissemination of TSEs agents; and animal models aimed to understand the mechanisms of transmission and dissemination of TSEs.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Michael Nunn, Program Director, Neural Environment Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2115, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1431; fax: 301-402-2060; e-mail:

*For a more detailed description of this program announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: