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Funding News - Application Sought to Develop Probes for Microimaging the Nervous System

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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) encourages small business innovation research (SBIR) and small business technology transfer (STTR) applications to develop probes for microimaging the nervous system.  This announcement is made together with 4 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

An emerging area of scientific opportunity is the design and use of probes to study structure and function at the molecular and subcellular levels in living cells.   Approaches and tools such as labels that attach to specific peptide or nucleotide moieties, fluorescent resonance energy transfer, green fluorescent protein (and mutant color variants), and genetically engineered voltage or ion-sensitive fluorophores are making it possible to visualize not only the distribution of molecular species in cells, but also the manner in which they interact.

Examples of research topics of interest include, but are not limited to:  bioengineering of small-molecule, sterically benign probes that can be genetically linked to proteins that play important roles in cell function; research, development, and engineering of probes that can report quantitative information regarding particular molecular or subcellular events or structures; research and development of probes that attach to specific sites on proteins that are observable through multiple modalities; and research and development of caged molecules that provide temporally and spatially controlled release of molecular probes.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Daofen Chen, Program Director, Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2131, Bethesda, MD  20892; telephone:  301-496-1917; fax:  301-402-1501; e-mail:

*For a full list of supporting NIH components and a more detailed description of this announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: (SBIR) or (STTR).