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Funding News - Research Sought on the Characterization, Behavior, and Plasticity of Pluripotent Stem Cells

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The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages applications for research on the characterization, behavior, and plasticity of pluripotent stem cells. This announcement is made together with 6 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).*

Stem cell research offers enormous potential for treating a host of congenital, developmental, psychiatric, and degenerative diseases for which there are no cures. Stem cells appear to possess great plasticity, but the cellular mechanisms regulating their behavior and fate are not understood. If these mechanisms can be harnessed to obtain cells specifically required for therapy, diagnosis, or drug discovery, it may be possible to restore function to tissues and organ systems that have been compromised by congenital disorders, developmental malfunction, age, injury, disease, or drug exposure.

Areas of research interest include, but are not limited to: comparison of the mitotic potential and fates of different types of pluripotent, progenitor cells in vitro and in vivo; investigation of the ability of different types of stem cells or of partially differentiated cells to revert to a more plastic, multipotent state, under normal conditions and following injury, disease, or drug exposure; examination of changes in gene and protein expression as human and animal stem cells differentiate along specific lineages; development of methods for identifying, isolating, and enriching select precursor populations, intermediate states, and differentiated neuronal and glial phenotypes; use of animal model systems of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders and of drug addiction for screening and comparing the functional capabilities of implanted stem cells and their progeny; assessment of the ability of transplanted cells to integrate with the adult and aging host nervous system and modify dysfunctional states; and assessment of the effects of environmental changes, therapies, or rehabilitation strategies on the production, differentiation, and survival of endogenous stem cells across the lifespan.

For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. David Owens, Program Director, Repair and Plasticity Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2204, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-1447; fax: 301-480-1080; e-mail: do47h@nih.gov.

*For a full list of supporting NIH components and a more detailed description of this announcement, please visit the NIH web site at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-198.html.