The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) encourages grant applications for research on the interactions between stem and progenitor cells and the microenvironment. This announcement is made together with 7 other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is supported by 2 grant funding mechanisms: R21 and R03.*
Stem cell research offers enormous potential for treating many diseases of the nervous system for which there are no treatments or cures. Effective use of stem and progenitor cells for therapeutic purposes hinges on their ability to thrive, integrate, and function in a biologically meaningful manner in vivo without causing adverse events. The objective of this initiative is to promote a thorough exploration and characterization of the bi-directional communication between multipotent cells and the three-dimensional local milieu or niche that they encounter in vivo under normal and compromised states, such as with aging or following injury, disease, or drug exposure.
Areas of research interest include, but are not limited to, studies to: identify, localize, and compare known or novel cues within the developing, adult, and aging nervous system that influence the mitotic potential, cell cycle, and differentiation of stem and progenitor cells along specific lineages; investigate the causal relationship between site-specific changes of endogenous cues resulting from injury, disease, age, exposure to alcohol, drugs of treatment or abuse, and any resulting alterations of stem cell activity; evaluate the effects of external factors such as stress, exercise, or enriched versus impoverished living conditions on the microenvironment within the host organism, and how these changes in microenvironment influence the behavior of stem cells at different periods throughout the lifespan of the organism; and investigate local cellular interactions that determine and maintain the structural and functional integration of progenitor cells into the host nervous system and existing circuitry.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*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/PAS-06-208.html (R21), or http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-06-207.html (R03).