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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) intends to support the development of innovative methods for quantitative evaluation of myofascial tissues for pain management involving research participants using a two-phase grant funding mechanism. This effort is part of the NIH HEALSM (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative to speed the development and implementation of scientific solutions to the national opioid public health crisis. The NIH HEAL Initiative is bolstering research across NIH to (1) improve treatment and prevention of opioid misuse and opioid use disorder and (2) enhance pain management. This notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) seeks research applications to develop quantitative measures of myofascial tissues and assess their abilities to detect changes to myofascial tissues across a variety of pain management interventions. Candidate objective measures may be based on minimally invasive imaging technologies, electrophysiological recordings, integration of multiparametric imaging and electrophysiology approaches, or their integration with other markers (e.g., immune factors, genomic markers, physiological factors) through multiscale modeling or machine learning analysis. The first phase, funded by the R61, will provide funding for up to 3 years to develop quantitative measures that can differentiate abnormal myofascial tissue from healthy tissues using cross-sectional correlations with clinical signs/symptoms. In addition, the R61 phase should include planning activities for the R33 phase. The second phase, funded under the R33, will provide support to assess the abilities of the quantitative measures developed in the R61 phase to measure tissue changes in response to therapies or manipulations that may relieve pain using rigorous, longitudinal clinical study design. The combined R61/R33 should not exceed 5 years. Transition from the R61 to the R33 phase of the award will be administratively reviewed and will be determined based on successful co
This concept would support the development of pain clinical trainees as a means of enhancing the clinical pain workforce. It would fund 4 clinical pain T90/R90s that would provide robust post-doctoral fellowship research training in areas of clinical pain management that would benefit from further research. The T90/R90 mechanism is a NRSA program that supports comprehensive interdisciplinary research training programs at the undergraduate, predoctoral, and/or post-doctoral levels by capitalizing on the infrastructure of existing multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research programs. The HEAL T90/R90 program would focus on training post-doctoral fellows with T90 trainees being those who are NRSA eligible and R90 trainees (maximum of 1 per award per year) being those who do not meet qualifications for NRSA support (including non-US citizens or residents). Trainees would either need to have a clinical degree or have a non-clinical degree but are interested in conducting clinical pain research. The T90/R90 training programs would provide mentoring and training to promote the successful transition of the trainees to independent research careers in academic or government settings. Unlike the T32 mechanism, the T90/R90 mechanism would support the dedication of 10% of the programs mentors time to mentoring the next generation of clinical pain researchers. The newly funded T90/R90s would work in coordination with the HEAL R24 Coordinating Center to ensure that trainees participate in the network, collaborative events/webinars, build relationships with basic and clinical science trainees, and attend the annual workshop. The NIH will prioritize funding T90/R90s universities and institutions that do not currently have a pain T32 or have not previously received funding for a pain T32. T90/R90 applicants are encouraged to partner with another university or institution to help increase the interdisciplinary nature of the mentors and trainees.