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NATIONAL CENTER FOR RESEARCH RESOURCES (NCRR)

Description:

NCRR provides laboratory scientists and clinical researchers with the environments and tools they need to understand, detect, treat, and prevent a wide range of diseases. This support enables discoveries that begin at a molecular and cellular level to move to animal-based studies, and then are translated to patient-oriented clinical research, resulting in cures and treatments for both common and rare diseases. Through the small business Phase I, Phase II, Fast-track and Competing Renewal awards, NCRR supports primary research to create and develop critical resources, models, and technologies; including high-throughput informatics technologies that provide comprehensive answers to complex questions. A description of NCRR program topics follows the description of our Phase IIB Competing Renewal Awards. For additional information, please visit our home page at http://www.ncrr.nih.gov. NCRR Phase IIB Competing Renewal Awards NCRR will accept Phase IIB SBIR Competing Renewal grant applications to continue research and development of complex instrumentation and tools for basic, translational or clinical research where extraordinary time and effort is needed for their research and development. The Phase IIB Competing Renewal award is intended to allow small businesses the opportunity to reach to a stage where interest and investment by third parties would be more likely. Such products are expected to have a broad applicability, consistent with the mission of NCRR. Budgets that do not exceed $1 M per year in total costs (for up to 3 years), may be requested for this Phase IIB Competing Renewal opportunity, although it is expected that in most cases the requested budget would not exceed the final year budget of the applicant’s previous phase II award. This opportunity is available for the SBIR program only. Please contact your Program Officer before beginning the process of preparing a Phase IIB Competing Renewal application. In addition, prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to submit to the Program Contact (listed above), a letter of intent that includes the following information: • Descriptive title of the proposed research • Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator • Names of other key personnel • Participating organizations • Funding Opportunity Announcement Number (e.g., PA-10-XXX) A letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application. It is expected that only a few of NCRR SBIR Phase II awards will be eligible for a Phase IIB Competing Renewal grant. RESEARCH TOPICS OF INTEREST TO NCRR: Biomedical Technology Research and Development New or improved instruments, devices, and related methodologies to facilitate biomedical or behavioral research. Instrumentation includes, but is not limited to mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, imaging, optical or laser spectroscopies, X-ray absorption/diffraction/scattering, detectors, electron or confocal microscopies, electrophoresis and other separation techniques, bioreactors, centrifugation, and flow cytometry. A. Information Technology: Development of information and communication technology, computer and other mathematical sciences in support of biomedical or behavioral research. This may include: 1. Interactive tools and technologies for meaningful and intuitive exploration of biomedical and health-related data and information that (a) create cognitively useful spatial mapping of not inherently spatial datasets; (b) synthesize methods and approaches from computer graphics, human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, semiotics, graphic design, statistical graphics, cartography, art and other relevant fields; (c) utilize visualization, statistics, information modeling, artificial intelligence (AI), semantics, ontology merging, natural language processing (NLP), data mining, personalization, malleable interfaces, serious games, uncertainty modeling; (d) enable personalized information delivery and communication of complex concepts across scientific disciplines; (e) have proven useful in other scientific domains. 2. Creating resources for clinical and biomedical research such as (a) long-term sustainable environments for scientific databases, and tools for data federation; (b) online environments for scientific collaborations, data sharing, behavioral and population studies, and social network analyses. 3. Developing computational and conceptual infrastructures that enable the transformation of biomedical, clinical, and other health-related data into evidence-based knowledge about human health. These may include methods and tools for (a) identifying knowledge gaps; (b) creating computed or synthesized knowledge; (c) creating coherent information from multi-modal diverse sources of varying reliability and accuracy; (d) assessing data, information, and knowledge provenance; (e) integrating heterogeneous data sources with the use of interdisciplinary methods (e.g. graph theory, principal component analysis, differential geometry, etc) to enable meaningful exploration of high-dimensional data spaces; (f) knowledge discovery and validation, computable abstracts; (g) assessing datasets and models for re-purposing and re-use. 4. Computer simulations and modeling. B. Technology for Systems Biology: Development of novel technologies for proteomics, glycomics, metabolomics, and other aspects of systems biology for discovery and clinical applications, (e.g., sample handling, separations, mass spectrometry, and computational tools for protein identification, data curation and mining). C. Technology for Computational Biology: Development of computational biology software packages for integrative analysis of genomics data, especially ones relevant to applications of new sequencing technologies. The proposed work should apply best practices and proven methods for software design, construction, and implementation to promote adoption by a broad biomedical research community. D. Technology for Structural Biology: Development of detectors and cameras for studying the structures of biomolecules in the size range of peptides to cells, using synchrotron radiation and multiple types of microscopy. E. Imaging Technology: Development of non-invasive imaging techniques and methodologies to facilitate understanding of biological systems at the molecular, cellular or organ levels. Imaging modalities include, but are not limited to, magnetic resonance imaging/spectroscopy (MRI/MRS), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), X-ray computer tomography (CT), ultrasound (US) , diffuse optical imaging (DOI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), transcranial magnetic simulations (TMS), electroencephalography (EEG) and other integrated modalities (such as PET/MRI, PET/CT, etc). Areas of interest may include: 1. Contrast agent development including but not limited to (a) exogenous or endogenous imaging agents to detect structural, functional or molecular signatures of disease progression; (b) imaging agents capable of crossing biological barrier for diagnostics or therapeutic interventions. 2. Hardware development to improve image accuracy, spatial/temporal resolution, and signal-to- noise ratios and to broaden imaging capabilities to cellular and sub-cellular levels. 3. Software development such as (a) image processing software for high-throughput, integrative and robust data interpretation in preclinical and clinical settings; (b) image acquisition protocols to enhance image quality/specificity, monitor biochemical activities or functions in biological systems. Electron Microscopy, X-ray Diffraction Dr. Mary Ann Wu Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: MaryAnn.Wu@nih.gov Computer Science and Informatics Dr. Olga Brazhnik Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: Brazhnik@mail.nih.gov Dr. Liming Yang Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: LYang@mail.nih.gov NMR, Optical Microscopy, Laser Applications Dr. Fred Friedman Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: FFriedma@mail.nih.gov Imaging Technologies Dr. Abraham Levy Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: LevyAbra@mail.nih.gov Dr. Christina Liu Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: Christina.Liu@nih.gov Proteomics, Mass Spectrometry Dr. Douglas Sheeley Division of Biomedical Technology, NCRR 301-435-0755 Email: SheeleyD@mail.nih.gov Research and Development in Comparative Medicine A. Development of improved reagents and cost-effective methods to accurately screen and diagnose selected laboratory animal diseases, and for performing overall assessments of animal quality and health status. An urgent need currently exists for the development of improved methods for the detection of active tuberculosis in nonhuman primates. B. Development of improved reagents and techniques for isolating and propagating stem cells, from laboratory animals. Improved methods for inducing pluripotent stem cells and stem cells of animal to differentiate along specific pathways in vitro and in vivo. C. Development of improved reagents, techniques, and equipment for genomic and transcriptomic analysis and data mining from tissue or cells of laboratory animals and animal models of human diseases. D. Development of new technologies to rapidly phenotype large number of animals. E. Development of vaccines and new therapeutic agents for the prevention and/or control of selected laboratory animal diseases. One high priority need is for the development of methods to control and prevent Herpes virus B in nonhuman primates. F. Development of commercially valuable reagents for lower organisms or established cell cultures. G. Development of cost-effective husbandry and colony management techniques, equipment, and/or new approaches to improve laboratory animal welfare and assure efficient and appropriate research use. H. Design of specialized equipment and caging for laboratory animals to permit optimal environmental control. I. Identification, development, and characterization of spontaneous and engineered vertebrate animal models for studies on various types of human disease. A need exists for a small animal model of Hepatitis C virus infection in humans. J. Development and refinement of high throughput technologies for the effective cryopreservation and long-term maintenance of laboratory animal embryos, gametes, and their predecessors. K. Development of technologies for improved embryo transfer within a single animal species or of intraspecific embryo transfer to allow preservation of rare, unique, or endangered animal species that may have unique value as animal models for human disease. L. Development of improved reagents, techniques, and equipment for performing and analyzing “omics” (genomics, transcriptomics, phenomics, proteomics, glycomics, epigenomics, metabolomics) in normal and disease conditions animal models. M. Development of biological tools and reagents for reconstruction, remodeling, repair and regeneration of tissues damaged by injury or disease. N. Development of computational science-based technologies to create fast, effective community access to preclinical animal models-based raw data, processed data, and processing tools. Dr. Miguel Contreras Comparative Medicine, NCRR 301-435-0744, Fax: 301-480-3819 Email: Miguel.Contreras@nih.gov Clinical Research Technology Applications A. Innovations to accelerate the utilization of personalized medicine: 1. Biomedical materials and medical devices; 2. Medical drug, biologics and product development; 3. Therapeutics; 4. Drug/product delivery; 5. Drug-device combination products; 6. Integrated bio-engineering and pharmacogenomic/genetic research. B. Innovative Health Informatics for Clinical and Translational Researchers including: 1. Data Repositories for Research: Innovations in the creation and maintenance of large scale data repositories, designed specifically to support translational research use cases; including patient-centered outcomes research. 2. Participant Recruitment Tools and Strategies: Innovations in Informatics to enhance and accelerate participant recruitment for clinical studies. 3. Clinical Information Systems and Research Study Management Systems: New means to identify, link and export research-relevant data from electronic health records. 4. Research Portal Innovations: innovations in the creation and maintenance of research portals that facilitate investigator-initiated identification of research resources and potential collaborators. Support and document concierge-based navigation and access to institutional core resources; track investigator use of services; and provide dashboards to monitor project-specific financial information and progress of regulatory reviews. C. Innovative technologies that enable use of electronic medical records (EHR) and personal health records (PHR) for clinical and translational research purposes. Elements could include: 1. Interoperability and mapping among technologies; 2. Development of software to process data from multiple clinical and translational research sites; 3. Security systems development to protect storage and transmission of confidential medical data; 4. Development of standardizing agreements for patient privacy and protection. D. Innovative biomedical technologies to enhance the feasibility or improve the quality of clinical research, conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit. E. Innovations in the development of vectors for gene therapy, with improved: 1. Targeting of specific cells and/or tissues; 2. Transduction and expression; 3. Delivery to patients; and/or 4. Production and purification. F. Innovative vehicles for drug delivery. G. Innovations in tools used by patients or for patients in Mobile Health (mHealth) and TeleHealth technologies for communication, diagnosis, monitoring, evaluation, medical management, tracking, training, and treatment. H. Innovations in specialized medical devices and robotics for clinical use as implantable sensors, surgical instruments, and imaging devices for medical diagnostics and treatment improvements. Dr. Jody Sachs Division of Clinical Research, NCRR 301-435-0802, Fax: 301-480-3661 Email: SachsJG@mail.nih.gov Human Stem Cell Technologies, Methods, and Tools Dr. Tony L. Beck Division of Clinical Research, NCRR 301-435-0805, Fax: 301-480-3661 Email: BeckL@mail.nih.gov Development of Innovative and Inquiry-Oriented Software and Tools for Science and Health Education Funding opportunities are available for the development of discovery-oriented educational software and the application of educational technology and tools for health science topics that target K-12 students, families, students from community, tribal, undergraduate colleges and the general public. Topics can range from basic biological science to specific human diseases. Examples include; but are not limited to regenerative medicine, bioengineering, and how different parts of the body work across the lifespan, healthy living and lifestyle, mental health, and prevention of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Development of software, technology, or tools may be directed towards new products or adaptation of existing products designed to be more efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly in promoting interactive learning, dissemination and promotion of health science. This effort is intended to yield efficient and user-friendly, culturally appropriate and effective educational units that can be extended to enhance the health science literacy of the general public. A broad dissemination is strongly encouraged. Examples of responsive applications may include but are not limited to: A. Web-based, stand-alone computational tools, instructional software or other interactive media for dissemination of science education; B. Curriculum materials, Interactive teaching aids, models for classroom instruction, and teacher education workshops; and C. Development of health promotion and disease prevention/intervention materials such as informational videos and/or print materials and programs which are culturally appropriate for populations and special communities. Projects that target the following constituencies are strongly encouraged: D. K-12 students; E. Students of community colleges, tribal colleges, undergraduate colleges and minority-serving institutions; and F. Patients and families with health conditions that disproportionately affect minorities and other medically underserved populations, including members of disadvantaged urban and rural communities. Dr. Krishan Arora Research Infrastructure, NCRR 301-435-0788, Fax: 301-480-3770 Email: ka31h@nih.gov Other Research Topic(s) Within the Mission of the Center NCRR’s Division of Research Infrastructure supports programs such as Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) that support and foster health-related research to build capacity at minority serving institutions and in underserved states, respectively. These programs support a wide variety of biomedical research, including clinical and translational research to reduce health disparities experienced by disadvantaged groups and medically underserved populations. Applications involving partnerships with minority-serving institutions and IDeA-eligible institutions are strongly encouraged. Topics of special interest include: A. Development and/or refinement of culturally appropriate survey instruments, tools and databases to promote community based research engaging minorities, rural and other medically underserved populations; B. Development of methodologies, diagnostics, technologies, equipment, assay systems and portable devices that can be used in community settings, such as health centers, neighborhood clinics, doctors offices, public schools, libraries, and rural and remote locations to facilitate biomedical and behavioral research; C. Development of culturally appropriate educational materials for health promotion and disease prevention/intervention such as: software, videos, printed material to facilitate translation and dissemination of evidence-based health information; and D. Innovative applications of health information technology, including telemedicine/telehealth tools and technologies, to facilitate electronic health information exchange, enable clinical research at the point of care, and improve access to quality health care for hard to reach populations. Dr. Krishan Arora Research Infrastructure, NCRR 301-435-0788, Fax: 301-480-3770 Email: arorak@mail.nih.gov Dr. Michael Sayre Research Infrastructure, NCRR 301-435-0788, Fax: 301-480-3770 Email: sayrem@mail.nih.gov Dr. Rafael Gorospe Research Infrastructure, NCRR 301-435-0788, Fax: 301-480-3770 Email: gorospejr@mail.nih.gov
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