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Population Research


Research on topics in reproductive sciences, contraceptive development, and demographic and behavioral sciences. Examples of research topics that may be of interest to small businesses include, but are not limited to:

A. Reproductive Sciences. Research on the reproductive processes of men and women and of animals with similar reproductive systems related to developing safer and more effective means of regulating, preserving or achieving fertility. Particular areas of programmatic interest relative to small business initiatives include, but are not limited to:

· Development of reagents to facilitate study of reproductive and developmental processes.

· Development of improved methods of growing and differentiating stem cell lines in vitro, including feeder cell-free approaches.

· Development of novel assays, kits, and devices to monitor fertility and treat infertility and gynecological disorders.

· Use of genomics and proteomics to develop novel diagnostics and treatments for reproductive diseases and disorders.

· Development of high resolution technologies to provide invasive or noninvasive assessments of reproductive and developmental competence.

· Development of experimental animal models that would be useful for studying the physiology and pathophysiology of reproductive processes.

· Development of improved and novel technologies for the preservation of human gametes.

· Development of improved technologies for preimplantation genetic diagnosis.

· Development of improved technologies for the reprogramming of cells, including embryonic stem cells or adult cells, into eggs and sperm.

Dr. Richard J. Tasca

301-435-6973, Fax: 301-496-0962


B. Contraception and Reproductive Health Research. Emphasis is on developing new and improved methods of fertility regulation; developing new and improved treatments for disorders of the reproductive system including female pelvic floor disorders; and research on the benefits and risks of contraceptives and other drugs, devices, and surgical procedures as they affect reproductive health. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

· Developing new and improved methods of fertility regulation, for men and for women that are safe, effective, inexpensive, reversible, and acceptable. This includes, but is not limited to, synthesis and testing of novel chemical compounds.

· Developing new and improved treatments for disorders of the male and female reproductive system, including those used for hormone therapy and drugs, graft materials, and devices used for non-surgical and surgical treatment of pelvic organ prolapse, urinary incontinence, and other female pelvic floor disorders.

· Discovering and disseminating new knowledge about the medical benefits and risks of contraceptives and other drugs, devices, and surgical procedures affecting reproductive health. We will primarily support applied research projects such as epidemiologic studies or Phase III trials designed to detect clinically significant adverse effects, particularly those too rare to be determined through the FDA's premarketing approval process. Laboratory models will be used when human studies are not feasible or to explore mechanisms of action or supplement epidemiologic and clinical observations.

· Studies relating contraception or reproductive health to STDs such as HIV, including but not limited to development of new contraceptive products with microbicidal activity against STDs such as HIV; studies to define the relationships among contraceptive methods and HIV acquisition, transmission, or disease progression; and studies to clarify mechanism of interaction between contraceptives and other disease processes or conditions.

Dr. Steven Kaufman

301-435-6989, Fax: 301-480-1972


C. Demographic and Behavioral Sciences. Research on the size, growth, and composition of populations and the impact of changes in population on the health and well-being of individuals, families, and the population itself. The program emphasizes not only factors affecting fertility, mortality, population movement and compositional change, but also demographic, social, and behavioral research on teenage childbearing, AIDS, single-parent families, fatherhood, racial and ethnic differentials in infant mortality and child health, migration, and the well-being of children. Applications are encouraged, but are not limited to these areas:

· Technological innovations/inventions to help collect biomarker data, especially technologies that can be used in large surveys.

· Creation of hardware/software to aide in the collection of accurate cause of death/health diagnosis for the purposes of statistical analysis in population based datasets.

· Innovative use/implementation in integrating geographical information systems, spatial network analysis, and/or simulation methods for demographic research.

· Innovative approaches to analyzing and disseminating large-scale data sets.

· Development of effective tools for prevention research and intervention programs related to STD/HIV, pregnancy, divorce, child health, at risk youth, and other health-related topics.

· Innovative approaches to teaching population studies and other behavioral and social sciences at the undergraduate and graduate level.

· Innovative approaches for research design, data collection techniques, measurement, and data analysis techniques in the social and behavioral sciences, with particular attention to methodology and measurement issues in studying diverse populations, sensitive behaviors, confidential behaviors; in issues related to the protection of research subjects; and in issues related to the archiving and disseminating complex datasets.

Dr. Michael L. Spittel

301-435-6983, Fax: 301-496-0962


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