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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Resource-Related Research Projects for Development of Animal Models and Related Materials (R24)


This FOA encourages Resource-Related Research Project (R24) grant applications aimed at developing, characterizing or improving animal models of human diseases or improving diagnosis and control of diseases of laboratory animals.  The animal models and related materials to be developed must address the research interests of two or more of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers.  In addition, projects that predominantly address the research interests of one NIH Institute or Center, but that are peripherally related to the research interests of other Institutes and Centers will not be considered appropriate for this FOA. An example of an inappropriate request is one exclusively involving an animal model of cancer.

Research Objectives
 The translation of basic biomedical knowledge for prevention or new treatments often requires the use of animals as models for human disease or as a means to test therapies or vaccines.  Efficient use of animal models is facilitated by development of specific resources for characterizing, archiving and distributing animals and/or related biological materials such as cell cultures, tissues, proteins and nucleic acids.  Animal-related resources of use to the biomedical community can also comprise the information needed for optimal use of animal models such as physical and genetic maps or computer models and databases, without actually archiving animals or animal-based materials. The Division of Comparative Medicine in ORIP supports these various types of resources related to animal models of human disease.
Development of an animal-based resource often requires preliminary work that is research-based.  This resource-related research is often not hypothesis driven and cannot be addressed appropriately by NIH R01 or R21 grant applications. Accordingly, DCM/ORIP supports R24 grants, which have the following features:
  • The grants support applied studies to characterize and develop new animal-based resources or to improve existing resources. 
  • The grants support research projects that contribute to the knowledge of a model system, making the system more useful and accessible to the research community.
  • The grants must be related to animal models that are applicable to the interests of two or more of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs).  Applications proposing studies that are related predominantly to the interest of one NIH IC and only peripherally to the interests of other ICs are not acceptable.  An example of an inappropriate request is one exclusively involving an animal model of cancer.
  • The particular emphasis of a specific R24 grant application can vary in regard to the balance of research- versus resource-related activities, depending on the state of the art at the time.  An R24 grant can be predominantly research based, if the research will plausibly lead to development of a resource, or can be predominantly aimed at final development or enhancement of a resource if most of the necessary research has already been accomplished.
  • The R24 grant application must demonstrate a need for the resource (or resource to be developed) by the biomedical research community.
  • Cost recovery is not required.
Examples of potential research topics include, but are not limited to, development of the following:
  • Antibodies or other reagents for quantitating or characterizing macromolecules or cells in animal models of specific diseases
  • Animal-based genetic, genomic and proteomic tools
  • Methods to improve cryopreservation of animal cells and germ plasm
  • Methods and tools for advancing the techniques of regenerative medicine
  • Methods and tools for studying the behavior of animals in captive breeding colonies
  • Methods and tools for identifying, developing, screening and/or archiving specific animal models, such as genetically engineered strains of mice, mutant nonhuman primates and specific aquatic models
  • Databases or informatics tools related to use of animal models
  • Systems biology approaches to make the data generated from use of animal models more globally discoverable and useful
  • Methods to identify emerging or potential pathogens in animal resource facilities

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