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May 2020


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Jeralyn Haraldsen <[log in to unmask]>
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Sponsored Project Administration News <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 1 May 2020 20:12:13 +0000
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Funding Opportunity

Emergency Awards: Rapid Investigation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) AND (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Targeted PIs:

Biomedical researchers, clinical scientists, mathematicians/statisticians, anthropologists, behavioral scientists, other researchers

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is now accepting NEW R01 and R21 proposals in the ongoing effort to investigate SARS-CoV-2. Applications will be handled on an expedited review and award basis to meet the goals of this program.  The research goals of the program are to improve understanding of fundamental virology, immunology, and the development of animal models, reagents, and medical countermeasures and to share findings quickly and broadly.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Scientific/Research staff before submitting an application to either FOA to determine whether or not the proposed work is within the intended scope of the program and whether requested expedited funding is likely to be available.

Areas of high priority include, but are not limited to, the following:

  *   Studies to understand critical aspects of viral infection, replication and pathogenesis including:

*        Understanding host compartments of viral replication and duration of shedding;

*        Predictors of disease severity and outcome including viral and host determinants of infection, replication, and recovery;

*        Pathophysiology of disease and clinical prognosis associated with viral loads and immune-based biomarkers;

*        Identification of molecular markers of pathogenesis;

*        Studies on the emergence and evolution of SARS-CoV-2, including the identification of factors that affect viral host-range and virulence and changes to the virus that occur over time in circulation;

  *   Studies to understand critical aspects of viral transmission including:

*        Studies to comprehensively evaluate viral, host, physical, and environmental factors that facilitate efficient human-to-human SARS-CoV2 transmission utilizing novel and/or improved devices, assays, study designs and/or animal models;

*        Modes and duration of person-to-person transmission;

*        Role of different age groups in transmission dynamics;

*        Potential impact on transmission dynamics from host biology/behavior or environmental factors in superspreading events;

*        Importance of asymptomatic transmission;

*        Development of novel assays for assessing infectivity and viability of viral particles collected from the air;

  *   Identification and characterization of the onset and duration of immunity in healthy and at-risk populations, including:

*        Innate, cellular and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or candidate vaccines;

*        Protective or pathogenic B cell or T cell epitopes from individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2, including identification of immune epitopes that cross-react with other human coronaviruses;

*        Host immune receptor repertoire studies related to understanding protective immunity or disease pathogenesis

*        Computational modeling of the immune response to infection and/or vaccination

*        Screening of potential adjuvants or immune modulators that improve vaccine efficacy, provide prophylactic protection, or limit/prevent severe disease;

*        Mechanisms of immune-mediated pathology or host factors that might predispose to, or prevent, severe infection;

  *   Virologic and serologic surveillance studies and natural history studies to understand the origin of the virus including the animal host reservoir, potential intermediate hosts, factors leading to spill over events, evidence of continued spill over events and studies at the human-animal interface;

*        Identifying capacity for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses to infect potential intermediate hosts;

*        Identify diversity of coronaviruses in bats and other wildlife;

*        Improve detection and diagnostic technologies for use in animal surveillance;

  *   Studies to assess and characterize the natural history and long-term consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infection in various human populations including at risk populations;
  *   Development or improvement of clinical diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 to increase the sensitivity, specificity and ability to provide rapid results;
  *   Development and testing of SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic candidates, in relevant in vitro, ex vivo or animal models, including:

*        Discovery of drug targets or novel drug candidates specific for SARS-CoV-2;

*        Host-directed therapies;

*        Broad-spectrum therapeutics against multiple coronavirus strains;

*        Examination of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity of existing or candidate therapeutics initially developed for other indications;

*        Combination therapies;

  *   Development of SARS-CoV-2-specific or broadly protective coronavirus vaccine candidates including:

*        Novel antigen design strategies;

*        Novel platforms or delivery approaches;

*        Addition of adjuvants;

  *   Studies to inform the development of vaccination strategies for at-risk populations including use of age-specific adjuvants or novel antigen formulations/dosing;
  *   Development of assays and animal models to;

*        Evaluate the potential of enhanced disease after vaccination for SARS-CoV-2;

  *   Assess animal models for SARS-CoV-2 and how the models compare to human infection including animal models that represent at risk populations (elderly, immunocompromised, very young, pregnant models);
  *   Development of animal models for transmission experiments;
  *   Development of organoid culture models and/or ex vivo explant models;
  *   Computational modeling studies to identify and evaluate interventions to protect at-risk populations and for making public health policy decisions for control and mitigation measures;
  *   Study interactions and impact between SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens including influenza (e.g., co-infections, interference);
  *   Comparative studies of SARS-CoV-2 to other coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-1 and MERS;
  *   Data science approaches to develop algorithms, models, and informatics solutions such as:


     *   clinical prediction of COVID-19 disease outcomes based on multiple data streams including EHRs, mobile technologies, and other large data sets
     *   enabling remote monitoring and precision interventions based on individual risk
     *   strategies for establishing federated collections of SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 clinical and experimental data and associated metadata with the ability to develop synthetic cohorts within and across studies.

Thank you,

Jeralyn Haraldsen, PhD | Director
University of Vermont
Research Development<>
Office of the Vice President for Research
340 Waterman | 85 South Prospect Street
Burlington, VT 05405-0160
P: 802-656-2982 | [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Chair, NORDP Northeast
Region I representative, NORDP Member Services Committee

Our team will be working remotely until further notice.
MS Teams is my preferred platform for video calls.


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