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Functional Genomics and Molecular Genetic Pathways in SLE Grant

The Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) is pleased to announce that the applications for the ALR’s Functional Genomics and Molecular Genetic Pathways in SLE grants will be available in Fall of 2009. At that time, you can access the application site directly at https://proposalcentral.altum.com.

Research Grants: Approved grant applications will be eligible to receive a 2 year award for up to $350,000 USD (up to $175,000 USD per year for two years). Research grants must provide evidence of preliminary data. Guidelines for application and submission are also available on the websites listed above.

Pilot Grants: Approved grant applications will be eligible to receive a 1year award for up to $75,000 USD. Pilot grants are for projects that are not supported by preliminary data. Guidelines for application and submission are also available on the websites listed above.

Program Goals
Applications submitted should focus on two principal areas:

1. Functional validation to determine which candidate genes/variants identified in human lupus have an authentic role in the disease and

2. detailed elucidation of the molecular pathways modulated by these candidate genes/variants identified in human lupus.

There are public resources available to facilitate functional validation of genes/variants involved in lupus. ALR encourages investigators to take advantage of all of these resources. All proposals submitted must be based on information in the public domain. Responsive applications will propose research to elucidate the functional implications of the genetic variants identified in human lupus studies. Lupus associated genes studied in animal models that are not among those also identified in human studies are not appropriate topics for this grant mechanism.

ALR will focus support on:

- Human Studies: Functional validation studies could use human DNA samples from phenotypically well-characterized individuals to correlate a gene varient with a particular phenotype. Such human studies are particularly encouraged.

- Genetic Models: Established genetic models as well as emerging genetic models can be used to look at in vivo gene/variant function

- RNA interference: RNAi depletion of candidate genes in cells, tissues or whole organisms can be used to identify phenotypes.

- Imaging strategies: Imaging of cell trafficking in vivo might be useful in characterizing the impact of lupus-associated gene variants on immune responses or inflammation.

- Systems level approaches: Bioinformation resources (i.e., interactome, gene expression, proteomic, metabolomic, and anatomical databases) can be mined to generate testable hypotheses concerning the function of candidate genes and groups of genes.

- Cellular of circuit level approaches: Studies might compate gene/variant functional consequences at the cellular and circuit levels, especially with respect to a drug challenge.

- Epigenetics: Functional validations of epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation in the context of lupus, including potential maternal and paternal imprinting or X chromosome inactivation are of interest.

Amounts

- Research Grant: This grant mechanism provides up to $350,000 USD for two years ($175,000 per year for two years of support) and is not renewable. Proposals for less than the maximum amount are encouraged. The ALR limits indirect costs to 8 percent of direct costs excluding equipment.

- Pilot Grant: This grant mechanism provides up to $75,000 USD for one year of support and is not renewable. Proposals for less than the maximum amount are encouraged. Principal Investigator salaries are not supported for Pilot Grants. Salary requests may be made for technical assistance, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The ALR limits indirect costs to 8 percent of direct costs excluding equipment.

Application Requirements

Applications are open to investigators working at established research institutions (both for profit and not-for profit) as well as investigators at state health agencies, the FDA, VA and at intramural divisions of NIH. Applications may be submitted by investigators working anywhere in the world. Non-U.S. applicants whose projects involve human subjects must work at institutions that have human subjects committees that operate in a substantially similar manner to a U.S. Institutional Review Board.

If you have any questions or require any additional information regarding the application process, please contact Diomaris Gonzalez, Manager of Research Administration at (212) 218-2840, (800)867-1743 or at dgonzalez@lupusresearch.org.


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