- Request for Applications
- Current Projects
In October 2009, the National Institutes of Health announced that it will provide $21.4 million over the next five years in support of Meharry Medical College’s research. The award is the largest NIH grant received in the College’s history. This multi-million dollar grant will be used to fund community research, collaborative projects and pilot projects.
Any Meharry Medical College clinician or researcher with an interest in clinical and translational research will be able to compete for pilot project funding that allows investigators to test a hypothesis and generate preliminary data to determine if an idea has merit. This is a unique opportunity for Meharry Medical College to provide seed money for these types of pilot projects.
Request for Applications
Meharry Translational and Clinical Research Center (MeTRC)
Request for Applications: Pilot Research Projects, Round 2
Issue Date: June 1, 2010
Application Due: September 1, 2010
The Meharry Translational and Clinical Research Center (MeTRC) pilot projects program is pleased to invite applications for the funding opportunity referenced above. Based on the availability of funds, we anticipate funding up to 8 pilot projects for this current FOA. Each project can request up to $50K/Y for up to 2 years. The second year of funding will be contingent upon satisfactory progress in year one.
For this announcement, Principal Investigators (PIs) are required to submit a letter of intent by June 8, 2010, 5PM CST. This letter should include the title of the project, the PI and collaborators names, primary department, an abstract of 300 words or less, and specific aims. The letter of intent should also identify the technical resources (cores) to be utilized. All PIs who submit a letter of intent are required to attend a two hour workshop either on June 21 or July 6. The full application is due by Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 5PM CST.
For revised applications (those submitted previously as MeTRC pilot research projects, a one page response to critiques from the initial review of the application is required. Resubmitting applicants are also encouraged to attend Professional Development sessions offered by the CTSA at Vanderbilt University. Professional Development sessions are a series of structured, dynamic sessions bringing together research experts to assist junior researchers in their research conceptualization, statistics, or methodology, depending on need. These 1.5 hr sessions are intended to enhance research quality, improve funding success, foster advances in clinical practice and improvements in patient health, increase publications and generate new hypotheses.
These projects must demonstrate relevance to Health Disparities and be in the broad areas of “Women’s Health” and “Infectious Diseases.” The clinical and/or translational nature of the proposed research must be evident (please see attached definitions of translational research at the end of this RFA).
- Basic science research is not eligible for this funding opportunity.
- Regular faculty members at the Instructor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor level at Meharry Medical College are encouraged to apply.
- It is expected that these pilot proposals will be equivalent in quality to R03 grants. Preliminary data, although preferred, are not essential.
- The pilot project could be,
- a project by a junior investigator designed to lead to extramural funding (in which case the PI should describe plans for future funding); or,
- a project by which an established investigator proposes to assess a new, untested idea.
- Applications will be evaluated on the scientific quality of the proposal and the focus of the proposal on the overall theme of “Women’s Health” and “Infectious Diseases” as well as its relevance to health disparities research. The proposals will be reviewed by the MeTRC scientific review committee using standard NIH review criteria.
- The proposed project cannot duplicate any currently or previously funded award. If another similar or same award is pending, this should be stated clearly in the application.
Interested investigators are asked to submit formal NIH-format application on PHS 398 forms (see NIH link below) using the R03 format. The online NIH instruction for R03 grants should be followed.
- Include a paragraph (3 to 4 sentences) in lay language describing the significance/ relevance of your project to health disparities issues in women’s health and infectious diseases.
**A mandatory letter of intent is due June 8, 2010. The complete proposal is due September 1, 2010 as single PDF files via email to: MeTRC.RFA@mmc.edu.
Budget Development and Organization
Key Personnel or Project Staff
- Principal Investigator(s) from Meharry and any collaborating organizations
- Other core staff from Meharry and/or collaborating organizations
*Use PHS-398 Budget and Budget justification pages (Excel or Word).
The following types of expenditures are allowable:
- Research supplies and animal maintenance
- Technical assistance
- Domestic travel when necessary to carry out the proposed research
- Publication costs, including reprints
- Cost of computer time
- Special fees (pathology, photography, etc.)
- Stipends for graduate students and postdoctoral assistants if their role is to promote and sustain the project presented by the junior faculty member
- Total equipment costing less than $8,000/Y. The equipment must be critical to the proposed work and not available in any existing Meharry core.
- Registration fees for scientific meetings
- Total consulting fees less than $3000/Y
- Investigator salary
**When developing the budgets, prospective PIs are encouraged to contact and utilize various Meharry research cores and specialized resources. The charges for these various research services are available at Meharry's web site (http://www.mmc.edu/research/index.html). The fee schedule for the recently formed participant clinical interactive resources (PCIR) that has replaced the clinical research center (CRC) is as follows:
Research Nurse (Clinical Research
Clinical Studies Recruiter Support
Phlebotomy Support (include Processing and Shipping as needed)
For further information on PCIR resources and capabilities please contact: Dr. John Murray, Interim PCIR Director at 615-327-6659.
The following types of expenditures are NOT allowed;
- Secretarial/administrative personnel
- Foreign travel
- Honoraria and travel expenses for visiting lecturers
- Per diem charges for hospital beds
- Non-medical services to patients
- Construction or building maintenance
- Major alterations
- Purchasing and binding of periodicals and books
- Office and laboratory furniture
- Office equipment and supplies
- Rental of office or laboratory space
- Recruiting and relocation expenses
- Dues and membership fees in scientific societies
- Subcontracts, sub-awards, etc.
**If you have questions concerning the submission of these proposals, please contact: Gayle E. Rutledge at 615-327-6190.
Other Pertinent Information
Definition of Translational Research (as defined by NIH)
T1: The process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans. The research must use human cells, human tissues, human data or human subjects.
T2: Applying information from limited clinical trials to the community, practice-based research, guideline development, meta analysis, clinical Epidemiology and studies to enhance community health.
T3: Health outcome measurement, health delivery evaluation, public health studies, dissemination research and implementation research.
Definition of Clinical Research
NIH defines clinical research as research with human subjects; that is:
1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. Patient-oriented research includes:
(a) mechanisms of human disease
(b) therapeutic interventions
(c) clinical trials, or,
(d) development of new technologies.
2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies.
3) Outcomes research and health services research.
Resources Available to Meharry Investigators
During the preparation as well as the performance of these proposed projects, Meharry PIs are strongly encouraged and expected to utilize the ample resources available within MeTRC:
1. Research Design resources: Design, Biostatistics and Clinical Research Ethics (DBRE) Program will provide assistance with translational research design including:
- design of experimental and observational studies,
- power analysis and sample size estimation,
- questionnaire design,
- database development and maintenance,
- data collection,
- data entry,
- biostatistical analysis,
- qualitative analysis,
- integration of research ethics inquiries,
- interpretation of findings, and
- presentation of results.
In addition, the DBRE Program will provide training in research design, biostatistics, and clinical research ethics by offering seminars and workshops, and by implementing the Studio Prep and Studio Systems which will include input from experts in specific areas of research. More here.
2. Microarray Bioinformatics resources: The Meharry Microarray and Bioinformatics Core (MMBC) provides state of the art training, services, and bioinformatics-driven data analysis to the Meharry Community in “Omics” level experimental design and computational data analysis. It is our aim to keep this facility up to date computationally and intellectually with state of the art “Omics” services to support education and research in gene transcription microarray, genomics and proteomics data analysis, as well as computational biology, and systems biology. More here.
Contact: Siddharth Pratap, PhD (Director, Microarray & Bioinformatics Core) at 615-327-6219.
3. The Meharry Biomedical Informatics Core (MBIC) in Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC). Vital to the success of the MeTRC is the development of an informatics component to facilitate the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications. The goals of the MBIC in relation to MeTRC include:
- providing informatics support for the promotion of translational research, including developing data warehouses, management and integration tools;
- facilitating communication and collaboration between researchers within the MeTRC;
- providing training and education for all Meharry clinical and translational researchers; and,
- developing collaborations between Meharry and other informatics networks.
Contact: Amy Andrade (Biomedical Informatics Core) at 615-327-6382.
4. Proteomics resources: The Meharry Proteomics Core (MPC) provides consultation, service, and data analysis to the Meharry Community in proteomics level applications. We provide service for protein band identification and “shotgun” proteomic profiling. Additionally, we have partnerships with regional Mass Spectrometry Cores, which allow for increased proteomics applications such as quantitative proteomics and 2D-Difference Gel Electrophoresis (DIGE). It is our aim to keep this facility up to date computationally and intellectually with state of the art services to support education and research in proteomics data analysis, as well as integration with a systems biology approach to computational biology.
Contact: Shawn Goodwin, PhD (Scientific Director, Proteomics Core) at 615-327-6686, Siddharth Pratap, PhD (Managing Director, Proteomics Core) at 615-327-6219.
5. Participants and clinical interaction resource (PCIR): More here.
The overall objective of the Participant and Clinical Interactions Resource is to retain the strengths of Meharry's RCRII-supported Clinical Research Center (CRC) while evaluating and extending a recent reorganization that improves our support of translational, community-based, and multi-site research projects. Our specific aims are:
- To sustain and increase the clinical and translational research infrastructure established in the CRC while diversifying the range of clinical and translational research activities.
- To expand the support services for clinical and translational research available for both junior and senior clinical and translational research faculty.
- To develop a repository of racially and ethnically diverse biological data to be used by the national medical and research communities in research aimed at eliminating health disparities.
6. IRB and regulator knowledge resource: More here.
Provide regulatory knowledge and support through process standardization, advances in information technology, and services to all investigators and clinical research personnel in an effort to reduce their administrative burden and improve participant safety and regulatory compliance to foster translational research and the speed with which findings are translated to patient care. This vision involves improved quality. Documents will be submitted to the IRB and other administrative offices in a higher quality form resulting in fewer steps/delays in approval and less frustration by investigators. Streamlined communications, standardized processes, forms, templates and staff with knowledge of regulatory and reporting requirements will result in improved efficiency and improved satisfaction.
7. Community research and engagement resource: The goal of the Community Engagement and Research Program (CERP) within MeTRC is to develop transformative collaborative structures and strategies that will bring Meharry Medical College (MMC) translational investigators and research programs together with community partners to shape and support innovative and community-based research. CERP provides the necessary organizational structure and financial support to build and sustain synergistic interactions, identify new opportunities, and broadly engage community partners throughout the clinical and translational research enterprise.
In June 2010, Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) sent out a second round of request for application (RFA). This RFA resulted in 27 letters of intent. The Center is excited that so many investigators were interested in receiving funding through the pilot projects grants. The applications will be reviewed in September and the awardees will be notified in early October.
Last year, MeTRC awarded eight pilot projects grants in the amount of $50,000 for one year. Depending on the progress of the project and the availability of funds, each project may be eligible for a second year of funding. The following investigators were awarded funding for their grant applications:
- Smita Misra – Racial disparity in breast cancer due to disregulation of BRCA2 expression
- Awadh A. Binhazim – Humanized SCID mice: a human model of infectious diseases
- L. Leon Dent – Comparative Genomics of Patient-Derived Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumanni Phenotypes
- Xinhong Dong – The role of the Gag-AP-3 interaction in HIV-1 target cells
- Hua Xie – Role of bacteria in oral HIV transmission
- Donald Alcendor – Pericytes and Cytomegalovirus Neuropathology in Congenital Disease
- Hong Yang – The Protective Role of Estrogen Against Foam Cell Formation
- Sunil Halder – Vitamin D in the Regulation of Uterine Fibroid Growth in African American Women