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Take advantage of new opportunities in Alzheimer's research

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NIA Blog Team

Our nation is focused as never before on investing resources—in time, talent, and treasure—to find effective treatments for this devastating disorder called Alzheimer’s disease (AD). I’m pleased to announce a number of new NIA-funded research opportunities spanning diverse fields and disciplines. I encourage you to review this list and consider how you may add your own expertise to this effort.

In the past two weeks, we have posted a series of 10 program announcements focused on AD research, which could be funded starting in fiscal year 2016. These program announcements have set-aside funds associated with them, and will be supported according to the availability of funds in FY 2016 through FY 2019. As many of you are aware, the Congress is discussing a substantial increase in funds for Alzheimer’s in NIH’s appropriation in the near future.

What type of Alzheimer’s disease research is being announced?

The program announcements fall into seven broad categories. They offer opportunities for investigators in virtually every aspect of AD research—from basic biological studies to epidemiology to caregiving to clinical trials. These FOAs incorporate themes and recommendations from the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit and the 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Research Summit. The categories are intentionally wide-ranging and each FOA is important in its own way.

Health Disparities – This announcement seeks applications that include the study of biological, behavioral, sociocultural, and environmental factors that influence population-level health differences. PAR-15-349 – Health Disparities and Alzheimer’s Disease (R01) encourages applications that examine mediators of disparities in AD, using diverse cohorts of subjects. PAR-15-350 – Emerging Directions for Addressing Health Disparities in Alzheimer’s Disease (R03) focuses on leveraging data from existing cohorts for secondary analyses, and to compare practices in community outreach, engagement strategies, and participatory research.

Caregiving – Basic and translational research on caregiving for people with AD, at the individual, family, community, and population levels: PAR-15-348 – Research on Informal and Formal Caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (R01) and PAR-15-351 – Research on Informal and Formal Caregiving for Alzheimer's Disease (R21).

EpidemiologyPAR-15-356 - Major Opportunities for Research in Epidemiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Cognitive Resilience (R01). We’re looking to add additional measures and information about participants in existing cohorts, along with research on all aspects of epidemiology relevant to AD and cognitive resilience.

Diagnosis and PredictionPAR-15-359 – Novel Approaches to Diagnosing Alzheimer's Disease & Predicting Progression (R01) This supports proof-of-concept studies to identify a broad range of novel biological and functional biomarkers to diagnose AD and predict its clinical course.

Molecular and Cellular MechanismsPAR-15-358 - Capturing Complexity in the Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Involved in the Etiology of Alzheimer's Disease (R01) seeks applications to support research on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the heterogeneity and multifactorial nature of AD with the potential to create new scientific paradigms.

Brain AgingPAR-15-357 – Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease in the Context of the Aging Brain (R01) encourages research to establish the role of brain aging as a risk factor for the development and progression of AD.

Clinical TrialsPAR-16-365 – Pilot Clinical Trials for the Spectrum of Alzheimer’s Disease and Age-related Cognitive Decline (R01) and PAR-16-364 – Phase III Clinical Trials for the Spectrum of Alzheimer’s Disease and Age-related Cognitive Decline (R01). Promising pharmacological and behavioral interventions in people with age-related cognitive decline and people with AD across the entire disease spectrum. PAR-16-365 is for implementation of phase I or II clinical trials; PAR-16-364 is for implementation of phase III clinical trials.

Where can I find these answers to my questions about these program announcements?

Application due dates and NIA staff contacts are listed in the individual funding announcements. All FOAs have multiple submission deadlines through January 8, 2019. It’s important to note that the first submission deadline for applications is coming up soon, in mid-December, 2015; after that, the due dates follow the regular grants application cycle.

Please contact the appropriate NIA program official with your specific questions. Alternatively, if you have a more general question or comment, please feel free to share here.