EGRP News Flash - December 24, 2008

Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies Program Funding Opportunity Announcements Re-issued

On behalf of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies Program (IMAT), the Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) announces the IMAT Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) have been reissued for 2009 and released in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. The IMAT ProgramExternal Web Site Policy is aimed at stimulating and accelerating the development, integration, maturation, and dissemination of the most novel and highly innovative technologies in support of cancer research, detection, and diagnosis. Since 1998, the IMAT Program has accelerated the development of various tools, platforms, and associated methods that have direct relevance to cancer research and, ultimately, to clinical oncological practice.

The IMAT Program consists of the following three related themes:

  1. Innovative Technology Development for Cancer Research, which emphasizes research projects that are centered on the inception and preliminary development of very early stage, highly innovative but also high impact technologies for cancer research;
  2. Application and Use of Transformative Emerging Technologies in Cancer Research, which is designed to support research projects that are centered on emerging, highly transformative technologies ready for initial application or use in a clinical or laboratory setting or in a relevant field of cancer research; and
  3. Innovative and Applied Emerging Technologies in Biospecimen Science, which is centered on the development and application of novel and potentially transformative technologies to assess, evaluate, and interrogate biospecimens or analytes thereof in order to maximize their quality and utility in cancer research with minimal or no detrimental effects to patient or donor health.

Technologies of particular interest which are applicable to basic research in the fields of cancer etiology and epidemiology, including the study and reduction of cancer-related disparities, and that facilitate movement of discoveries made in basic sciences to human populations or clinical and public health settings include:

  • Identification and validation of functional or ancestral biomarkers for differential risk susceptibility in large or multiple populations. Preferred attributes include: high degree of specificity, sensitivity, reproducibility, predictability and cost-efficiency;
  • Improved technologies for glycomics, proteomics, epigenetics, haplotyping and genotyping (both nuclear and mitochondrial), pharmacogenomics, and toxicogenomics;
  • Improved technologies for high-throughput screening (HTS), non-invasive analysis or advanced biosensors that can be used in risk assessment in population;
  • Single cell technologies for HTS in selective at-risk cell(s) in exfoliated cells/biopsy samples for epidemiology; and
  • Improved technologies for dissemination of information, such as risk, practices in clinic, cancer-related health outcomes, and public health settings - of different population groups.

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the NCI provide support for the IMAT program, awards pursuant to these FOAs are contingent upon the availability of funds. The NCI will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Phase II Research Grant (R33) award mechanism for RFA-CA-09-007External Web Site Policy, Application and Use of Transformative Emerging Technologies in Cancer Research, which runs in parallel with a FOA of identical scientific scope, RFA-CA-09-006External Web Site Policy, that solicits applications under the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism. RFA-CA-09-008External Web Site Policy, Innovative Technology Development for Cancer Research, also uses the R21 mechanism.

  • Letters of intent are due January 23, 2009; April 27, 2009; and August 30, 2009.
  • Applications are due February 23, 2009; May 27, 2009; and September 30, 2009.
  • The FOAs expire on October 1, 2009.

For general questions about cancer epidemiology, contact EGRP's Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., Chief, Methods and Technologies Branch, and Acting Chief, Host Susceptibility Factors Branch.

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