The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) invites applications for George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Core Centers to support both basic and clinical research on kidney disease. Core Centers should provide shared institutional and national resources to facilitate basic and clinical research on kidney disease and improve the effectiveness of translating insights from basic biology to clinical practice. The Centers will also support pilot and feasibility studies to develop and test innovative approaches to therapy.
The current George M. O'Brien Kidney Research Centers are located at: University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of California at San Diego, Yale University, Indiana University, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Washington University at St. Louis, University of Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt University, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
Much progress has been made since the initial solicitation for O’Brien Kidney Research Centers in 1987. The NIDDK is now further enhancing this program to allow for regional, national and even international collaboration. Until the past year, there had been a steady increase in the number of kidney disease patients progressing to end-stage disease. While there is still no cure for chronic kidney disease, the number of patients progressing to kidney failure now appears to be stabilizing, (possibly even decreasing). Despite this trend in the overall population, however, the same down turn in disease incidence has not been realized in minority populations, therefore many challenges remain in determining the genetic and pathophysiologic mechanisms of kidney disease that could potentially be targeted for therapeutic interventions. Similarly, acute renal failure (ARF) remains an important clinical problem. When ARF requires hemodialysis, the mortality rate increases to more than 60 percent. Although important advances have been made in understanding ARF in animals, translating that knowledge from experimental models to humans is complicated by its heterogeneity, and has fallen short of expected goals of impacting on the morbidity and mortality of this disease.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) supports through the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases (DKUHD) seven George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Centers, two Centers of Excellence in Pediatric Nephrology, and four Centers for Polycystic Kidney Disease Research. These Centers are part of an integrated program of kidney-related research support within the NIDDK. Centers have provided a focus for increasing the efficiency and collaborative effort among groups of successful investigators at institutions with established comprehensive kidney research bases.
Research Goals and Scope
The goal of these O’Brien Research Core Centers is to provide resources for communication and collaboration between basic and clinical researchers in the field of kidney disease. Research with translational potential is strongly encouraged. Core Centers will provide shared resources to enhance the efficiency of research and foster collaborations within and among institutions with strong existing bases of kidney disease research. Centers may be located in a single institution or in multiple institutions with complementary research bases.
A biomedical research core is defined as a shared resource that provides essential services, techniques, or instrumentation to Center participants, enabling them to conduct their funded individual research projects more efficiently and/or more effectively. Cores provide specialized technologies and expertise needed to accomplish the stated goals of the Center. Each core should provide services to multiple funded research projects. Centers may propose either Institutional Cores or Regional/National/International Cores. Whereas Institutional Cores support research at a single institution or a set of cooperating institutions, Regional/National/International Shared Resources serve specific scientific communities on a regional, national, or international level. A new category of research base for cores that are used as a regional, national, or international resource should be considered the "extended research base". The extended research base for a regional, national or international core could include all investigators who might expect to use the core in some way. The list could include investigators who use the core services but otherwise have no collaborative interactions with other Center investigators. The extended research base should be defined as an entity separate from the institutional research base. For review purposes, it will be evaluated as part of the core, in order to distinguish it from the local institutional research base.
Examples of types of biomedical core resources that would be considered responsive to this Request for Applications include, but are not limited to:
Collection, analysis, storage and distribution of data and samples;
Provision of specialized tools and technologies or access to specialized expertise;
Development, standardization and distribution of reagents and/or protocols;
Provision of technical assistance, training, and enrichment programs;
Recruitment of patients and coordination of patient studies;
Development, beta-testing and dissemination of specialty assays, methods, and services on an institutional level;
Increase interdisciplinary interactions at the institution through cross-project/laboratory exchange;
Sharing of specialized tools, technologies and expertise between collaborating investigators
In addition to biomedical cores, an administrative core must be described which will be responsible for allocation of resources within the Center and distribution of resources to Center participants. The Administrative core will also be responsible for planning the Educational Enrichment Program consisting of a seminar series, guest lectures, and workshops, and convening a Committee to oversee the solicitation, review and selection of the pilot projects. Although funds are not provided directly for training purposes, the core laboratories and program enrichment activities should provide training opportunities for Center members.
Each Core Center must develop a cohesive Pilot and Feasibility Program to develop new research directions or provide an opportunity for new investigators or established investigators to enter the field of kidney research. A pilot and feasibility project is intended to provide modest support that will allow an investigator the opportunity to develop sufficient preliminary data as a basis for an application for independent research support. Pilot and feasibility projects are not intended to support or supplement ongoing research of an established investigator. This Program should be integrated into the overall research goals of the Center and make use of the resources provided by the cores. Pilot and Feasibility projects could include clinical projects to investigate basic research findings in a clinical setting. Each Core Center application must include a minimum of two up to a maximum of four pilot projects. Each pilot project may request a maximum of $60,000 direct costs per year (excluding Facility and Administrative costs) (NOT-OD-04-040) for up to two years. A comprehensive description of the Pilot and Feasibility Program can be found in the Administrative Guidelines http://www.niddk.nih.gov/fund/other/centers/obrien-p30-guidelines.pdf.
The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) supports approximately General Clinical Research Centers (GCRC) nationwide, which provide services and resources to enhance clinical research (http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/clinical/cr_gcrc.asp). Research Centers supported by the NIDDK are encouraged to collaborate with GCRCs to avoid duplication of effort and enhance utilization of services and resources. Additionally, the NCRR has established a new consortium via Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) to aid in the conduct of clinical and translational research (www.ctsacentral.org ). Applicants are encouraged to form collaborations with these centers where appropriate.
Project Officer: Marva Moxey-Mims, M.D., 301-594-7717.
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