NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health is offering support to projects that expand knowledge and technology about the cellular, genetic, and epigenetic mechanisms that can cause adverse drug reactions in children.
NIH said in two application requests, funded through the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that these grants will vary in size and that awards will depend on the quality, duration, and costs of the applications.
The problems of adverse drug reactions in children “has been increasingly recognized,” NIH stated, and they are different than adult reactions in frequency, nature, and severity. Infants and young children, when exposed to some drugs such as anticholinergic agents, are more likely than adults to develop ADRs, according to NIH, but they may also be less susceptible to toxic reactions to other drugs.
ADRs in children caused by drugs of abuse are “a major problem in this country,” NIH said. Children may be exposed to these drugs through in utero exposure during pregnancy, through breast feeding, and through exposure during adolescence.
These ADRs can include effects on the nervous system, cognitive problems, cardiovascular anomalies, and, in the case of second-hand tobacco smoke, an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, asthma, middle-ear disease, and multiple sclerosis in children.
Examples of the kind of research NIH will consider for funding include using genomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics technologies in the discovery and identification of toxicity biomarkers; use of metabolomics alone or in combination with other technology to identify and characterize novel toxicity-associated drug metabolites and unraveling of novel ADR mechanisms; genomic studies that may identify animals that develop idiosyncratic reactions similar to humans; using genomics to define patterns of genes association with pediatric ADRs; placental genomics, proteomics, and biomarker identification to understand ADRs; the role of epigenetic factors to explain or predict developmental differences in the expression of ADRs; and other studies.
These programs will be funded through an R01 grant program.
The R03 program will offer funding for direct costs of up to $50,000 per year over two years.