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NIDA Discloses Funding Opportunities for Genomic Studies Into Addiction

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The National Institute of Drug Abuse on Friday said it will fund a new program with three funding sources to study the roles genes and molecular pathways and processes play in addiction.
These three funding opportunities within the Functional Genetics and the Genomics of Drug Addiction program will enable the study of a broad range of subjects covering the genomics of addiction. NIDA did not say how much funding is available in total, but did place limits on grant amounts for two of them.
Requests for applications under an RO1 program do not specify a limit that applicants may seek, but does require different application procedures for requests over $250,000.
Funding opportunity R21 is an NIH Exploratory/Developmental grant. It has a maximum budget of $275,000 over two years and no more than $200,000 will be available in any one year.
Funding opportunity R03 is a Small Research Grant award, in which the applicant is solely responsible for planning and executing the project. This award is for up to two years and has a maximum budget of $100,000 spread out into fourths over two years.  
NIDA said that genes and variants identified as playing roles in addiction have been identified using gene expression profiling, animal genome-wide association scans, forward genetic screens, proteomics, and QTL characterization.
Genes and variants discovered using those methods will be of high priority, NIDA said, as will genes relevant to co-occurring psychiatric disorders, social behaviors linked to addiction, and areas that are relevant to the agency’s mission.
Applications can “vary greatly in subject and depth and breadth of analysis,” NIDA said, and listed potential subject areas and approaches as follows:
·         Functional validation studies using human DNA to find links between gene variants and phenotype;
·         Using established genetic models (such as yeast, drosophila, mouse, etc.) for cross-species validation of functional alleles or for exploiting available genetic knockout/mutants, or functional approaches leading to development of in vivo models;
·         RNAi depletion in cells, tissues, regions of the brain or in whole organisms to identify phenotype from the cellular to the organism level;
·         Approaches connecting a gene/variant to a specific aspect of a addictive behavior;
·         Imaging studies of in vivo or animal gene/variant effects on neuronal activity or brain functions relevant to addiction;
·         Systems-level approaches such as bioinformatics resources, gene expression in brain area or in cell type, studying physical interactions between genes;
·         Cellular or circuit-level approaches;
·         Developmental roles: studies of how genes/variants affect organism development;
·         Non-coding RNA and regulatory elements;
·         Epigenetics, functional validations of mechanisms of gene regulation in context of addiction;
·         Comparing wild type and gene variant functions;
·         Identifying new genes;
·         Translational approaches: development of validated biomarkers to predict phenotypes;
NIDA said applications for all three grants must be submitted online. The opening date for submitting proposals is Jan. 5, 2007, and the closing date is Jan. 3, 2010.

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