Reproducible Cells and Organoids via Directed- Differentiation Encoding


Funding Opportunity ID: 324093
Opportunity Number: 20-541
Opportunity Title: Reproducible Cells and Organoids via Directed- Differentiation Encoding
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Category Explanation:
CFDA Number(s): 47.041
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: *Who May Submit Proposals: Proposals may only be submitted by the following: -Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations in the U.S. associated with educational or research activities. -Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) – Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members.Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus. *Who May Serve as PI: Principal Investigators (PI) must be at the faculty level, tenured or tenure-track, as determined by the submitting organization. If the proposal is submitted by a non-profit, non-academic organization, the lead PI must meet all of the following requirements: (1) the PI has a continuing appointment that is expected to last for the duration of a RECODE grant; (2) the appointment has substantial research responsibilities; and (3) the proposed project related to the PI&rsquo;s job responsibilities as well as to the mission of the department or organization. In addition, a minimum of two collaborating Senior Personnel (e.g. co-PIs, Collaborating PIs) must participate. At least one member of the project team (PI or co-PI) must have a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment within a College/Department of Engineering. Investigators at federal agencies and federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) may participate only as unpaid collaborators. FFRDC and federal agency scientists cannot serve as lead PI to be eligible for NSF funding. Non-NSF sponsored FFRDCs are required to provide a letter of support from their agency. <span>For cooperative projects involving U.S. and foreign organizations, support will only be provided for the U.S. portion. Researchers from a foreign organization cannot be PIs OR co-PIs, and must be listed as "non-funded Senior Personnel." Researchers from a foreign organization cannot be supported bysubawards. A letter ofcollaboration from their organization is required.</span>
Agency Code: NSF
Agency Name: National Science Foundation
Posted Date: Feb 01, 2020
Close Date: Apr 30, 2020
Last Updated Date: Feb 01, 2020
Award Ceiling: $1,500,000
Award Floor: $1,000,000
Estimated Total Program Funding: $5,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 5
Description: The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET), seeks proposals that elucidate mechanisms of, and develop strategies to, direct the differentiation of undifferentiated cells into mature, functional cells or organoids. Projects responsive to this solicitation must aim to establish a robust and reproducible set of differentiation design rules, predictive models, real-time sensing, control, and quality assurance methods, and integrate them into a workable differentiation strategy. They must develop a fundamental understanding of how cells develop, including mechanisms, molecular machinery, dynamics, and cell-cell interactions, and use this understanding to manipulate cells purposefully. Investigators can choose any undifferentiated cell type, from any animal species, as a starting point and choose any appropriate functional product (cell, organoid, etc.) with real-world relevance.This solicitation parallels NSF’s investment inUnderstanding the Rules of Life (URoL): Predicting Phenotype, NSF’s Big Idea focused on predicting the set of observable characteristics (phenotype) of an organism based on its genetic makeup and the nature of its environment and applies it to understanding and accomplishing the intentional and guided differentiation of an undifferentiated cell into cells, organoids or tissues with predetermined activities and functions. The process of differentiation involves a multiplex combination of signaling molecules, receptors, promoters, markers, and regulators that dynamically interact to direct cell development and behavior. While individual inducers of native differentiation have been identified and employed to create specialized cell types, we still cannot engineer stem cells to allow for synthetic induction of differentiation along a predetermined path that can be actively monitored and manipulated on-the-fly. Such control of differentiation will enable the realization of individualized medicine in areas such as regenerative medicine, cancer treatment with engineered killer cells, the development of functional cells and tissues to treat disease, environmental control and monitoring, adaptive sensing, as well as the scalable and reproducible application of 3D organoids in drug testing. The convergence of many disciplines is necessary to answer the fundamental questions and devise the tools needed to realize truly deterministic cell induction and differentiation strategies. As such, investigators are encouraged to form interdisciplinary teams with expertise in developmental biology, stem cell biology, cell biology, engineering, synthetic and systems biology, computation, sensing, and physics. Proposals will not be responsive to this solicitation if they address only one aspect of the differentiation process or aim to create a functional living product without improving our understanding of the mechanisms that underlie developmental processes. Collaborative proposals, of a duration up to 4 years, with budgets between $1,000,000 to $1,500,000 will be considered. Proposed budgets must be justified by project scope and need for complementary expertise.The solicitation will support teams of three or more PI/co-PIs and senior personnel.Proposals with only one PI or one PI with one other senior personnel are not permitted.Reflecting the need for thoughtful collaboration and planning required for these projects, Letters of Intent are required to be submitted prior to submission of a full proposal.
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