[DIV28SUPER] NIDA Neuroscience Update, May 5, 2015

Table of Contents

1.  CELLULAR BIOLOGY OF ADDICTION  http://meetings.cshl.edu/courses/2015/c-drug15.shtml

2. Developing the Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System for Pain Treatment (R01)  PA-15-188

3. Request for Information: NIH Precision Medicine Cohort  NOT-OD-15-096


4. Notice of a Change in the Response Method for NOT-NS-15-020 "Request for Information (RFI) on the Proposed Funding Priorities for Neuroscience Research, Input on High Impact and Cross-Cutting Opportunities (NIH Neuroscience Blueprint)" NOT-NS-15-027


August 4 - 10, 2015
Application Deadline: May 15, 2015

Antonello Bonci,
Christopher Evans,
University of California, Los Angeles
Brigitte Kieffer,
Douglas at McGill University, Canada

See the Roll of Honor - who's taken the course in the past

Drug addiction is the most costly neuropsychiatric disorder faced by our nation. Acute and repeated exposure to drugs produces neuroadaption and long-term memory of the experience, but the cellular and molecular processes involved are only partially understood. The primary objective of the proposed workshop is to provide an intense dialogue of the fundamentals, state-of-the-art advances and major gaps in the cell and molecular biology of drug addiction.Targeted to new or experienced investigators, the workshop will combine formal presentations and informal discussions to convey the merits and excitement of cellular and molecular approaches to drug addiction research. With the advent of genomics and proteomics, an extraordinary opportunity now exists to develop comprehensive models of neuroadaptative processes fundamental to addiction, withdrawal, craving, and relapse to drug use and to brain function, in general. A range of disciplines and topics will be represented, including noninvasive brain imaging to identify drug targets and adaptive processes; neuroadaptative processes at the molecular and cellular level, neural networks and their modulation, the relevance of genotype to susceptibility and drug response; tolerance and adaptation at the cellular level and approaches to exploiting the daunting volume generated by neuroinformatics. This workshop will provide an integrated view of current and novel research on neuroadaptive responses to addiction, foster discussion on collaboration and integration, provide critical information needed to construct a model of addiction as a disease and novel molecular targets for biological treatments. Beyond the plane of scientific endeavor, the information is vital for formulating public policy and for enlightening the public on the neurobiological consequences of drug use and addiction. The workshop is designed to generate interest in this level of analysis, open conduits for collaborations and present novel routes to investigating the neurobiology of addictive drugs.


Speakers at the last course included:
David Belin, Charles Chavkin, Robert Edwards, David Goldman, Peter Kalivas, Paul Kenny, George Koob, Barbara Mason, Angus Nairn, Eric Nestler, Marina Picciotto, R. Christopher Pierce, Jonathan Pollock, Hon Sinha, Nora Volkow, William Yang

The course will be held at the Laboratory's Banbury Conference Center located on the north shore of Long Island. All participants stay within walking distance of the Center.

This course is supported with funds provided by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Scholarship funds are available for partial support of tuition, room and board on a merit basis.

Cost (including board and lodging): $2,600
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2. Developing the Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System for Pain Treatment (R01)  PA-15-188

Standard dates apply, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on these dates



The purpose of this NIH Pain Consortium-endorsed FOA is to support projects examining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and endocannabinoid system across a variety of pain conditions.  Research supported under this FOA is wide-ranging.  In general, the goal is to understand the role of cannabinoids in the management of chronic pain, in part, to help mitigate the high rate of use and abuse of opioids. 

Applicants responding to this FOA should consider the following points:  1) If plant derived cannabis material is proposed, it should be well-justified, with a statement on where the material or compounds will be obtained, and the status of a schedule 1 license should be noted.  2) Explicit sex/gender analyses of effects are highly encouraged. 3) Role of cannabinoids in the modulation of HIV pain is also encouraged.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following: 


·         Understand the role of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids in the transition of acute pain to chronic pain;

·         Understand the interactive role of cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and opioid system in pain signaling;

·         Study the spatial and temporal regulation of cannabinoid receptor expression at various stages of pain processes

·         Understand the role of endocannabinoid ligands and ligand-metabolizing enzymes in pain conditions.

·         Determine if the endocannabinoid system genes are regulated differently under pain conditions (role of epigenetics, gene expression, cis-/trans-effects, etc)

·         Determine the potential for biased agonists, hybrid dual ligands, or allosteric modulators that include cannabinoid receptor targets with other targets (e.g. opioid receptors, TRP channels, etc) as possible mechanisms for analgesia

·         Study the potential therapeutic efficacy of non-psychotropic phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, such as CBD, Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), or others.

·         Parse the effects of cannabis vs. Δ9-THC vs CBD and their role in modulating the endocannabinoid system in various pain states

·         Understand interaction between cannabinoids, endocannabinoid system, inflammation, and pain

·         Understand the role of cannabinoids in co-morbid pain conditions (e.g. diabetes, depression, HIV, cancer, etc)

·         Use of novel approaches such as social media or hospital/clinical-based observational studies on the use of medical marijuana by patients with pain indications.


Please see the full FOA for the full announcement and interest of participating NIH institutes  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-15-188.html




3. Request for Information: NIH Precision Medicine Cohort  NOT-OD-15-096


Response requested by May 7, 2015.


This Request for Information (RFI) seeks feedback to help guide the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in creating a longitudinal cohort of 1 million or more Americans who have volunteered to participate in research as part of the President's proposed Precision Medicine Initiative. Participants will be asked to give consent for extensive characterization of biologic specimens (potentially including cell populations, proteins, metabolites, RNA, and DNA whole-genome sequencing, if/when costs permit) and behavioral and environmental data, all linked to their electronic health records (EHRs). Qualified researchers from many organizations will, with appropriate protection of participant confidentiality, have access to the cohort's de-identified data for research and analysis


Information Requested

The NIH seeks information on characteristics, purpose, or other overall aspects in the development and implementation of a large U.S. precision medicine cohort. Information is also sought regarding existing and potentially new entities that have the capability to identify and follow ideally 10,000 or more participants and, if combined with other research entities, could comprise a longitudinal cohort of 1 million or more Americans. The participants should consent to joining this large U.S. cohort and provide their medical, genomic, and other health-related data, with appropriate protections, for broad research use.  A research entity could be a health care system, research network, cohort study or consortium, or other entity such as a longitudinal study using digital-based research platforms.

Ideally, participants from a research entity should be able to provide comprehensive clinical information via electronic health data that can be harmonized with data from multiple other systems or networks. Participants may come from ongoing studies with several previously measured phenotypes, stored biological specimens, and proven high quality DNA.  Participants may also be recruited de novo.  Participants may have been ascertained at random or by disease status.  Biological samples and associated data should be available and transferrable.  Participants should be accessible for consent or re-consent for data sharing, whole genome sequencing and other biologic measures, multi-use (ability to perform analysis of multiple traits and measures, not just one single disease), and call-back for consent for further in-depth study.


The NIH seeks comments on any or all of, but not limited to, the following topics:


A. General topics on the development and implementation of this large U.S. cohort.

1) The optimal study design and sample size for a large U.S. precision medicine cohort.

2) Data to be collected at baseline and follow-up, including mode of collection and frequency and length of follow-up.

3) Potential research questions that could be uniquely or more efficiently and effectively pursued in a large U.S. precision medicine cohort.

4) Any other suggestions for NIH to consider in the development and implementation of such a research cohort.


B. Suggestions for existing or potentially new research entities (a health care system, research network, cohort study or consortium, or other entities such as longitudinal studies using digital-based platforms) that might be combined into a large U.S. cohort.  Providing the following information would be useful when suggesting research entities.


1) The capability of the existing or potentially new research entity to efficiently identify and follow 10,000 or more participants who are likely to consent to providing their medical and other health-related data, biospecimens, and genomic data for broad research use, including in sub-group analysis that could help assess various treatment effects and outcomes.  It would also be useful to provide the rationale that potential participants are likely to consent, as well as experience with and ability to participate in central IRB and a master contract agreement to streamline enrollment of the precision medicine cohort.

2) The capability for the research entity to provide individual-level participant data, particularly those from electronic health data (including both electronic health record and payer data), that can be integrated into a standard format to create a combined large longitudinal precision medicine cohort.

3) The capability for the research entity to track and retain the participants for several years of follow up.  The race/ethnic composition, sex, and age distribution of participants from the research entity likely to consent, by standard U.S. Census categories, would also be helpful. The NIH especially seeks information about studies of populations underrepresented in research and those with phenotypes or disorders of high public health and human impact. Additional information that would be of use includes: for health care systems, the current patient turnover rate and efforts that can be made to capture longitudinal data from clinical visits outside of the system and to continue follow participants who leave the system entirely; and for ongoing cohort studies, the retention rate to date.


All responses must be submitted online via the following website: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=43 by May 7, 2015. Response to this RFI is voluntary. Responders are free to address any or all of the categories listed above; respondents should not feel compelled to address all listed issues. Please note that the text box for each topic has a maximum limit of approximately 250 words.

This RFI is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation for applications or as an obligation on the part of the Government to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. Please note that the United States Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for its use of that information.

Responses will be compiled and may be shared publically. We look forward to your input and hope that you will share this RFI document with your colleagues.  Updates to this document, if any, will be noted. Please check before submission.



Please direct all inquiries to:

Email: PMI_Cohort_RFI@sp10mail.nih.gov



4. Notice of a Change in the Response Method for NOT-NS-15-020 "Request for Information (RFI) on the Proposed Funding Priorities for Neuroscience Research, Input on High Impact and Cross-Cutting Opportunities (NIH Neuroscience Blueprint)" NOT-NS-15-027



The purpose of this notice is to inform potential respondents to the NIH Blueprint funding priorities RFI of an additional and preferred method for responses.  NIH Blueprint would like respondents to use the website NIH-Blueprint-Responses

All other aspects of this RFI remain unchanged, and are as follows:

The National Institutes of Health Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (Blueprint) is collaboration among 15 participating NIH Institutes, Centers and Offices that support research on the nervous system. The Blueprint's goal is to accelerate discovery in neuroscience research, and this Request for Information (RFI) seeks input from the scientific community on how the Blueprint might best do so in the future. Responses to this RFI should suggest how future Blueprint investments can have broad impact in neuroscience and serve the interests of more than one of the Blueprint Institutes listed above. The Blueprint invites input from stakeholders including but not limited to researchers in academia and industry, healthcare professionals, patient advocates and advocacy organizations, scientific and professional organizations, Federal agencies and other interested members of the public. Organizations are encouraged to submit a single response that reflects the views of the organization as a whole.

Information Requested

The Blueprint is considering how best to invest its funds in future fiscal years. Please note that while the NIH BRAIN Initiative is concerned with the development and application of innovative technologies for interrogating circuit activity in the nervous system, the NIH Blueprint focuses more broadly on all aspects of research on the nervous system that have the potential to transform our basic understanding of the brain and our approaches to treating brain disorders.

Keeping in mind that the Blueprint is interested in ideas that are broadly relevant across multiple diseases and disorders across the missions of the 15 participating NIH Institutes and Centers, responses to this RFI may take the following areas into consideration. Comments can include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • The major impediments to advancing neuroscience research that are not addressed by current research programs.
  • The major opportunities for advancing neuroscience research that are not well served by current research programs. Research opportunities where Blueprint investment would have the highest impact for neuroscience.
  • Your comments can include how these opportunities lead to a quantum leap in basic, translational, and/or clinical neuroscience.
  • Identify ideas for research programs that would address these opportunities or impediments. Programs should be cross-cutting and benefit the broad neuroscience community, or address multiple diseases and disorders of the nervous system, including disorders of hearing, vision, aging, neurology, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as brain development and degeneration and gender differences. These might relate to:
  • Specific high impact scientific questions that could best be answered by a Blueprint Grand Challenge;
  • Research resources that would be of high value to a broad neuroscience community;

Programs to address cross-cutting issues such as:
- training the next generation of neuroscientists,
- computational neuroscience research,
- increasing diversity of the neuroscience workforce,
- dissemination of neuroscience tools to improve health outcomes,
- behavioral approaches to symptom and self-management of neuro/mental/substance abuse disorders,
- biomarkers that a) correlate with the symptoms, and b) mirror the biologic
processes underlying neuro/mental/substance abuse disorders,
- neuroethics research,
- neuroscience policy research.

  • Development of neurotechnologies to advance a broad spectrum of neuroscience.

How to Submit a Response

All comments must be submitted electronically to: NIH-Blueprint-Responses. Responses to this RFI will be accepted through May 25, 2015. You will receive an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response, but will not receive individualized feedback on any suggestions.

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or individual NIH Institutes and Centers. The NIH does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government's use of such information.

NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder's submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in future planning activities and funding opportunity announcements. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports. Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).


Please direct all inquiries to:

Meghan Mott, Ph.D.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (
Telephone: 301-596-4470

Please see RFI for completer description  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-NS-15-027.html


The National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services  TO UNSUBSCRIBE: send email to listserv@list.nih.gov Copy and paste UNSUBSCRIBE NIDA_NEURO_SCIENCE-L   in the message body of the email - You will receive a confirmation email if successful. If you have problems contact jpollock@mail.nih.gov     301-435-1309





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