NIH leaders of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) encouraged investigators with experience in virology and infectious disease to apply for funding to study Alzheimer’s disease. The encouragement came at a workshop held at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago on July 22nd. Those making the presentation were Richard Hodes, Director of the NIA as well as Eliezer Masliah, Director of the Division of Neuroscience, NIA.
Furthermore, Director Hodes made it clear that the funding environment is very favorable currently, with a total of $1.8 billion in funding for Alzheimer’s disease and related diseases, which is up $400 million from the previous year. He also said that although viral etiology is not (yet) part of the official priorities, this should not dissuade applicants from proposing research projects related to HHV-6A/7 and Alzheimer’s. Also, “add on” grants are available for investigators who already have funding. They can apply for an additional $250,000 to add Alzheimer’s studies to their existing grants.
In a follow up discussion, NIA Division of Neuroscience program director Mack Maciewicz told the HHV-6 Foundation’s executive director that “any good project relating to HHV-6A/7 and Alzheimer’s has an excellent chance of being funded.” He also encouraged applicants to submit investor initiated applications and not to limit applications to one of the Funding Opportunity Announcements.
The NINDS and NIA have several joint funding opportunities as well. Below are a few sample grant opportunities. (Note: One program officer said that chances are often better when applications are submitted outside of an RFA, because there is less competition.) Proposals from outside of the USA require an additional level of approval. Investigators must explain the reasons that the research cannot be done in the USA. There are many private sources of funding for Alzheimer’s research as well.
Sample RO1 opportunities:
- Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease in the Context of the Aging Brain (R01)
- Clarifying the Relationship between Delirium and Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
- Novel Approaches to Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease & Predicting Progression (R01)
- Capturing Complexity in the Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms Involved in the Etiology of Alzheimer’s Disease (R01)
- Selective Cell and Network Vulnerability in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (R01)