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In vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers (ICMICS).

The Cancer Imaging Program, Division of Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), invites applications for new or competing P50 Research Center Grants for In vivo Cellular and Molecular Imaging Centers (ICMICs). This initiative is designed to capitalize on the extraordinary opportunity for molecular imaging to have an impact on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients non-invasively and quantitatively. Molecular imaging technologies can provide valuable laboratory tools for the interrogation of biological pathways relevant to cancer, as well as to provide imaging agents and technologies that will be directly utilized in the clinic. The five-year P50 ICMIC grants described in this PAR are designed to bring together interdisciplinary scientific teams to lead the nation in cutting-edge cancer molecular imaging research with clinical relevance, provide unique core facilities m support ontology imaging research, provide flexibility to respond to exciting pilot research opportunities, and provide interdisciplinary career development opportunities for investigators new to the field of molecular cancer imaging. The P50 mechanism will promote coordination, interrelationships and scientific synergy among the research components and resources, leading to a highly integrated imaging center.

The field of molecular imaging has made significant advances in recent years. The formation of multidisciplinary research teams has stimulated and streamlined cancer imaging research from inception to use in patient care. The P50 ICMIC structure allows mechanistic flexibility for each Institution to capitalize on its own unique scientific strengths, and to define the structure and research objectives that create the most synergistic and creative scientific interactions. In general, an ICMIC will provide researchers with the following critical resources:

The ICMICs will provide an organizational structure specifically designed to facilitate multidisciplinary interactions among investigators focused on the ultimate goal of discovering, developing and translating molecular imaging technologies that will have eventual impact in the clinic. This structure will provide researchers with access to a concentrated pool of expertise in a wide range of disciplines. The structure of the ICMIC will be designed to provide investigators with the means of conducting multidisciplinary research in a highly collaborative atmosphere, and consistent access to expertise with minimal warred time and effort. Personnel may be scientists from a variety of fields including, but not limited to: imaging sciences, chemistry, radio-pharmaceutical chemistry, cell and molecular biology, pathology, pharmacology, computational sciences, and biomedical engineering. Other specialists in fields such as MRI physics, immunology, or neuroscience, for example, may also be involved. Most importantly, ICMIC personnel must demonstrate an eagerness to collaborate outside of their own disciplines. The nature of these interactions will be determined by the applicants, and emphasis will be placed on establishing creative, productive, and synergistic interactions with eventual clinical impact.

The ICMICs will provide funding for a minimum of three Research Components. Research Components will apply multidisciplinary approaches to molecular imaging. Individual research projects will be structured in order to maximize appropriate scientific interaction between the projects, and coordinated utilization of the Specialized Resources (see below). Each Research Component will be similar in size and scope to a typical R01 or subproject of a P01, and will be expected to meet the same standards of preliminary data in support of the hypotheses.

The ICMICs will provide Specialized Resource Facilities and Services. A barrier to productive scientific interaction is the lack of available facilities for cross-disciplinary experiments. Demands on equipment, resources, and reagents in every scientific area are extremely high, and this demand prohibits ready access to investigators interested in expanding their studies into new areas of research. The establishment of Specialized Resources dedicated to ICMIC-related research will provide this access. The Specialized Resource(s) will be determined by the requirements of the Institution, the defined scientific goals of the Research Components of the ICMIC, and budgetary limits. Prioritization of the research projects supported through ICMIC Specialized Resources will be an essential function of the ICMIC's leadership, and the mechanism to be employed for prioritization must be delineated by the applicants. Resource facilities may be utilized by active members of the ICMIC and will also be available to investigators supported through Developmental Funds (see below).

ICMICs will provide Developmental Funds for feasibility testing of new projects. A high priority of each ICMIC will be the identification and support of pilot projects that identify and stimulate interdisciplinary projects that will take full advantage of emerging research opportunities. The selection of projects will be through a review process established by the ICMIC's leadership. The portfolio of ongoing projects in any given Program is expected to be extremely dynamic. This fund is not to be used to support traditional, ongoing projects that could readily be supported through R01s. It is not appropriate for projects that utilize single areas of expertise or to support the continuation of previously funded research projects, and Developmental Projects may not be supported for more than two years. Necessary equipment should be provided through the appropriate Specialized Resource. These projects are to be monitored closely by the ICMIC leadership. Investigators working on projects supported through the Development Fund must understand that they will be expected to compete for independent R01 funding when the projects become sufficiently mature. Alternatively, if it becomes obvious that the project will not provide the expected results, a plan should be in place for terminating a development project.

ICMICs will provide career development opportunities for new and established investigators. Current graduate programs are generally focused on single disciplines and may be inadequate to train the needed cadre of inter-disciplinary imaging scientists. The ICMICs will provide support for a limited number of pre-and post-doctoral trainees in a program to be defined by the applicants. Career development opportunities through the ICMIC will be expected to be highly cross-disciplinary.

This PAR will use the NIH P50 Specialized Centers Grant Mechanism. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. The total project period for a P50 application submitted in response to this PAR may not exceed five years. The total costs requested for a new or competing renewal P50 ICMIC application may not exceed a maximum of $2,000,000 per year. The NCI anticipates awarding two new or competing P50 ICMICs each year.

This PAR uses just-in-time concepts. It also uses the non-modular budgeting formats. Follow the instructions for non-modular budget research grant applications. This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part2. htm#Toc54600040.

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). Applications must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when applying for federal grants or cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at The DUNS number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 document is available at in an interactive format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 301-435-0714, e-mail:

Applications hand-delivered by individuals to the NCI will no longer be accepted. This policy does not apply to courier deliveries (i.e. FEDEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) See grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-CA-02-002.html for more information. This policy is similar to and consistent with the policy for applications addressed to Centers for Scientific Review as published in the NIH Guide Notice at http:// NOT-OD-02-012.html.

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date(s) listed on the first page of this PA. The CSR will not accept any application in response to this PAR that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. The CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an unfunded version of an application already reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique. 398 research grant application instructions (rev, 5/200l) will be assessed.

Letters of intent must be received by 22 June 2004 and 21 June 2005. Applications must be received by 22 July 2004 and 21 July 2005. The earliest anticipated start dates are April 2005 and April 2006.

Contact: Anne E. Menkeas, Cancer Imaging Program, NCI, 6130 Executive Blvd, EPN Rm 6068, Bethesda, MD 20892-8329 USA, (Rockville, MD 20852 for express/courier service), 301-496-9531, fax: 301-480-3507, e-mail:

Reference: PA No. PAR-04-069
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Title Annotation:Fellowships, Grants, & Awards
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:May 15, 2004
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