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University of Pittsburgh Mitochondria, Aging and Metabolism Work Group: Request for Pilot Proposals

Biological Aging Across the Lifespan: From Molecules to Man

Given a wealth of research resources and protocols, the broad scope of cutting-edge aging and bioenergetics investigations, and a pool of nationally and internationally renowned investigators, the University of Pittsburgh is uniquely poised to conquer frontiers in aging and metabolism research. In order to build and cultivate a leadership position in this field, it is essential that we, as scientists and clinicians investigating the biology of aging, work together as a team and fortify interactions within our community.

The objective of the Mitochondria, Aging and Metabolism (MAM) work group is to promote the exchange of knowledge, tools, and techniques in the areas of mitochondria, aging, and metabolism. As innovative lines of investigation emerge through an increased communication of our community members, there is a fundamental need for funds dedicated to supporting the exploration of these novel research directions. To this end, through generous funding provided from UPMC, the MAM work group has established a pilot grant program in support of highly innovative, team-based, transdisciplinary, and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh.

Program Description

Submitted proposals will be reviewed with an emphasis on the scientific merit of the research, the overall innovative or novel nature of the project, the level of novel and cross-disciplinary interactions, and the likelihood that the work will lead to external funding. All aspects of the basic biology of aging, and/or metabolism will be considered as appropriate topics for pilot funding. However, priority will be given to those areas identified during the MAM retreat (held on June 9, 2014) as being of high importance given our strengths on campus and of particular areas of interest for the future development of program projects and/or the establishment of a Center of Excellence application. These include:

 
  • Systems biology approach to evaluate the role of age-related metabolic decline as a predictor of frailty versus resilience into old age
  • Physiological changes throughout life that distinguishes the "risk of" or "response to" disease in young versus old organisms, e.g. cancer
  • The use of banked samples from cohort studies on campus (aging and/or pediatric) to develop and validate common age and metabolic-associated biomarkers of healthy aging
  • Animal models for the study into basic mechanisms of aging across the lifespan
  • Technology development pilot projects ($10-$15,000)

Funding

  • A total of $200,000 is available for the 2014-2015 funding program
  • Awards will range from $10,000 to $75,000 each
  • Funding may be distributed across two years, dependent upon satisfactory progress towards stated aims
  • Funds are for direct costs of the project only and are restricted to use for supplies and technical support

Submission Information

  • Letters of Intent are to be formatted within the 2014 MAM Seed Grant Letter of Intent Form and will consist of a list of key investigators, a one-page overview of proposal, and an abridged budget. 
  • In order to aid in review, applicants are requested to provide the names of two internal and up to three external reviewers who are knowledgeable of your work, but not currently collaborators. 
  • Letters of Intent must be submitted via the 2014 MAM Seed Grant Letter of Intent Form via email to Taafoi Kamara at kamarats@upmc.edu by 5:00 p.m. EST, August 31, 2014
 

Requests for full applications will be made by the MAM leadership and Aging Institute Advisory Board members. Full applications will consist of: 

  • 1) one-page Specific Aims page; 
  • 2) no more than four pages of text emphasizing significance and experimental design (excluding references); and
  • 3) a one-page budget. Full proposals will be reviewed by at least one reviewer external to the University of Pittsburgh and at least two internal reviewers.

Eligibility

  • Application is open to independent investigators at all academic levels within the University of Pittsburgh. Priority will be given to highly innovative, collaborative projects involving more than one Principal Investigator.
  • Assurance of IACUC or IRB approval, where indicated, must be furnished before funds can be awarded.
  • Awardees will be asked to submit regular progress reports and to speak at the annual MAM retreat or seminar.

Submission and Review Dates and Times

  • Deadline for Letter of Intent: 5:00 p.m. EST, August 31, 2014
  • Invitation to Submit a Full Application: September 15, 2014
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 5:00 p.m. EST, November 14, 2014
  • Final Notice of Award: January 19, 2015

Letters of intent must be submitted via the 2014 MAM Seed Grant Letter of Intent Form via email to Taafoi Kamara at kamarats@upmc.edu by 5:00 p.m. EST, August 31, 2014.


Submission and Review Dates and Times

  • Deadline for Letter of Intent: 5 P.M. EST, August 31, 2014
  • Invitations to Submit a
    Full Application:
    September
    15, 2014
  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 5 P.M. EST, November 14, 2014
  • Final Notice of Award: January 19, 2015

Letters of intent must be submitted via the 2014 MAM Seed Grant Letter of Intent Form via email to Taafoi Kamara at kamarats@upmc.edu by 5:00 p.m. EST, August 31, 2014.

Please address questions and submit application by email to Taafoi Kamara at kamarats@upmc.edu.

Aging Institute Pilot Seed Grant Program

Information will be available Fall 2014.


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