NIAID Issues Notice of Special Interest for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Research

Transmission electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient. Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases today issued a Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the need for research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NIAID is particularly interested in projects focusing on viral natural history, pathogenicity, transmission, as well as projects developing medical countermeasures and suitable animal models for pre-clinical testing of vaccines and therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19.

In order to rapidly improve understanding and available control measures for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, NIAID is encouraging the submission of applications to address the following research areas of interest:

  • Studies to identify optimal in vitro culture requirements and conditions
  • Development of reagents and assays for virus characterization
  • Studies to understand critical aspects of viral infection, replication, pathogenesis, and transmission
  • Studies to identify viral epitopes critical for binding neutralization
  • Studies to examine virus stability and persistence
  • Production of molecular clones of SARS-CoV-2, reporter viruses and recombinant viral proteins
  • Development of animal models of SARS-CoV-2 infection suitable for screening vaccine and therapeutic candidates and/or pathogenesis studies
  • Studies on the evolution and emergence of SARS-CoV-2 viruses including the identification of factors that affect viral host-range and virulence
  • Virologic and serologic surveillance studies of the distribution and natural history of SARS-CoV-2 viruses in animal populations and in humans at the human/animal interface with particular emphasis on host reservoirs and understanding cross-species transmission events
  • Development of sensitive, specific, and rapid clinical diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2
  • Development of SARS-COV-2 therapeutic candidates; broad-spectrum therapeutics against multiple coronavirus strains; examination of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral activity of existing or candidate therapeutics initially developed for other indications
  • Identification and evaluation of the innate, cellular and humoral immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or candidate vaccines, including, but not limited to: cross-reactive antibodies from individuals exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses; viral epitopes critical for antibody binding and neutralization; immune-mediated pathology or host factors that might predispose to severe infection; and
  • Development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates that include emerging antigen design strategies, novel platforms or delivery approaches, adjuvants, or assessing cross-neutralization potential of SARS-CoV vaccine candidates.

This notice applies to due dates on or after April 5, 2020 and subsequent receipt dates through April 5, 2021.

Please review Notice Number NOT-AI-20-021 for additional information.

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