The Neurogenomics and Informatics (NGI) Center (https://neurogenomics.wustl.edu/) is requesting proposals for a new pilot grant program. 

The vision of the NGI is to transform the field of human neurogenomics by going beyond the analysis of genomic DNA to explore other omics layers, including epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Molecular phenotyping of human samples is instrumental to understand the biology of complex traits and precision medicine.

The Center has established the pilot grant program to promote this vision and to fund the work necessary to achieve the Center’s goals. By funding the pilot grant program the Center plans to achieve this goal by meeting following objectives: 

  1. Increase the understanding of the etiology of neurodegeneration and psychiatric diseases by identifying novel genes and pathways implicated in disease, 
  2. Enable early diagnosis by identifying novel molecular biomarkers, 
  3. Reveal novel intermediate traits involved in neurodegeneration and psychiatric diseases, 
  4. Provide strategies to optimize cohort selection for testing therapeutic targets, and 
  5. Identify and validate disease-modifying treatments and drugs for neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases

The objectives are intended to be addressed through the use of large phenotypic and multi-omic datasets of human neurodegenerative diseases.

Projects may involve one or more collaborating laboratories. The Project PI must be an NGI-affiliated member. As a pilot grant, we do not intend to fund ongoing projects, but rather projects to develop preliminary results for future grant submissions or projects exploring the transition from non-human model systems to human genetics. Projects should aim to address at least one of the objectives stated above.

We intend to fund:

  • one $50,000 individual, 1-year grant and
  • one $100,000 collaborative, 1-year grant

Through the NGI, affiliate members will also have access to large and well-characterized datasets for AD, PD, and stroke. Genetic, proteomic, and metabolomic analyses have already been carried out on many of these samples. More detail on the available data can be found on our newly created resource sharing hub.

Eligibility: All NGI-affiliated faculty members are eligible to apply, and we encourage applications from both new investigators and established PIs who are interested in transitioning from animal or cell models to human data.

Letters of intent (LOIs) may be submitted by affiliated members of the NeuroGenomics and Informatics Center.  The Project PI must be a member as of the submission deadline. Learn more about membership.

Please download and complete the LOI application form linked here. LOIs must be returned by email to neurogenomics@wustl.edu along with biosketch(es) for the project PI(s) and a budget estimate and justification by 5:00pm CST on December 10, 2021.

Selected LOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal within 5 weeks. Full pilot project submissions will be due by February 18, 2022. The full submission will include a research plan (5 pages maximum, single spaced, Arial 11 font), references, and proposed budget and justification. Funding announcements will be made ~3-4 weeks later. Selected proposals will receive up to $100,000 for a one-year project period for collaborative projects or up to $50,000 for an individual project. The project funding period is April 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023.

2021 NGI Center Pilot Project timeline:

  • December 10, 2021            LOIs due by 5:00pm CST
  • January 14, 2022                Select applicants will be invited to submit full proposal
  • February 18, 2022              Full pilot project submissions due
  • Mid-March                             Awards announced
  • April 1, 2022                          Award start date