Clinical Center News
Winter 2016

Five NIH grants awarded for collaborative research in the Clinical Center, across the U.S.

Drs. Martin Blaser, Tom Battaglia, Guillermo Perez and Lama Nazzal
Drs. Martin Blaser, Tom Battaglia, Guillermo Perez and Lama Nazzal work in their New York University School of Medicine laboratory studying the effects of antibiotics on the healthy bacteria in the human body. Their project, funded by a U01 grant by the NIH, is done in collaboration with Drs. Steven Holland and Emilia Falcone, National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases intramural researchers who work in the Clinical Center. Photo credit: Troi Santos

Five new innovative research projects, recently funded by the NIH, will soon bring together NIH intramural researchers with researchers from institutions across the nation. Collaboratively, these top scientists will conduct promising new protocols within the NIH Clinical Center, jointly utilizing some of the broad resources the research hospital can offer.

The research projects are an outcome of the third round of awards given through the granting mechanism Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01). The five collaborative projects will broaden and strengthen the scope of clinical research beyond the work of separate, individual institutions. Ten awards were made in 2014, and an additional 10 in 2015.

These three-year, renewable grants allow for up to $500,000 in direct costs per year. The partnerships will ensure full access to NIH Clinical Center's innovative facilities, equipment and technology.

This year's awards will support the following research:

  • Exploring a new therapy for cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL), a neurological disease that can lead to migraines, dementia or death
  • Assessing if short-term antibiotic use will affect the healthy bacteria found in the body as well as the subjects' metabolism and immunity
  • Analyzing the effectiveness of Prostvac, a cancer vaccine, to help men who have recurrent prostate cancer
  • Understanding Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), a destructive multi-system disease in women, to create better treatments
  • Developing new therapies for patients with Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNST), which are highly aggressive andcan spread throughout the body

In early 2017, the NIH will announce recipients of the fourth set of awards within the U01 program. This cohort will receive awards that are, for the first time, four-year renewable grants. Previously, they were renewable over three years. In addition, applicants from both domestic and foreign institutions were eligible to apply.

Cycle 5 applications are due April 11, 2017. Interested applicants, view more information or contact ClinicalCtrPartner@mail.nih.gov. More on the U01 program.

On left: Drs. Bill Dahut, James Gulley, Peter Choyke, Jeff Schlom, Ravi Madan, and Baris Turkbey. On right: Drs. Gwo-Sho Mary Lee, Ying Mazzu, Kazumasa Komura, Philip Kantoff, Goutam Chakraborty and Shin-Yi Du
On the left, intramural researchers from the National Cancer Institute (from left to right) Drs. Bill Dahut, James Gulley, Peter Choyke, Jeff Schlom, Ravi Madan, and Baris Turkbey gather near a PET scanner used in the NIH Clinical Center to measure the effects of immunotherapy on recurrent prostate cancer. Their project is funded by the U01 program at the NIH Clinical Center and is done in collaboration with, pictured on the right, Drs. Gwo-Sho Mary Lee, Ying Mazzu, Kazumasa Komura, Philip Kantoff, Goutam Chakraborty and Shin-Yi Du, from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
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Dr. Rita Volochayev, a nurse practitioner with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Clinical Research Branch, works with both pediatric and adult patient populations at the NIH CC. She came to the NIH in 2006 to work on her dissertation and subsequently ended up staying upon receiving her doctorial degree. Volochayev said being a nurse practitioner at the NIH is a unique challenge. Nurse practitioners at the NIH have mastered the ability to lead and contribute to almost every discipline at many different levels. The role is a blending of clinical, research, administrative, regulatory, educational, mentoring and supervisory skills. Usually, no two nurse practioners' roles are the same at the NIH. Basically, nurse practitioners function as the primary point of contact for everything and anything.
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Drs. Martin Blaser, Tom Battaglia, Guillermo Perez and Lama Nazzal
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