Clinical Center News
May/June 2017

Application cycle for 2017 Bench-to-Bedside program now available

Scientist at the NIH Clinical Center

Researchers on the campus of NIH, in collaboration with investigators from across the country, can now begin the application process for the 2017-2018 NIH Clinical Center's Bench-To-Bedside awards. Letters of Intent are due July 14 and full application are due September 18.* View more application details.

The awards fund research teams seeking to translate basic scientific findings into therapeutic interventions for patients or take clinical observations to the lab and then back to patients. They provide up to $150,000 a year for two years. These ­are viewed as "seed" awards to initiate long term partnerships between basic and clinical researchers.

Recently, the awards saw an additional $2.5 million in funding per year through the new NIH Office of Clinical Research. With the increased funding in 2016, the number of funded Bench-to-Bedside awards increased to 17 projects. 

Projects, which are funded by various NIH offices and institutes, have represented several research categories: AIDS, rare diseases, behavioral and social sciences, minority health and health disparities, women's health, rare diseases drug development, pharmacogenomics and general. 

The 2016 projects encompass a range of research areas such as:

  • Intervention to correct mitochondrial function in Cockayne Syndrome
  • Defining skin immunity at the bite site of key insect vectors in humans
  • Peptidomic diagnosis and monitoring of mycobacterial infection in HIV/AIDS
  • Study of combination HIV-specific antibodies in infected individuals
  • Prostate cancer screening enabled by low-cost ultrasound

Projects funded by the program unite researchers from different NIH centers and institutes and allows these intramural researchers to collaborate with extramural researchers.

Statistics:

  • Since 1999, when the program began, 253 projects have been awarded nearly $60 million, funding the research of about 900 investigators. 
  • Today over 95% of awards involve extramural partners, including international collaborators. 

Scientific Advancements: Projects funded by Bench-to-Bedside have led to numerous advances in understanding, diagnosing and treating diseases. 

  • An award to Dr. Ira Pastan in the National Cancer Institute in 1999 on epithelial cancers led to strategies for therapeutic immune radiotherapy by delivering radioactivity directed specifically to tumors. 
  • A 2007 award to Dr. Alexandra Freeman, in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the role of STAT 3 in cardiovascular disease resulted in treatment strategies using Angiotensin II receptor antagonists (AT1) in Hyper-IgE Syndrome (HIES) patients with aneurysms. 
  • In 2010 and 2011 two awards to Dr. Forbes Porter in NICHD laid the groundwork for a Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of cyclodextrin as therapy for Niemann-Pick disease type C1. Preliminarily findings from those studies lead to current studies evaluating Vorinostat for treatment of this disease. 

* Application dates have changed since the print CC News hit the stands. Please follow the deadlines listed in this article.

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