Nanomedicine Development Centers
Cell Propulsion LabCenter for Cell ControlCenter for Protein Folding MachineryNanomedicine Center for Nucleoprotein MachinesNanotechnology Center for Mechanics in Regenerative MedicineNational Center for Design of Biomimetic NanoconductorsOptical Control of Biological FunctionPhi29 DNA-Packaging Motor for Nanomedicine

Clinical Collaborators for the NIH Roadmap Nanomedicine Initiative

The network of NIH Nanomedicine Development Centers requests letters from clinical investigators interested in collaborating in the nanomedicine research enterprise. Clinical investigators, with ongoing preclinical/translational research programs, will be expected to participate in the activities of one or more of the NIH Nanomedicine Development Centers (NDC) and to explore opportunities for potential medical applications that build on the science emerging from one or more of the centers. Approximately $2,000,000 annually for two years will be available to support three to five projects from clinical collaborators.

Interested individuals must submit a short "Letter of Interest in Collaboration" (LIC) to determine if they qualify for submitting a more extensive application (See below, "Instructions: Letter of Interest in Collaboration").

NIH Nanomedicine Development Centers (NDC)

As part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, the Nanomedicine Initiative, envisioned as a 10-year program, awarded eight NDCs beginning in the fall of 2005. Each NDC supports multidisciplinary studies of nanoscale biomolecular complexes or pathways operating in living cells. For descriptions of the research at each NDC, links to each NDC website, information about the NIH Nanomedicine Initiative or the NIH Roadmap return to our homepage.


Nanomedicine is an emerging biomedical research field with the overarching goal of precisely manipulating cellular processes, by repairing or building new nanoscale structures inside living cells, in order to treat disease or repair damaged tissue. NIH envisions Nanomedicine as a multidisciplinary effort built upon the strengths of researchers in probing and understanding the biological, chemical and physical properties of living tissues. Since the intracellular machinery operates at the nanoscale, (~1-100 nanometers), the NIH Nanomedicine Roadmap initiative initially seeks to quantitatively characterize cellular molecular components at a level of precision to enable the controlled engineering of nanomachinery inside single cells. At this early stage of the program, NDC research activities are weighted toward basic biological, physico-chemical, engineering, and computational sciences involving measurements of single molecules and other intracellular complexes that require specialized tools to probe and control structures at the nanoscale.

Nanomedicine: Bench-to-Bedside

Research at each NDC is conducted on one or more fundamental cellular processes, such as ion transporters, chaperonins, cytoskeleton, DNA packaging motors, and DNA repair machinery, where defects in structure and function may lead to a wide range of diseases. However, this initiative requires that work at these centers will be applied to specific medical applications.

To this end, each of the NDCs has begun to explore more clinically relevant avenues of investigation in what is termed a "Pathway to Medicine." Application of advances made by NDCs may be appreciated by clinician researchers who have thorough knowledge of a disease and an active research program that could exploit the tools and concepts being developed at these centers. It is expected that interactions with investigators leading independent, clinically-related research programs will help identify and draw NDC activities towards appropriate clinical applications.

Instructions: Letter of Interest in Collaboration (LIC)

The purpose of the LIC is to provide NIH and NDC personnel an overview of the applicant's current clinically related research program and to outline a research project that complements the research at one or more NDCs. Descriptions of the NIH Nanomedicine program and the work at each NDC are available at our homepage

Once familiar with ongoing NDC work, potential applicants are encouraged to contact the NDC principal investigator to begin to explore the collaborative potential. First contact with Principal Investigators should be an email that includes an outline or abstract of your potential project. Be sure to include "Nanomedicine LIC" in the subject line to alert PIs that your email relates to this announcement. Note that it is not required that a formal collaboration agreement is established before the submission of the LIC. If an LIC is selected, the investigator will be invited to submit a more extensive application for funds (notification and instructions for preparing the application will be sent on or about December 20, 2007). In that final application step, the applicant is expected to work with the appropriate NDC investigators in developing the collaborative research plan.

Applicant Eligibility

Interested individuals must become familiar with the ongoing capabilities of the NDCs. The applicant's research program will need to focus on a specific clinical target.

The purpose of the LIC is to attract new collaborators with fresh ideas to work with one or more NDCs. Current NDC personnel, consultants, other collaborators (current or prospective) are not eligible to submit LICs.

Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research are invited to submit an LIC. The track record of an applicant is critical and must include an ongoing research program in a medical field. Experience with translational research is a strong plus.

Clinical certifications are preferred (MD, DVM, DDS, etc.) although individuals with substantial experience with pre-clinical models and/or translational research are invited to submit an LIC (PhD or equivalent).

A single LIC may propose work with one or more NDCs. Alternatively, applicants may submit up to three separate LICs targeted to three different NDCs. There is no institutional limit on the number of LICs that may be submitted.

Applicants are encouraged to contact NDCs before submitting LICs.

There must be good evidence that the applicant can work with the NDC intellectually as well as logistically (including location). If not located in the same region, applicants must provide evidence that they can achieve good interactions and overcome logistical limitations.

Domestic applicants only.

Key Dates:

LICs must include each of the following sections (A-I):

A) Abstract (1/2 page)

*Note: Combined sections B-E cannot exceed a total of 5 pages.

B) Clinical target and challenges for treating or curing the disease

C) Current Research Program

D) Proposed Research

E) NDC Collaboration

F) Milestones and Timeline (1 page)

G) References (1 page)

H) Resources (no limit)

I) Curriculum Vitae (2 pages per person)

LIC Formatting Details:

Cover page: Include Principal investigator's name and address, telephone number, email address, institution, title, and department.

Submitting an LIC (Due Date: December 10, 2007)

Email a PDF copy of your LIC:

Subject: NDC LIC

Notification and instructions for submitting the application for funds will be sent by email on or before December 15, 2007.

Funds Available

The Nanomedicine initiative is funded through 2009, and has targeted $2,000,000 per year in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 for these clinical awards. Although it is anticipated that three to five projects will be chosen, the number will depend on the availability of funds and the merit of the applications received. Continuation beyond 2009 will depend on continuation of the Nanomedicine initiative and availability of funds. Successful applicants will be funded as subcontracts by one or more of the NDCs. The awards will be subject to the restrictions and regulations of the NDC institution and the parent NIH award to the NDC.

Additional Information

Dr. Richard S. Fisher
NIH Roadmap Nanomedicine Initiative Project Team Leader
National Eye Institute
Division of Extramural Research
5635 Fishers Lane MSC 9300
Bethesda, MD 20892-9300
Tel: 301-451-2020


NDC personnel and NIH program staff will evaluate LICs and will invite the most meritorious to submit an application for funds. Evaluation of the LICs will include the following criteria: