NIH – High Resolution Mapping of Biomolecules in Brain Cells in Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

June 18, 2021 by


This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the R01 funding mechanism to support discrete, specified, and circumscribed projects on novel molecular imaging approaches to establish high-resolution mapping of biomolecules in brain cells and regions during the course of aging and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).


The spatial and abnormal distribution of misfolded proteins together with lipids and other small molecules are thought to play a critical role in the onset of late and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD). There is a need to determine the accumulation and distribution of various small biomolecules together with pathological hallmarks from AD brain sections. Imaging mass spectrometry is a label-free, multiplex technique that allows the visualization of the two- or three-dimensional localization of endogenous neurotransmitters, lipids, and small metabolites in brain tissue. The goal of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to generate brain cell type and regional three-dimensional (3D) representations or atlases of biomolecules that change in normal aging and in AD. Specifically, this FOA encourages interdisciplinary approaches using emerging mass spectrometry imaging technology to map and understand the distribution, metabolism, and accumulation of small biological molecules, such as lipids, neuropeptides and carbohydrates during the course of aging and AD. Most “omics” and mass spectrometry-related experiments are commonly conducted by using homogenized brain tissues to investigate changes of global gene expression and protein composition. Recent single-cell “omics” approaches are beginning to characterize neural and glial cell types with some spatial and anatomical details, but they are not addressing neurochemical changes and heterogeneity across the entire brain. Therefore, this FOA promotes the development of 3D biomolecular atlases of the human brain in aging and AD. The biomolecular maps could then be integrated with optical imaging technologies and gene transcriptomic profiles of cells in various brain regions to provide comprehensive markers for a detailed brain atlas of both aging and AD brains.

Key Dates:

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date): September 28, 2021
Letter of Intent Due Date(s): September 28, 2021
Application Due Date: October 28, 2021

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Filed Under: Funding Opportunities