BRAIN Initiative: Pilot resources for brain cell type-specific access and manipulation across vertebrate species (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from the NIH Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is intended to support the development of technologies, production efforts, and dissemination resources for a cell type-specific armamentarium to study brain function across species. The goal is to promote evaluation of molecular or genetic technologies and creation of pilot production and distribution resources for cell type-specific access and manipulation reagents for several vertebrate species, including in human ex vivo tissues or cells. Demonstration projects are sought that would develop reagents that: (1) enable access to molecularly defined neural cell types in a complex brain region or significant brain network of a vertebrate; (2) are easily produced, disseminated, utilized, and stored; and (3) are catalogued for users in a brain atlas. In addition to the above required features, reagents are also sought that exhibit the following qualities: (4) are applicable to both genetically tractable and less tractable vertebrate organisms; (5) exhibit high specificity and efficiency of targeting; (6) show low toxic or perturbative effects; (7) provide flexibility to deliver various reporter, sensor, and effector payloads and are compatible with other methods of access to brain cell types; and (8) are potentially usable in human ex vivo brain tissue or cells. The pilot projects should be scalable in the future. The long-term goal of a potentially scaled-up effort is to achieve near comprehensive, molecular access for monitoring and manipulation reagents in each defined cell type of vertebrate brains relevant to neuroscience research.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date

  • Application Due Date(s): February 11, 2021; October 19, 2021

RFA-MH-20-556 Expiration Date October 20, 2021




Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 19, 2021