Microbial-based Cancer Therapy -Bugs as Drugs (R01, R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) solicits grant applications proposing to utilize bacteria, archaebacteria, bacteriophages, or other non-oncolytic viruses and their natural products to study the underlying mechanisms of the complex interactions between microorganisms, tumors, and the immune system, and to explore their clinical potential for cancer imaging, therapeutics or diagnostics. Projects can focus on using microorganisms as anti-tumor agents, as activators of anti-tumor immunity, or as delivery vehicles for treatment, diagnosis, or imaging, complementing or synergizing with existing tools and approaches. This FOA will support basic mechanistic and preclinical studies in cell culture and animal models. Applicants are encouraged to address both the microbial and tumor aspects of microbial tumor interactions relevant to microbial-based cancer therapy (including therapies for oral cancer), tumor imaging, tumor detection, or diagnosis.

This funding opportunity is part of a broader NCI-sponsored research on microbial based cancer therapy.

This FOA runs in parallel with an FOA of identical scientific scope, PAR-22-086, which uses the Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) mechanism.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): 30 days prior to the application due date
  • R01 Due Date(s): Feb. 5, Jun. 5, Oct. 5
  • R21 Due Dates: Feb. 16, Jun. 16, Oct. 16

​PAR-22-085 Expiration Date May 8, 2025




Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 5, 2023