This Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) announces NIH support for the professional development of early career scientists aiming to establish a career in DS-related research. By providing these scientists with career development research experiences , resources, and mentorship, the NIH intends to foster a pipeline of investigators in DS and other intellectual disabilities who will lead future research to improve the understanding of the biology of DS and support development of new treatments for health conditions experienced by those with DS.
The INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) Project was developed in response to Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019 Omnibus Appropriations Reports, which encouraged the NIH to expand its current efforts on Down syndrome (DS) and common co-occurring conditions also seen in the general population while increasing the pipeline of DS investigators. Information about projects that were funded in 2018 and 2019, as well as the INCLUDE Project Research Plan, is available on the INCLUDE Project website.
Individuals with DS face significant and changing health challenges but have often been excluded from participation in research that could improve their health outcomes and quality of life. This population is understudied even though DS is the most common genetic cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and, in the past 25 years, the average lifespan has doubled from 30 to 60 years. In addition to intellectual disability, DS is associated with an increased prevalence of autism and epilepsy. About 75% of individuals with DS experience cognitive decline in a syndrome that resembles Alzheimer’s disease, but with onset a decade or two earlier than typical Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals with DS also have high rates of hearing loss, eye abnormalities, congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, pulmonary hypertension, gastrointestinal malformations, thyroid disease, leukemia, and other autoimmune or immune dysregulation disorders including celiac disease. However, people with DS infrequently develop solid tumors such as breast or prostate cancer. Despite multiple risk factors for coronary artery disease and high rates of obesity, sleep apnea, and type 1 diabetes, people with DS rarely develop atherosclerosis or have myocardial infarctions. Understanding this unique combination of risk and resiliencies will inform medical advances for individuals with DS and for individuals who do not have DS but who share these co-occurring conditions.
The NIH is issuing this NOSI to expand the community of investigators conducting research related to DS by encouraging CTSAs to recruit scientists and physicians early in their research careers to develop research projects related to co-occurring conditions associated with DS. This NOSI will support additional scholar slots to those KL2 grants currently approved under the CTSA Program. Sharing of resources and effective communication of outputs to the broader communities are a high priority of the INCLUDE Project. Applicants responding to this NOSI are strongly encouraged to describe plans for rapid sharing of data and results as well as innovative data analytics approaches (see Goal 3, NIH Strategic Plan For Data Science).
Applications in response to this NOSI for this initiative must be submitted to PA-18-591 - Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp Clinical Trial Optional) or its subsequent reissued equivalent.
If interested in this opportunity, Duke investigators should contact:
Cinthia E. Sanchez, Ph.D. (firstname.lastname@example.org), CTSA Program Director, Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
- Application Due Date(s) - November 2, 2020, November 1, 2021, and November 1, 2022 by 5:00 PM local time of the applicant organization.
- Only existing awardees of KL2 active awards are eligible to apply. The supplement must comply with all of the parent FOA requirements of the KL2 program.