Research Network to Promote Multidisciplinary Mechanistic and Translational Studies of Sickle Cell Disease Pain (U24, Clinical Trial Optional)

Funding Agency:
National Institutes of Health

The purpose of this FOA is to support a Research Network that promotes multidisciplinary mechanistic and translational studies of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) pain. This network is expected to develop compelling research frameworks and model systems that will support interdisciplinary collaborations; initiate pilot projects to test novel mechanistic hypotheses in the high-priority research areas listed below and develop novel technologies and methodologies to study pain in the organ(s) typically impacted by SCD. To accomplish these objectives, applicants can propose activities such as meetings, workshops, conferences, research collaborations, exchange of ideas through visiting scientist arrangements, or training opportunities. These activities will help identify unique research gaps and opportunities that can be addressed through the network in the form of pilot projects which will in turn generate the preliminary data needed for SCD pain investigators to successfully compete for more substantial NIH grants, including The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® (HEAL) Initiative grant awards. In addition, the network shall sustain its scientific impact through a variety of dissemination and outreach strategies, including publication of research frameworks, reviews, and other best practices to foster the growth and development of research in the following priority areas:

Required priority areas:

  • Developing innovative measures and methods to study pain in individuals affected by SCD or in appropriate model systems
  • Exploring novel mechanistic insights of pain in organ(s) impacted by SCD in appropriate animal models or other model systems through reverse translational studies

Optional priority areas:

  • Developing new technologies for the identification of biomarkers predicting the transition from acute to chronic SCD pain, pain severity, and heterogeneity in different individuals, as well as its response to complementary and integrative health interventions and other therapies in human subjects or animal models.
  • Investigating a Whole Person Health approach to SCD pain and its comorbidities in human subjects or animal models.
  • Developing new methodologies for multimodal interventions for acute and/or chronic SCD pain relief (for example, acupuncture with mindfulness) in human subjects or animal models.
  • Identifying potential therapeutic targets for complementary and integrative health approaches to acute and/or chronic SCD pain in human subjects, animal models

Applications must propose new, high-impact activities to advance at least the first two required areas (minimum) and up to three optional areas (maximum) of these high-priority research areas.


  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s): Sep. 1, 2023

  • Application Due Date: Oct. 1, 2023

RFA-AT-24-001 Expiration Date October 02, 2023

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Key Personnel of the PRISM/Collaboratory Coordinating Center (funded under RFA-AT-19-011 or RFA-AT-22-002) must not be named as key personnel on applications submitted in response to this FOA.



Amount Description

Application budgets are limited to $600,000 in direct costs per year

The scope of the proposed project should determine the project period. The maximum project period is 5 years

Funding Type





Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

October 1, 2023