Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research

To support research related to Microbiology and Infectious Diseases with the broad aim of improving health by controlling disease caused by infectious or parasitic agents.

Projects range from studies of microbial physiology and antigenic structure to collaborative trials of experimental drugs

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and vaccines.

Also supported are studies on the mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics as well as research dealing with epidemiological observations in hospitalized patients or community populations.

The objectives of the program are to assist public and private nonprofit institutions and individuals to establish, expand and improve biomedical research and research training in infectious diseases and related areas; to assist public, private and commercial institutions to conduct developmental research; to produce and test research materials; and to provide research services as required by the agency for programs in infectious diseases; and to make grants or award contracts to public and nonprofit private entities to expand, remodel, renovate, or alter existing research facilities or construct new facilities.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program expands and improves private sector participation in biomedical research.

The SBIR Program intends to increase and facilitate private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; to increase small business participation in Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program stimulates and fosters scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research and development carried out between small business concerns and research institutions; to foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions; to increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and to foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

Research Career Development Awards support the development of scientists during the formative stages of their careers.

Individual National Research Service Awards (NRSAs) are made directly to approved applicants for research training in specified biomedical shortage areas.

In addition, Institutional National Research Service Awards are made to enable institutions to select and make awards to individuals to receive training under the aegis of their institutional program.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Areas of molecular microbiology include: basic research, biochemistry, physiology, and genetics of bacteria and fungi; the synthesis of new antimicrobial agents through organic chemistry; and the discovery of new antibiotics from natural sources.

Areas of high relevance are: mechanisms of resistance to microbial agents, either of plasmid or chromosomal origin; and the manipulation of recombinant DNA molecules to better ascertain the molecular basis of pathogenicity and to create new substances of biological and medicinal utility.

(2) In the area of bacteriology and mycology, research is conducted on a wide variety of problems involved directly or indirectly with diseases of man caused by bacteria and related agents.

Studies to further the knowledge of the organisms involved include: investigations on the biology and physiology of bacteria; their morphology; and on antigenic structure and composition, toxins and endotoxins.

More specific disease-related research includes studies on pathogenesis, immunopathology, host defense mechanisms, diagnostic procedures, therapeutic measures, animal models and the epidemiology of disease.

Support is also provided for several specific disease program areas such as sexually transmitted diseases, hospital associated infections, and streptococcal diseases and sequelae.

Research is also conducted in the area of mycobacteriology which includes two major diseases: tuberculosis and leprosy.

This program also supports studies or bacterial diarrhea, bacterial vaccines, and antimicrobial agents.

(3) Studies on viruses and diseases of importance to human health are also supported.

Research in general virology encompasses the biology of viruses and the immunopathogenesis of viral diseases.

Studies that will significantly advance the knowledge of viral structure, replication, genetics, immunology, and interaction between virus and host are encouraged, as well as research on mechanisms of viral persistence and latency that underlie problems of chronic and recurring viral diseases and studies of viral pathogenesis and host's responses to viral infections or to vaccines.

Several areas of particular interest include: viral hepatitis, influenza, viral diarrhea, antiviral substances, viral vaccines and Reye's Syndrome.

(4) Research in parasitology includes projects designed to obtain a clearer understanding of host-parasite and vector-parasite relationships, with the ultimate goal of applying this basic information to the control of parasitic diseases through such procedures as chemoprophylaxis, chemotherapy, and vector control.

Research projects cover the entire field of parasitology and medical entomology.

Emphasis has been directed toward studies on the immunology of parasitic infections and the biological regulation of vectors.

(5) Studies are also being conducted on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, and include basic, applied, preclinical and clinical research on HTLV-III/LAV and related retroviruses for eventual control of HTLV-III/LAV infections.

This includes research on the epidemiological, clinical, immunological, and urological aspects of this disease as well as the prevention and treatment of the major opportunistic infections associated with AIDS.


Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories