The NIH Common Fund has awarded more than $54 million in fiscal year 2015 to launch projects in four broad scientific areas: the Glycoscience Program, the 4D Nucleome Program, the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Program and the Science of Behavior Change Program. The Common Fund planning process identifies major challenges that impede progress in research and emerging areas of science that promise to change the way people think about health and disease or the way prevention or treatment is approached. Common Fund programs that emerge are goal-driven, with deliverables expected within a five to 10 year period. The 2015 awards represented first-year funding of a multiyear program.
The Glycoscience Program is addressing the difficulty of studying proteins and lipids that have complex sugars attached, a problem that stymies researchers in virtually every arena of biomedical research. The program is led by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and the awards are administered by several institutes and centers.
The 4D Nucleome Program is leveraging recent technological advances to transform understanding of gene regulation. The awards are being administered by the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK); the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI); and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The Gabriella Miller Kids First Pediatric Research Program will develop a data resource for the pediatric research community of clinical and genetic sequence data that will allow scientists to identify genetic pathways that underlie structural birth defects and childhood cancer. The sequencing center grants are managed by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
The Science of Behavior Change Program aims to implement a mechanism-focused, experimental medicine approach to behavior change research. The network will receive about $7 million to fund a total of nine awards that are being administered by the National Institute on Aging, NIDA, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Development, NHLBI, NIDDK, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and NIDCR.