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RFA on Genetic Studies of Obesity-Related Traits in Model Organisms (DK-03-018)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date(s): February 18, 2004 and February 17, 2005
Application Receipt Date(s): March 17, 2004 and March 17, 2005

The National Institutes of Health invites investigator-initiated research projects designed to identify and characterize genes influencing obesity-related phenotypes in fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster), soil nematodes (Caenorhabditis elegans), and zebrafish (Danio rerio). Animals bearing alterations in these genes will be indispensable tools for understanding the pathogenesis of obesity and lipodystrophies, for testing therapeutics, and for discovering genes that can be tested in human studies for association with obesity and related co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease.

This RFA encourages investigator-initiated projects using Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans and Danio rerio as model systems to identify and characterize genes influencing obesity-related phenotypes.

Appropriate topics for investigation under this RFA would include but are not limited to:

  • Development and use of inducible fluorescent lipid reporters to identify genes controlling lipid deposition and utilization

  • Development and implementation of mutagenesis-, RNAi-, morpholino-, or other antisense-based screens to study control of eating behavior, level of physical activity, or metabolic rate

  • Development and implementation of sensitized screens for enhancers and suppressors of obesity-related phenotypes

  • Identification of genetic polymorphisms underlying naturally-occurring variation in obesity-related phenotypes

  • Identification of genes that influence atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease

  • Studies to identify genes involved in blood pressure control

  • Elucidation of gene networks contributing to maladaptation of the cardiovascular system

  • Studies to identify genes that effect changes in metabolism with aging

This RFA will use the NIH investigator-initiated Research Project Grant (R01) and the Exploratory/Development Research Grant (R21) award mechanisms. The anticipated award date(s) are September 30, 2004 and September 30, 2005. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. The participating institutes and centers intend to commit approximately $2.0 million dollars in FY2004 and $2.5 million in FY2005 to fund a total of 10 to 12 new grants in response to this RFA.

The full text of the RFA is available at: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DK-03-018.html.