News

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT).

Pre-proposal deadline: April 30, 2018 - maximum grant amount has been changed to $40,000.

CAAT’s research grants program (http://caat.jhsph.edu/programs/grants) is a centerpiece of our work, providing initial funding for scientists to develop alternatives to the use of animals in biomedical research and product safety testing. To date, the center has funded some 300 grants (including renewals) for a total of more than $6 million.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is soliciting projects that focus on the implementation of the NAS Report: Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy in the following areas:

  • Proposals Relating to Toxicology: Maximum grant amount is $40,000. The objective should be to significantly reduce or replace laboratory animals. Projects should be developed to provide mechanistic understanding of in vitro responses to toxicants in human cells.  Consideration should be given to the translation of this new method to evaluate/predict health outcomes.
     
  • Proposal Relating to Refinement:  See Science-Based Animal Welfare Awards – funded separately.

Although relatively small individually, these grants offer critical seed money that allows researchers to demonstrate the value of a particular area of study so they can gain support from the NIH and other sources.

We have a stringent, peer-reviewed process for selecting the recipients of these grants. This process consists of sending each application to at least four experts in the field from academic, industrial, and government institutions. These reviewers evaluate the applications with regard to scientific merit, budget appropriateness, suitability to CAAT's mission, and expertise of the investigators. They also assign a priority score based on the scoring system used by the NIH.

At the CAAT annual advisory board meeting, these applications are reviewed by board members. Board members constitute the voting contingent for the grant applications and assign priority scores in a secret ballot format based upon a synopsis of the outside reviews and the board reviewers. The applications are then ranked in order of priority score and those that receive fundable scores are awarded funds based upon availability of money for the fiscal year.

We continue to monitor the long-term progress of the Research Grant Program by requiring our grant recipients to submit copies of publications resulting from the work supported by CAAT grant funds. We maintain a list of publications and an archive of journal reprints.

Thursday, February 15, 2018
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
Thursday, February 08, 2018
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
HHS. National Institutes of Health.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
NIH. Center for Information Technology.

Registration is open for the fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar scheduled for January 23. The webinar topic is “Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation.” NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Sean Ekins, Chief Executive Officer of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

The January 23 webinar will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018
NIH. Center for Information Technology.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics recently added Veterinary Services (VS) Memorandum 800.116 Target Animal Safety Testing Exemption to its website. All VS Memoranda are available at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/veterinary-biologics/biologics-regulations-and-guidance/ct_vb_vs_memos.

VS Memorandum No. 800.116, signed in August 2017, replaces an earlier version issued in July 2013. The memorandum provides guidance to licensed firms on requesting an exemption under title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR), part 113.4, to target animal safety testing as required for testing of live and inactivated vaccines and antibody products. Such exemptions can reduce animal use in facilities that have documented consistency in manufacturing processes and product safety.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017
USDA. APHIS. Animal Care.

USDA Animal Care seeks your input on whether we should recognize inspections (and similar reviews) by third-party programs when determining the frequency of federal inspections for facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act.

We would like your feedback. Beginning on January 18, 2018, we will host four in-person listening sessions and one virtual session. Any interested person may speak. A list of locations and dates for these sessions, along with instructions for registering, are located here. You will also find instructions for submitting written comments.

Our inspectors conduct routine, unannounced inspections of all Animal Welfare Act licensees and registrants. Various factors determine the inspection frequency for each entity – including a facility’s history of adhering to the federal regulations and standards. Some licensees and registrants already use a third-party program to support animal welfare at their facilities. We are interested in learning more about these programs, and hearing our regulated community’s and stakeholders’ views on how we might consider the use of these programs in our administration of the Animal Welfare Act.

“We are always looking for ways to serve our regulated community and direct our resources more effectively,” said Animal Care Deputy Administrator Bernadette Juarez. “Recognizing third-party inspections may be a good way to support compliance at facilities, while allowing us to devote more of our time to helping those licensees and registrants who need it most.”

NIDDK Offers Support for Development of Tissue Chips
Monday, December 18, 2017
NIH. Center for Information Technology.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is establishing a new research consortium "Microphysiological Systems for Modeling Diabetes." This consortium will support the development and validation of human tissue chips that closely mimic the normal physiology of key metabolic tissues, including the pancreatic islet, liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue. An essential feature of this consortium will be a
multidisciplinary approach that brings together basic science experts and physician scientists in stem cell biology, bioengineering, computational
biology, pharmacology, liver biology, islet biology, adipose biology, metabolism and diabetes.

To establish the consortium, NIDDK intends to commit up to $3 million per year for   Fiscal Years 2018 through 2019, and up to $6 million per year for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2022 to fund 2-3 awards. Eligible institutions include U.S.-based higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and government entities.

Letters of intent are due February 20, 2018; applications are due March 20, 2018. Complete funding information is available on the NIH Grants website at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DK-17-035.html. Helpful information about applying for NIH grants is available on the NICEATM
website at https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/whatwestudy/niceatm/resources-for-test-method-developers/funding-opportunities/index.html.

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