Progress on Theme 2: Innovative Instruments and Equipment to Accelerate Research Discoveries

Programs and Activities Highlights

  • Instrumentation Grant Programs
    ORIP’s S10 Instrumentation Grant Programs support purchases of state-of-the-art commercially available instruments to enhance research of NIH-funded investigators. In fiscal year 2022, ORIP issued three funding opportunity announcements. These will be open for 3 years, with receipt dates in June each year.

    1. Basic Instrumentation Grant Program (BIG) – The BIG Program funds grant awards in the $25,000 to $250,000 range.
    2. Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (SIG) – The SIG Program funds grant awards in the $50,000 to $600,000 range.
    3. High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (HEI) – The HEI Program funds grant awards in the $600,001 to $2,000,000 range
  • Modern Equipment for Shared-Use Biomedical Research Facilities: Advancing Research-Related Operations
    ORIP’s Division of Construction and Instruments’ new equipment program was launched in fiscal year 2022 under PAR-21-326. Applications for the inaugural round were reviewed in early March 2022. Applications came from a total of 37 states, including 12 Institutional Development Award states (states that historically have had low levels of NIH funding). Applications covered a range of equipment designed to support operational innovations in both animal facilities and core labs, including animal caging, miscellaneous equipment for animal facilities, and support equipment for core laboratories.

  • ORIP Research Instrumentation Awards (S10)
    ORIP S10 shared instrumentation programs awarded 128 scientific instruments to 84 domestic research institutions among 32 states and territories in 2021. Instrument types included biomedical imagers, cell analyzers, high-performance computers, electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, optical microscopes, magnetic resonance spectrometers, radiological/surgical instruments, and sequencers.
  • ORIP Support of the IDeA Program
    ORIP partnered with the National Institute for General Medical Sciences to co-fund 11 S10 research instrument awards to academic and nonprofit research institutions in 8 Institutional Development Award (IDeA)–eligible states in 2021. The types of instruments awarded included cell analyzers, high-performance computers, electron microscopes, mass spectrometers, optical microscopes, and sequencers.
  • New Funding Opportunity for Institutions to Modernize the Functions and Operations of Existing Research Facilities
    ORIP invited qualified academic or research institutions to apply for support to purchase and install advanced equipment to enhance and modernize research-supporting operations of biomedical research facilities (PAR-21-326). Core facilities, animal research facilities, and other similar shared-use facilities at academic and nonprofit research institutions will be supported by this program.

Read more in the archive.

Research Highlights from Investigators Utilizing ORIP-Supported Instrumentation

  • Integrated Analysis of Plasma and Single Immune Cells Uncovers Metabolic Changes in Individuals with COVID-19
    A better understanding of the metabolic alterations in immune cells during infection by SARS-CoV-2 infection may elucidate the wide diversity of clinical symptoms experienced by individuals with COVID-19. Investigators reported metabolic changes associated with the peripheral immune response of individuals with COVID-19. The results revealed a robust interplay between plasma metabolites and cell type–specific metabolic reprogramming networks that were associated with disease severity and could predict survival.

  • IMPDH1 Retinal Variants Control Filament Architecture to Tune Allosteric Regulation
    Purines are essential components of RNA and DNA and play roles in metabolism. Investigators studied a regulatory factor for making purines: inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase 1 (IMPDH1), which plays a unique role in retinal metabolism. Mutation of IMPDH1 causes human blindness. Investigators showed that canonical human IMPDH1 assembles into filaments with different structures depending on its activity state. These results provide insight into regulatory mechanisms for IMPDH1.

  • Immune Correlates Analysis of the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy Clinical Trial
    Investigators determined that antibodies are the correlate of protection in vaccinated individuals enrolled in the Moderna coronavirus efficacy (COVE) Phase 3 clinical trial. Vaccine recipients were assessed for neutralizing and binding antibodies as correlates of risk for COVID-19 disease and as correlates of protection. All markers were inversely associated with COVID-19 risk and directly associated with vaccine efficacy. These results help define immune marker correlates of protection and may guide approval decisions for messenger RNA (mRNA) and other COVID-19 vaccines.

  • Selective G Protein Signaling Driven by Substance P–Neurokinin Receptor Dynamics
    Investigators determined the cryogenic-electron microscopy structures of active neurokinin-1 receptor, a G protein–coupled receptor, bound to neuropeptide substance P (SP) or the G protein q-biased peptide SP6–11. This data unveils the molecular mechanism of how two stimuli (SP and neurokinin A) yield distinct G protein signaling at the same G protein–coupled receptor.

  • Spatial Transcriptomics Using Combinatorial Fluorescence Spectral and Lifetime Encoding, Imaging, and Analysis
    Investigators introduced a spatialomics technology—termed Multi Omic Single-scan Assay with Integrated Combinatorial Analysis (MOSAICA)—that integrated in situ labeling of mRNA and protein markers with combinatorial fluorescence spectral and lifetime encoded probes, spectral and time-resolved fluorescence imaging, and machine learning–based decoding. Investigators demonstrated MOSAICA’s multiplexing scalability, applied this technology for multiplexed analysis, and showed simultaneous co-detection of protein and mRNA in multiple cell and tissue types.

Read more in the archive.

Last updated: 06-09-2022