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Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research Target Validation Program
Fall 2014 Review Cycle
Informational Conference Call*: March 26, 2014 at 12pm US ET
Pre-proposals Due: May 28, 2014 – 6pm US ET
Full Proposal Invitations: June 18, 2014
Full Proposals Due (by invite only): August 6, 2014 – 6pm US ET
Anticipated Award Announcement: October 2014
Anticipated Funding: November 2014
*MJFF will hold a 45-minute conference call on the dates and times listed above to clarify and explain the goals of this funding initiative and answer applicant questions. To participate in the call and receive call-in details, please RSVP via email to email@example.com.
The Target Validation program supports work to determine whether manipulation of a defined biological target provides a disease-relevant beneficial outcome in a whole animal, mammalian model of PD. MJFF does not have any pre-conceived preferences for particular targets submitted to the Target Validation program. However, we recommend applicants consider the following:
The target should be clearly defined, such as:
A specific gene
A structural/functional feature of a protein (e.g., its enzymatic activity, protein conformation or ability to interact with other proteins)
Proposals seeking to manipulate global pathways without a clear target are not encouraged
Applicants may propose a variety of methods to manipulate a target, including but not limited to:
Use of pharmacological tools
Supporting data/explanation of the proposed pharmacological tool must be addressed in the body of the proposal.
Parameters that should be discussed include:
Selectivity for the target of interest
Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic measures that have been/will be assessed
Measures of target engagement
Use of biologic strategies such as:
Viral vector-mediated gene delivery, etc.
In Vivo Models
Applicants may also propose use of models appropriate for the target proposed including:
Previously established genetically engineered animal models including:
Knockout models where the target/gene of interest is deleted
Transgenic models whereby the target/gene of interest is over-expressed
Investigators should proposed to examine PD-relevant features or sensitivity to PD-associated factors during the course of their studies
Proposals may include intermediate tests using in vitro, ex vivo and/or model organisms (e.g., Drosophila, C. elegans) to optimize the ideal target manipulation strategy
These proposals must ultimately include within the grant funding period an evaluation of the target manipulation in a whole-animal mammalian model of PD
Note: The following types of proposals are not appropriate for the Target Validation program:
Proposals focused on new target identification and proposals testing cellular transplantation approaches.
Proposals seeking to generate new genetic (knockin, knockout, transgenic) models
Investigators seeking guidance to develop new models around their target are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants seeking support for therapeutic development should submit to the Therapeutic Pipeline Program or contact MJFF research staff for guidance.
MJFF will commit up to $10 million to the Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research with the intention to support multiple awards. The Target Validation program supports two-year grants up to $250,000 total costs inclusive of both direct and indirect costs. The total annual direct costs cannot exceed $100,000. No more than 25% (Academic institutions) or 10% (for-profit organizations) of the direct costs may go to indirect costs.
Applications may be submitted by:
U.S. and non-U.S. biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies or other for-profit entities, either publicly or privately held,
U.S. and non-U.S. entities, public and private non-profit entities, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of state and local governments, and eligible agencies of the federal government.
Post-doctoral fellows are NOT eligible to apply as Principal Investigators to the Target Validation program.