ABOUT THE DIABETIC COMPLICATIONS CONSORTIUM (DiaComp):
The goal of the NIDDK-sponsored Diabetic Complications Consortium (DiaComp) is to advance the study of diabetic complications and promote communication
and collaboration between investigators involved in complications research by supporting scientific meetings and funding new research activities.
DiaComp Pilot and Feasibility Program
This program solicits and funds small Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) projects in high-impact areas of diabetic complications research that fall
within the primary mission of the NIDDK (please see the
NIDDK website for full details). NIDDK complications include diabetic nephropathy, uropathy, neuropathy, neurocognition, gastrointestinal, liver, bone, and wound
healing. Applications focused on all other diabetic complications (including diabetic retinopathy and cardiovascular disease) do NOT fall within the primary mission of
the NIDDK and will be deemed non-responsive. If an application proposes to study multiple diabetic complications, a majority of the proposal must address an NIDDK
complication of primary interest.
This program aims to support discovery (hypothesis generating) and innovative (high-risk/high-reward) research that will advance our understanding of diabetic
complications and that are increasingly difficult to support through standard NIH mechanisms. Basic, translational and clinical research proposals are
encouraged. When appropriate, the use of human samples is strongly encouraged. Research involving human subjects is limited to observational studies with
non-invasive or minimally invasive testing and must have IRB approval that includes the collection and use of human samples for research purposes. Clinical trials,
as defined by the NIH, are beyond the scope of this program. For further details and resources to help clarify the NIH definition, please consult information
posted at the NIH Clinical Trials website (
https://grants.nih.gov/policy/clinical-trials/definition.htm ). Diabetic complications manifest themselves differently between men and women. Understanding
the molecular underpinnings of these manifestations is critical to designing tailored therapeutic approaches.
Awards are expected to prepare the applicant(s) to submit a future investigator-initiated project (e.g. NIH R01). Lower priority will be given to applicants
who have received DiaComp support in the past three years. Foreign applications are NOT allowed.
Applications of 5 pages
requesting up to $100,000 for one year
are due June 10, 2019.
Current areas of emphasis include, but are not limited to:
- Human Tissue Interrogation
Develop and use innovative technologies to analyze human tissue from end organs of diabetic complications to better understand (patho)physiology and (dys)function.
- Bioengineered Models
Recent advances in engineering, developmental biology, and genome editing have stimulated development of “tissue chip” and “organoid” models of
numerous tissue compartments and disease states. The 3D cell culture in vitro models generated using human cells and physiologic conditions
(e.g. flow) have the potential to more accurately recapitulate human phenotypes.
- Repair and Regeneration
Devise strategies to stimulate repair/regeneration and restore function in end organs affected by diabetic complications.
The pathogenesis of diabetic complications is metabolically and genetically complex and involves multiple organ systems. Model organisms are well suited for
studying pathophysiology driven or impacted by tissue- and organ-crosstalk. The transparency of C. elegans and zebrafish
larvae permits the facile monitoring of cell-based biosensors designed to measure inter- and intra-cellular processes in free living organisms. With the advent
of improved genome-editing technologies and large-scale efforts to develop biosensors (e.g. ER stress, oxidative stress, autophagy, glucose levels, hormone levels,
albuminuria, etc.), the time is right for researchers to develop novel tools and adapt existing approaches to advance our understanding of the mechanisms
underlying diabetic complications.
Each proposal should indicate how these next generation tools, lines and protocols will be broadly shared.
- Pre-clinical Testing
There is a compelling need to translate novel, scientifically meritorious therapeutic interventions for diabetic complications.
Budget requests should be commensurate with project needs over a one year project period. While average DiaComp P&F awards are $60,000 Total Costs for one year, well
justified requests for support of up to $100,000 Total Costs per year will be considered.
When appropriate, the use of human samples is strongly encouraged, including the linking of human samples to existing tissue repositories and databases (e.g. the
NIDDK repository [www.niddkrepository.org/home/
] or dkNET [http://www.dknet.org/
]). Research involving human subjects is limited to observational studies with non-invasive or minimally invasive testing and
must have IRB approval that includes the collection and use of human samples for research purposes. Interventional clinical trials are beyond the scope of this program.
Streptozotocin (STZ) is used by DiaComp members to induce diabetes in a number of the animal models developed by the consortium. STZ is toxic to the insulin-producing
beta cells of the pancreas and used to induce diabetes similar to a type I diabetic patient. Some reports suggest cellular toxicity outside of the pancreas. STZ also
exhibits broad spectrum antibacterial properties and may alter the gut microbiota. Applicants to DiaComp are reminded to justify their choice of approaches and models of
diabetes, including the STZ model, to ensure that appropriate controls are included in all studies and to consider use of complementary approaches. Reviewers are asked to
accept use of appropriately justified STZ-diabetes models with appropriate controls unless they can provide direct evidence that the model is inappropriate for the
Applications are due June 10, 2019
for October start dates.
For instructions on how to submit a Pilot & Feasibility Funding Program Application to the DiaComp
web portal please click the following link:
Funding Program Application Submission Basic Training (PDF)