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Extramural Update

By Centers for Neurodegeneration Science (CNS)
July 2007

The NIEHS Division of Extramural Research and Training, in conjunction with the National Institute on Aging, recently announced revised dates for the new Centers for Neurodegeneration Science (CNS)( Exit NIEHS grants to conduct integrated programs of research. These centers will support human studies in combination with basic mechanistic research in relevant model systems to understand how environmental factors contribute to the etiology, progression, phenotypic expression, treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases are the result of deterioration of cells of the brain or spinal cord, the continued loss of which leads to progressive impairment. Millions of people worldwide are afflicted with neurodegenerative disorders, and therapies provide limited symptomatic relief, but do not halt the progression of the disease. Studies of mono- and di-zygotic twin pairs demonstrate the importance of non-genetic factors in disease etiology.

The goals of the CNS program are to provide a mechanistic understanding of the role(s) of environmental factors in human neurodegenerative disease; identify and pursue opportunities for translation of this knowledge to the intervention and/or prevention of neurodegenerative disease; establish an interdisciplinary framework that fosters integrative research by neurodegenerative disease researchers and environmental health scientists; support the development of novel and complementary lines of investigation by non-CNS investigators; and promote meaningful collaborations and sharing of data and resources with other Centers.

Each CNS must be focused around a central theme regarding the role of environmental factors in the etiology, phenotypic expression, progression, intervention and/or prevention of a complex human neurodegenerative disease and be comprised of three or more projects which embody a full range of research approaches from basic research to human studies.

The revised dates are as follows:

  • Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 24, 2007
  • Application Receipt Date: September 24, 2007
  • Peer Review Date(s): January-February 2008
  • Council Review Dates: May 2008
  • Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): July 1, 2008
  • Expiration Date: September 25, 2007

Inquiries should be directed to Program Administrator Cindy Lawler, Ph.D., by e-mail( or phone at (919) 316-4671.

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