New NIH awards to research how nerves manage organ function
The goal of the research is to discover new approaches for treating various conditions like diabetes, asthma and nausea. This year’s awards go to a variety of projects that will address current knowledge gaps as well as technology limitations.
Other projects also look at a range of organ systems, such as lung, heart, colon, stomach, intestine, adipose tissue, pancreas, bladder and spleen health.
The funds went to 27 multidisciplinary research teams within the Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) program. The program intends to support awards up to approximately $238 million through fiscal year 2021, depending on the quantity of funds available.
“SPARC fosters synergistic, multidisciplinary collaborations to advance this rapidly developing research area with high potential to enable new and improved treatments,” Dr. James Anderson, director of the NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, which oversees the NIH Common Fund, said. “The insights gained from these cutting-edge, collaborative projects will accelerate development of methods and devices to treat diseases for which conventional therapies fall short.”
It is important to support research for innovative treatments and results.
“The SPARC program invests in high-risk, goal-driven projects to discover the underlying mechanisms and pathways by which the peripheral nervous system controls internal organ function,” SPARC Program Manager Dr. Gene Civillico said. “This is achieved through a unique program management structure that allows SPARC to swiftly adopt new breakthroughs and emerging technologies, and nimbly incorporate ideas and expertise. These awards have the potential to catalyze next-generation neuromodulation therapies that could bring improved specificity for patients over both drug therapies and previous-generation devices.”
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