2013 Extracellular RNA Communication Project Awards
On Aug. 13, 2013, NIH announced that it was funding $17 million for 24 research projects designed to explore and enhance our understanding of a recently discovered cell-to-cell messaging process called extracellular RNA (exRNA) communication.
Of these 24 awards, NCATS is administering 18 projects in response to two NIH request for applications:
- RFA-RM-12-013: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Biomarker Development (UH2/UH3)
- RFA-RM-12-014: Clinical Utility of Extracellular RNA for Therapy Development (UH2/UH3)
Investigators on 10 of the projects are developing biomarkers from exRNA found in body fluids. Researchers could use these biomarkers to diagnose a variety of diseases and conditions and to predict the course of disease in patients. Specifically, they will explore biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease; multiple sclerosis; kidney disease; brain injury; pregnancy complications; heart disease, heart attack and stroke; and liver, stomach and brain cancers.
Researchers on another eight projects are exploring new ways to use exRNA in treatments. Investigators will design exRNA-based therapies for several types of cancer, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, bone marrow disorders and kidney disease.