June 24, 2019


Various large-scale research projects on cannabis-use during pregnancy point to a number of potential consequences, including hyperactivity, in children. Exposed infants are more likely than unexposed babies to have low birth weights and to spend time in neonatal intensive care, and troubles can last into adulthood.
At least a third of all federal advisory committees might be terminated by the end of September. Currently there are more than 1,000 committees that report to about 50 agencies, but a recent executive order states that new committees may not be formed if an agency has more than 350 already in place.
New technology uses DNA barcoding to illuminate the spatial organization of genetic material within cells and tissues without specialized optical equipment. It is a novel method for visualizing cells that captures both spatial and genetic information simultaneously from a single specimen.
Scientists previously thought that our perception of where touch occurs stems from a topographical map in the brain. Following this assumption, parts of the body are represented on this map. However, new findings demonstrate that other characteristics of touch are also used to attribute a touch to parts of the body.
Researchers have isolated a cluster of neurons in a mouse’s brain that are crucial to making the squeaky, ultrasonic "songs" that a male mouse produces when courting a potential mate. Scientists now understand these neurons well enough to be able to make a mouse sing on command or to silence it so that it can't sing, even when it wants to impress a mate.
A team of scientists studied how their colleagues recognized the faces of four other colleagues by determining what facial information they used to identify the colleagues from memory. The researchers designed a methodology to try to solve of what defines visual identity.

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Funding Announcements

Information Sharing System for State-Regulated Drug Compounding Activities (U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-FD-19-025). Application due: July 17, 2019.

Limited Competitions for Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study: Linked Research Project Sites (Collaborative U01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-DA-20-002); Data Analysis, Informatics and Resource Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-DA-20-003); Coordinating Center (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-DA-20-004). Application due: July 24, 2019.

Digital Health Technologies to Address the Social Determinants of Health in context of Substance Use Disorders
 (R41/R42 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-DA-20-017); (R43/R44 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-DA-20-018). Application due: July 29, 2019.

Rapid Assessment of Drug Abuse: Smart City Tools. (R41/R42 - Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-DA-20-020); (R43/R44 - Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-DA-20-021). Applications due: August 7, 2019.

The Office of Strategic Coordination invites DP5 applications for NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (RFA-RM-19-008) to support investigators who wish to pursue independent research essentially after completion of their terminal doctoral/research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, thereby forgoing the traditional post-doctoral training period and accelerating their entry into an independent research career. Letter of intent due: August 13, 2019; applications due: September 13, 2019.

The American Psychological Foundation invites applications of its David H. And Beverly A. Barlow Grant to fund Research on Anxiety and Anxiety-Related Disorders conducted by a graduate student or early-career researcher. Application due: September 18, 2019.

NIH invites R01 applications for NIH Director’s Transformative Research Awards (RFA-RM-19-007) to fund individual scientists or groups of scientists proposing groundbreaking, exceptionally innovative, original, and/or unconventional research with the potential to create new scientific paradigms, establish entirely new and improved clinical approaches, or develop transformative technologies. Application due September 20, 2019.

Exploratory Clinical Neuroscience Research on Substance Use Disorders. (R61/R33 Clinical Trial Optional) (PAR-19-282) Application due: October 10, 2019; July 10, 2020; March 10, 2021; October 13, 2021; July 11, 2022; March 10, 2023.

PrEP for HIV Prevention among Substance Using Populations. (R01 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-DA-20-013). Application due: November 8, 2019.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity (USAMRAA) invites applications for Hearing Restoration Research Program’s Focused Program Awards to support promising research that will accelerate drug discovery and therapeutic development for hearing restoration or accelerate advances in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of auditory dysfunction. Application due: November 14, 2019.

The Maryland Catalyst Fund program – formerly known as the Faculty Incentive Program – is the University of Maryland’s internal faculty research support program and a key resource in the university’s overall effort to expand its research activity, visibility and impact. The program aims to enable innovative research, to incentivize the pursuit of large, complex, and high-impact research initiatives, and to increase our competitiveness for extramural research awards.

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