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Last Updated: 7/7/10

Funding Opportunities

Program Announcement Explores Stress, Disease, and Aging

Few research studies have fully explored the relationship between psychosocial stress, disease, and aging. In July 2009, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute on Aging published the Program Announcement (PA) PA-09-216, “Mechanisms Underlying the Links between Psychosocial Stress, Aging, the Brain and the Body (R01).” This announcement encourages research that evaluates the “mechanisms and processes that link psychosocial stressors to health outcomes in older individuals”. The primary goals of this PA are to investigate the underlying mechanisms of aging and identify potential intervention targets.

NCI participated in this PA to further explore cancer’s relationship to aging. Research is sought that explores “the mechanistic links between psychosocial stress, corresponding biological mediators and signaling pathways, and processes related to tumor progression with subsequent consequences for disease related outcomes”. Both human and animal studies will be supported.

To meet the objectives of this PA, research should be generally focused in the following four areas:

  1. aging and how neural mechanisms respond to psychosocial stress and affect other body systems;
  2. characterizing the behavioral, psychological, and social mechanisms and pathways involved in transducing psychosocial stressors into health outcomes;
  3. how stressors modulate physiological process underlying life-span, immune mechanisms, and metabolism; and
  4. how psychosocial stress contributes to the development or progression of geriatric syndromes, chronic medical conditions, and disabilities in later life.

For more information on this PA, please visit or contact Dr. Paige McDonald at

NIH-Wide Consortium Tackles Pain Through Innovative Funding Opportunities

Research on cancer pain and its management, measurement and mechanisms is the topic of an exciting National Institutes of Health (NIH)-wide Pain Consortium funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Originally released on October 8, 2009, the purpose of the announcement: PA-10-006 titled “Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R01)”, is to stimulate a wide range of basic, clinical, and translational studies on pain as it relates to the missions of the NIH Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH Pain Consortium.

The lead funding agency, National Institute of Nursing Research, along with the National Cancer Institute and several others, seek to help fund research into new advances in every area of pain research from the micro-perspective of molecular sciences to the macro-perspective of behavioral and social sciences.

The NIH Pain Consortium, established in 1996 to enhance pain research and promote collaboration among researchers across NIH, realizes that while great scientific progress in pain research has been accomplished, the understanding and treatment of pain still remains incomplete. The NIH Pain Consortium supports research on all conditions in which pain is a prominent feature, including cancer and bone pain secondary to cancer.

The consortium also encourages research into novel approaches to pain management from the field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Research is encouraged in several broad categories including models of pain, genetics of pain, biobehavioral pain factors, and health disparities. CAM subset special interests within those categories include:

  • Mechanisms and process variables that are responsible for the efficacy of behavioral and CAM interventions for pain. This research includes studies to better understand the effect of patients' expectations and beliefs, psychophysiological states (e.g., anxiety, relaxation, stress), adherence, and specific cognitive (e.g., imagery) and sociocultural (e.g., support systems) components in behavioral and CAM interventions to treat pain.
  • Interaction of biological markers; central nervous system mechanisms; and drug, behavioral, and CAM interventions.

Refer to the announcement for further guidelines on research and eligibility criteria at Interested researchers are encouraged to contact agency contacts according to inquiry type prior to submission. OCCAM also welcomes questions regarding funding opportunities. Please contact Extramural Research Program Director Dr. Isis Mikhail at

Researchers should also take note of new NIH grant submission guidelines available at the following Web site:

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