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George M. O’Brien Urology Research Center: Pilot & Feasibilty Studies
March 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 27

The NIDDK-sponsored George M. O’Brien Urology Research Center in the Division of Urology, Department of Surgery at Penn has funding for two Pilot & Feasibility (P&F) projects. The George M. O’Brien Urology Research Center is an inter-institutional, multidisciplinary program that focuses its research on the molecular mechanisms underlying smooth muscle dysfunction in partial urinary bladder outlet obstruction (PBOO). The Pilot & Feasibility grants are open to investigators from Penn and other medical schools in the Philadelphia area.

Grants are available for investigators interested in directing their research to urinary bladder function and dysfunction. The scope of the research is broadly defined, including applications that address a wide range of topics in urology and the pathogenesis of urologic diseases. Investigators working in the area of smooth muscle biology, signal transduction, ion channel proteins, calcium regulation or epithelial cell biology are encouraged to spend a minimum of 10% effort to study the lower urinary tract and male genital system. The support through the P&F grant is expected to generate sufficient background and preliminary data to submit an independent research grant.

Awards for $50-60k per year will be granted based on scientific merit. These P&F grants are awarded for one (1) year and are eligible for one additional year based on competitive review.  The initial award period is 9/1/07 to 8/31/08. The present research projects in the George M. O’Brien Urology Research Center at Penn are listed on the website (www.uphs.upenn.edu/urolab/Index.html).

In the spirit of pilot funding, support is intended for junior investigators who are establishing their independent research careers or senior investigators intending to perform research in the lower urinary tract and male genital system that they have not previously pursued. The final grant proposal should have no more than five (5) pages (to include all figures and references). The application should be approved by the applicant’s department chair.

A letter of intent including biosketch in the NIH-format, other support, and letters of collaboration (if appropriate), a title, and a one page summary of the proposed research should be e-mailed to Dr. Samuel K. Chacko. Principal Investigators need to devote at least 10% effort to the project and equipment is not an allowable expense. Photomicrographs and manuscripts may be submitted in a separate appendix.

Letter of intent deadline is Monday, April 20, 2007 via e-mail to chackosk@mail.med.upenn.edu. Application deadline is Monday, May 20, 2007; possible funding start date is September 1, 2008.

All application materials will need to be submitted electronically. Specific instructions will be issued upon receipt of letter of intent. Please direct all questions to:  Dr. Samuel K. Chacko, professor of pathology & director of basic urology, The Glenolden Laboratory, 500 South Ridgeway Ave., Glenolden, PA 19036-2307, telephone (267) 350-9601; e-mail: chackosk@mail.med.upenn.edu.

Almanac - March 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 27