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2012 Directed Research Initiative: Advancing Understanding of Infantile Spasms Award
Multiple year award (up to 3 years)
CURE is not currently accepting applications in this category
CURE promotes collaborative research that advances the search for a cure for epilepsy, and addresses
the goal of “no seizures, no side effects.” For this initiative, CURE seeks to fund investigators focused on
finding a cure for infantile spasms. Both basic scientists and clinicians are encouraged to apply.
|2012 FUNDING CYCLE
||Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 4:00pm, ET
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 12:00pm, ET
|Letter of Intent deadline:
||Thursday, June 28, 2012 at 8:00pm ET
|Full applications invited:
||Wednesday, August 15, 2012
|Full application deadline:
||Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 8:00pm, ET
* CURE will hold two 1-hour teleconferences to clarify the goals of this RFA and answer questions.
Interested investigators are requested to RSVP by email to Julie@CUREepilepsy.org. Please specify which date you plan to participate.
|Infantile Spasms Award
|How to Submit Your LOI
Infantile spasms (IS) is a rare childhood epilepsy syndrome that can have profoundly negative long-term
developmental and cognitive consequences. Disease onset is typically between 3-7 months of age, and
many children develop other seizure syndromes as they age. Infantile spasms is characterized by
hypsarrhythmia on the EEG, a developmental feature unique to this syndrome. Importantly, a strong
correlation has been noted between the presence of hypsarrhythmia plus spasms and cognitive and
The most common treatments include hormones (ACTH), steroids (prednisone), or antiepileptic drugs
(especially vigabatrin). Unfortunately, there remains a lack of consensus regarding the best initial
therapeutic approach. Complete control of spasms can lead to improved long-term outcome; however,
currently available treatments are not always effective and are often associated with substantial adverse
CURE issues this directed Request for Applications (RFA) to accelerate the understanding of infantile
spasms and advance a new, disease-modifying therapy into the clinic. This program will fund milestonedriven
proposals for 1-3 years.
Studies appropriate for this RFA include, but are not limited to:
- Studies that will lead to the identification of a biomarker that tracks with, and is predictive of,
improved clinical outcome.
- The development and characterization of animal models of IS that can be utilized in parallel with
existing models in the early evaluation of potential therapeutics for the treatment of IS.
- Studies aimed at elucidating the underlying pathophysiology of IS at the molecular and genetic
- Back translation of proposed and new therapeutic targets identified from clinical investigations
that might guide the development of novel therapies.
- Proof-of-principle preclinical studies that aim to demonstrate disease-modification.
Any proposal utilizing an animal model or proposing to develop a new animal model should discuss:
- The extent to which the proposed model is clinically relevant.
- The benefits that the new model provides over currently available models.
- Whether any observed phenotypic or electrographic features are spontaneous or evoked and if
their age of onset is consistent with the human condition.
- Whether there is evidence of cognitive dysfunction.
- The extent to which the proposed model is sensitive to, or insensitive to, ACTH and/or
CURE will commit up to $5 million over the next 3 years to fund proposals submitted for this initiative.
CURE intends to fund multiple proposals as a part of this initiative. Applicants may request project
periods of 1-3 years for direct costs appropriate and justifiable for the work proposed. Each item and its
cost must be clearly described in the budget. A maximum of $1,000 ($1,500 for international applicants)
per year can be budgeted for travel to scientific meetings. CURE encourages all awardees to attend the
annual American Epilepsy Society meeting. Multi-year support is not automatic for any award and is
contingent upon meeting milestones and progress reports being favorably reviewed.
Applications may be submitted by investigators exploring cutting-edge approaches to biomarker and
model development that will aid in the identification and development of a disease modifying therapy
or cure for IS. Applicants need to be willing to work in a milestone-driven ‘team’ environment.
Applications are welcomed and encouraged from collaborative teams comprised of multiple
investigators. International applicants are welcome. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible to apply as
principal investigators. Researchers who serve on CURE’s Scientific Advisory Council are ineligible to apply
for, or sponsor, a grant for the duration of their term. All materials must be submitted in English.
There are two stages to the CURE review process: Letter of Intent and Full Proposal.
Letter of Intent
All applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). The LOI should provide a brief description of the
research plan that succinctly outlines the hypothesis to be tested, the specific aims, and proposed
milestones that will serve to measure progress. LOIs should specifically address the purpose of this RFA
as outlined above. All LOIs will be subjected to a review process. Scientific reviewers and the CURE
Research Review Board will make recommendations to the CURE Board of Directors regarding which full
proposals to invite. Only a subset of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.
LOIs will only be accepted through the proposalCENTRAL online application system
(https://proposalcentral.altum.com). New users must register and fill out a professional profile before
continuing on to the application process. Hard copies of LOIs will not be accepted.
Applicants will be notified as to whether they have been invited to submit a full proposal. CURE will
work with invited applicants to discuss key issues and feedback received during the LOI review process
to help develop a clear and focused proposal. Full proposals will be accepted through the
proposalCENTRAL online application system.
In consultation with CURE staff, applicants will develop time-dependent milestones to ensure
completion of study objectives. Investigators will be expected to interact with CURE staff and advisors
regularly to discuss the project and progress against milestones. Budgets should be structured and
allocated in accordance with these milestones. Continuation of funding will be contingent upon meeting
One of the goals for this initiative is for all funded laboratories to function as part of a collaborative
team focused on a common goal: finding a cure for infantile spasms. As such, awardees will be
expected to share data and progress with each other through regularly scheduled conference calls.
Additionally, awardees will be expected to attend scheduled assessment meetings. These meetings will
function to report on progress, exchange information with other awardees, explore potential
collaborations, and identify opportunities that would enhance the productivity of all grantees or the
Questions regarding this RFA are welcome. All inquiries should be directed to Julie Milder at
Julie@CUREepilepsy.org or (312) 255-1801.