MMPC Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program (MMMRP)
The NIH/NIDDK Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (MMPC) announces the Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program (MMMRP):

  • competitive grants up to $125,000 (total costs) for one year;
  • support for pilot and feasibility projects that incorporate microbiome research into mouse metabolic phenotyping studies;
  • all studies should demonstrate clear potential to advance the mission of the MMPC (www.mmpc.org);
  • any independent investigator or post-doctoral fellow at a US institution is eligible to apply.
The mission of the MMPC is to advance medical and biological research by providing the scientific community with standardized, high quality metabolic and physiologic phenotyping services for mouse models of diabetes, diabetic complications, obesity and related disorders.


For instructions on how to submit a Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program (MMMRP) Application to the MMPC web portal please see Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program (MMMRP) Application Submission Basic Training (PDF)

Research Objectives
The mission of MMPC’s Mouse Metabolic Research Program is to support the development and application of mouse phenotyping technologies to advance microbiome-related research. A clear rationale for how/why the microbiome, such as gut microbiome, lung microbiome, etc, might be expected to impact metabolic phenotyping endpoints in mice must be provided in each proposal. Although there is no requirement for direct collaboration with an MMPC, expected project outcomes should have the potential to add value to the MMPC program.
An MMPC Microbiome pilot project must be focused on either resource-development research or resource-related research. For example, resource development pilots might provide new tests or technologies that could add to the MMPC test catalog, while resource-related research could inform best practices for MMPC services. Although applicants can propose to utilize the resources and services of any MMPC to conduct their research, pilot funds are not intended to solely replace or reduce fees charged for MMPC services.

MMPC Resource-Development Pilots
Resource development research projects should seek to develop, improve, refine, miniaturize, or transfer mouse phenotyping test technologies to important new questions and applications in microbiome research. Resource-development pilots should ask a biological question, with an emphasis on phenomena that broadly affect mouse models of metabolic research.
Topics of interest for MMPC microbiome resource development pilots include (but are not limited to):

  • Development and validation of moderate to high throughput phenotyping pipelines in mice to measure the impact of microbiome-related products on metabolic endpoints;
  • Metabolic phenotype changes in “standard” mouse strains prompted by introduction of defined cohorts of mouse or human microbiota; role of defined diets in outcomes
  • Development of new mouse microbiome models that can be shared with other investigators;
  • Production of webinars or other educational materials to illustrate how relationships between metabolic phenotypes and microbiota can be measured or studied;
  • Defining parameters affecting rigor and reproducibility in experiments that measure the influence of microbiota on metabolic phenotyping assays and outcomes.

MMPC Resource-Related Research Pilots
Resource-related research projects are intended to investigate biological phenomena or parameters that are broadly applicable to microbiome-related metabolic disease research in mice. These can include the impact of temperature, physical activity, stress, housing conditions, husbandry issues, circadian rhythms, diets and feeding behavior, hormone patterns, growth, surgical models or other processes on metabolic outcomes. MMMRP pilots should be designed to pursue novel biological questions in microbiome research where the information can ultimately be used to enrich or inform MMPC objectives.
Topics of interest for MMPC microbiome resource-related research pilots include (but are not limited to):

  • Defining how success rates and metabolic outcomes of bariatric surgery are influenced by defined microbiota populations or their products;
  • Testing metabolic phenotypes in mice exposed to synthetic human microbiomes engineered to produce increased/regulated concentrations of bioactive payloads, or that are modified to direct specific payloads to defined tissue compartments;
  • Designing and testing the ability of synthetic phages to influence metabolic phenotyping outcomes by altering resident microbiota populations.
For instructions on how to submit an MMMRP Application to the MMPC web portal, please see MMPC Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program Application Submission Basic Training (PDF)

Eligibility
Eligible Project Directors/Principal Investigators: All US academic biomedical researchers who have a doctoral-level position can apply. Post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty are especially encouraged to apply. Applications from post-doctoral fellows must include two letters of recommendation from senior mentors. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.
Eligible Organizations: Public or private institutions in the United States, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories; units of state and local governments; eligible agencies of the Federal government; faith-based or community-based organizations; Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized); Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized); and Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization.

Application
The deadline for MMMRP applications is Monday, September 03, 2018
The application should be on the PHS 398 form. The following sections are required: Face Page (Form Page 1), Summary (Abstract, Form Page 2), Biosketches, Budget (Form Page 4), Research Plan, Checklist.

Research Plan
The Research Plan must contain the following and are limited to 5 pages:
  • Specific Aims
  • Research Strategy, consisting of Significance, Innovation, and Approach
  • Brief but explicit discussion of the value of the research, new technology, training, etc., to the MMPC mission and goals
The application must also include (but is not included in the 5 pages above):
  • Signed letters from any collaborating principal investigators that have not signed the application face page
  • Post-doctoral applicants or others who are not considered independent investigators by their institutions should submit two signed letters of support from mentors or institutional leadership, such as a department chair
  • Literature Cited
  • Vertebrate Animals
  • Applications should be signed by at least one principal investigator and an official representing the submitting institution.
NOTE: Applicants should submit an electronic version of the application via the MMPC website at www.mmpc.org (PDF format only please).

Budget
Applicants may request up to $125,000 total costs (direct + indirect costs) for one year of funding. The project should be distinct from those funded through other support to the applicant. Objectives should be reasonably met within the one year funding period and lead naturally to publication and potential NIH funding. MMMRP proposals can request funds for MMPC services, but this cannot be the primary goal of the proposal or the majority of the budget. A standard budget justification page should be included. The number of awards will depend upon the number, quality, and cost of the applications received and the availability of funds. A second year of funding may be considered, pursuant to sufficient progress on achieving the first year goals, but would only be available through a competitive renewal process.
The MMPC is an NIDDK/NIH-sponsored Research Consortium. However, MMMRP awards will be made as subcontracts from the MMPC Coordinating Unit (CU) at Augusta University, not directly from the NIH.

Review
Each submitted proposal will be assigned for peer review by two or three scientists (from within and outside the MMPCs) with appropriate expertise. Standard NIH criteria will be used to evaluate scientific merit (Investigator(s), Significance, Approach, Innovation, and Environment). In addition, reviewers will be asked to judge whether the time and budget are reasonable, and if the project falls within the mission and has potential to enhance MMPC’s service to the research community. The final funding decisions will be made by the MMPC Steering Committee, which will also decide whether unsuccessful proposals may be revised and resubmitted. Applications for competitive renewal (1 additional year) are appropriate in cases where exemplary progress has been made and further investigation is warranted.

Progress Report
A scientific progress report is due within one month following the end of the one-year project period. If a competitive renewal is sought, the letter of intent and application should be received for the review cycle within two months of the end of the current project funding period. Application for competitive renewal is NOT in lieu of a year-end progress report.

Financial Acknowledgment
Please include the following acknowledgment in all posters, manuscripts or scientific materials that were generated in part or whole using funds from the MMPC MMMRP: 'Financial support for this work was provided by the NIDDK Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Centers (MMPC, www.mmpc.org) under the Mouse Microbiome Metabolic Research Program, grants DK076169 and DK115255.'

Contact Information
Richard McIndoe, Ph.D. (Coordinator)
Coordinating and Bioinformatics Unit
Augusta University
Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine
1120 15th Street, CA4124
Augusta, GA 30912-4810
Phone: 706-721-3542
Fax: 706-721-3688


MMMRP Committee:
John C. (Jack) Rutledge, M.D., Chair
Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine
Co-Vice Chair for Research
Department of Internal Medicine
Richard A. and Nora Eccles Harrison Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research
Internal Medicine Administration
UC Davis Medical Center
4150 V St., Suite 3100
Sacramento, CA 95817
Julio Ayala
Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Vanderbilt University
1211 Medical Center Drive
742 Robinson Research Building
Nashville, TN 37232
Yvonne M. Ulrich-Lai, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
University of Cincinnati School of Medicine
Metabolic Diseases Institute
2170 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45237
Randall Friedline, Ph.D.
Instructor
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Program in Molecular Medicine
381 Plantation Street.
Worcester, MA 01605
Christine Bassis, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109