RFA for Support of Core Services

Call for Applications: 2024 Awards Supported by the San Antonio Nathan Shock Center

The San Antonio Nathan Shock Center is soliciting applications to support the research of any investigator who is developing a new project in the basic biology of aging. (This opportunity is not targeted to local investigators in San Antonio; please see other opportunities on the main RD Core page).

Awards will be made beginning September 1, 2024; applicants should contact core leaders as soon as possible in advance of that date. See Procedure for applying for support below.

Applications are accepted from investigators at any US academic institution.

Junior investigators are encouraged to apply. We can consider applications from any investigator who is eligible to receive NIH grants according to the rules of their home institution.

The projects should utilize one or more Cores of the Center. Projects that propose creative uses of more than one Core are encouraged. Center Cores and their capabilities are listed below and at https://nathanshock.barshop.uthscsa.edu

Applications are encouraged from investigators who are currently supported by other Shock Centers or who are currently applying for support from other centers. As the network of centers is a collaborative effort, support by other centers is considered synergistic with support from the San Antonio center.

  • Aging Animal and Functional Assessment Core. Core Leader: Jim Nelson, PhD (nelson@uthscsa.edu); Core Co-Leader: Adam Salmon, PhD (salmona@uthscsa.edu). This Core plays a crucial role in helping investigators establish the effects of aging, and aging interventions, in their animal models. The Core maintains and monitors aging colonies of mouse and rat models (including genetic mutants), provides expertise and ability to administer interventions targeting aging, determines longevity, and distributes these animals to investigators for basic research on aging. The Core also supports projects using other animal models, including long-lived naked mole-rats, damara mole-rats, and nonhuman primates (common marmosets), to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms that modulate the rate of aging. The core provides animals, resources, and expertise to develop and support pilot projects for this RFA.
  • Analytical Pharmacology and Drug Evaluation Core. Core Leader: Brett Ginsburg, PhD (ginsburg@uthscsa.edu); Core Co-Leader: Marisa Lopez-Cruzan, PhD (lopezcruzan@uthscsa.edu). For drug development, contact Daohong Zhou, MD (zhoud@uthscsa.edu).  This Core seeks to facilitate the application of new and existing drugs to aging and age-related disease studies by investigators in San Antonio and nationwide. The core promotes this objective by developing bioanalytical assays for drugs, and offers pharmacologic expertise to optimize the form, dosage, and dosing frequency of drugs. The Core can take a drug that your lab is interested in testing in an aging-related project and develop an assay for the drug in blood and tissues and perform preliminary studies on its availability from food.  Please visit our lab page (https://BPAL.uthscsa.edu) for more details about our capabilities.
  • GeroMetabolism Core. Core Leader: Xianlin Han, PhD (hanx@uthscsa.edu); Core Co-Leader: Elizabeth Fernandez, PhD (fernandeze@uthscsa.edu). The core specializes in lipidomics, contact Xianlin Han, PhD (hanx@uthscsa.edu).  In addition, this Core supports the overall mission of the San Antonio Nathan Shock Center to enable research that aims to expand our understanding of mechanisms of aging and of age-associated disease. The Core provides intellectual and instrumental/technical services to the scientific community on the selection and performance of functional assays in rodents that aim to increase our knowledge about mechanisms that control age-related changes in function at the tissue, organ, and whole-body levels, in the context of normal aging and in relation to age-related diseases. We provide expertise and assistance to investigators with an interest in aging-related questions in the design and execution, as well as data analysis and interpretation on experimental measures. For a list of assays that the Core can perform, please see the core’s web site.
  • Pathology Core. Core Leader: Yuji Ikeno, MD, PhD (ikeno@uthscsa.edu). Age-related pathology increases exponentially with advancing age and is largely responsible for age-related morbidity as well as mortality. This Core provides pathological information to investigators with insight into the potential biological/molecular mechanisms of the intervention under study. The Core can perform routine histological processing and analysis of rodent tissues as well as more specialized immunohistological and histochemical assays. For details, see the core’s web site.

Procedure for applying for support:

  • Applications are collaborative proposals developed by the applicant in conjunction with a core leader. Please view the Core descriptions above and contact the appropriate Core Leader(s) as soon as possible. The Core Leaders are ready to discuss your project with you and develop a tentative timeline and budget for your project. Note that these discussions do not guarantee support. Projects will be selected for support based on their importance for the basic biology of aging and their potential for future grant support.
  • Following discussions with the core leader(s), the developed application should include:
  • A title for your project.
  • One-page hypothesis and specific aims of your project.
  • A tentative budget and timeline. Specifics such as numbers of animals should be determined in conjunction with the Core Leader. Costs should be determined in conjunction with the core leader. There is no predetermined budget for projects, but may be awarded at up to $50,000 of core services.
  • Your NIH Biosketch and the Biosketches of any proposed collaborators.

Costs of the entire project, including purchase of animals and their housing at San Antonio, will be borne by the San Antonio Shock Center. Some parts of the project may be more appropriately performed in the applicant’s lab, in which case it will be expected that the PI will bear the cost of that part of the studies.

Awards will be made beginning September 1, 2024 but may have a later start date as needed by the project.

Send questions to: Peter J. Hornsby, PhD, Research Development Core Leader, San Antonio Nathan Shock Center (hornsby@uthscsa.edu).