University of Southern California


RFA-AI-19-014: Atopic Dermatitis Research Network Leadership Center (UM1 Clinical Trial Required)

Slots:                                                     One per institution; however, Applicants may submit to both the ADRN-LC (RFA-AI-19-014) and ADRN-CRC (RFA-AI-19-015) funding opportunities.

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        June 7, 2019       

External Deadline:                          July 8, 2019, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Award Information:                        Type:  Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards:  NIAID intends to commit up to $2.8 million in FY 2020 to fund 1 award.

Anticipated Amount: Application budgets are limited to $1.8 million direct costs and need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed projects.  This includes funding for 1) the ADRN-LC, 2) the ADRN network-wide clinical projects including protocol-specific funds for the ADRN-CRCs and 3) $500K for the support of ADRN’s participation in the Systems Biology of Early Atopy Birth Cohort study.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:

Materials to submit:

Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.


The objectives of the ADRN-LC are to provide scientific strategy and organizational support to the ADRN for the conduct of state-of-the-art clinical research in AD. The ADRN-LC will have the overall responsibility for the funding and organization of the network-wide clinical research projects. Under the leadership of the ADRN-LC, the ADRN-CRCs will conduct the network-wide ADRN clinical research projects. Clinical trial/study participants will only be seen at an ADRN-CRC. The ADRN-LC must propose 3 clinical research projects that include at least 1 clinical trial. The proposed projects should include mechanistic research using biologic samples or other materials derived from the ADRN clinical projects. To accomplish mechanistic research objectives, the ADRN-LC may have responsibilities spread between more than one institution.

Objectives and Scope

The ADRN will consist of two distinct entities that will operate as a single network: the ADRN Leadership Center (ADRN-LC) and the ADRN Clinical Research Centers (ADRN-CRCs).

The ADRN aims at further improving our understanding of the defense mechanisms of the skin by focusing on differences in skin structure/function and immune responses between patients with AD and healthy individuals, or disease controls. Specifically, research areas to be pursued by the ADRN-LC investigators may include, but are not limited to:

    • Evaluating the immune and skin barrier impairments leading to cutaneous viral (e.g., Herpes simplex) and bacterial (e.g., S. aureus) infections.
    • Evaluating the role of the skin microbiome in host defense, including the effects of microbiome perturbations on cutaneous immunity, and the effects of targeted biologic treatments on the skin microbiome.
    • Evaluating the role of proteins in both the stratum corneum and the tight junctions, as well as the role of cutaneous lipids in host defense and in the chronic inflammatory aspects of AD.
    • Studying the genetic and epigenetic basis of the cutaneous host defense abnormalities and the chronic inflammatory aspects of AD in children and adults.
    • Comparing immune responses to cutaneous pathogens in AD versus other chronic or inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis or ichthyosis.
    • Developing and validating sample-sparing assays and non-invasive methods to study cutaneous immunity in infancy.
    • Characterizing the cutaneous microbiome in infancy.
    • Designing and conducting clinical trials to prevent or improve AD and its chronic consequences on skin function and defenses in adults or children, as well as on the progression of atopic diseases in children.
    • Designing and conducting observational clinical studies to assess AD phenotypes/endotypes.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.