University of Southern California


RFA-AI-19-073: Childhood Asthma in Urban Settings -Clinical Research Centers (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)

Slots:                                                     1. Applicants may submit to both the CAUSE-CRC (RFA-AI-19-073) and the CAUSE-LC (RFA-AI-19-074) funding opportunities. However, different clinical projects must be proposed in each of the two applications.

Internal Deadline:                           Contact Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        May 19, 2020

External Deadline:                       July 6, 2020

Award Information:                        Type: Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: 6-7

Anticipated Amount: $3.0 million in FY 2021 to fund 6-7 awards.

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:                    Standard NIH eligibility requirements.


The CAUSE-CRCs will conduct both network-wide and site-specific clinical studies and trials with the ultimate goal of developing effective asthma treatment or prevention approaches applicable to children residing in low-income urban settings. For network-wide clinical research projects and other network functions, the CAUSE-CRCs will work closely with the CAUSE Leadership Center (CAUSE-LC).

The CAUSE Clinical Research Network will conduct observational studies and clinical trials to further improve our understanding of asthma and to develop effective interventions and asthma prevention approaches tailored to children of low-income families living in urban communities.

Research supported by this FOA will involve a) children of families living in census tracts within US Office of Management and Budget-defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) where ≥10% of families have income below the poverty level and b) children of families who have publicly-funded health insurance, but live in MSA census tracts where <10% of families have income below the poverty level.

Specifically, research areas to be pursued in center-specific projects by the CAUSE-CRC investigators may include, but are not limited to:

    • Mechanisms of immune tolerance to allergens
    • Understanding the role of early environmental exposures in the pathogenesis of asthma
    • The role of the respiratory epithelium in asthma
    • Investigations into the pathogenesis and mechanisms of non-atopic asthma
    • Development or early-stage evaluation of allergen immunotherapy or other immunomodulatory modalities to mitigate and/or prevent the effects of relevant allergens on asthma

Other areas of interest include studies that fall under the general objective of elucidating the pathogenesis of asthma or improving the management of asthma in children living in low-income, urban communities and focus on the immune system.

The CAUSE-CRCs will implement network-wide, multi-site research projects under the direction of the CAUSE-LC. In addition, the CAUSE-CRCs will conduct 1-2 small, center-specific, single-site projects. These projects can be pilot, non-therapeutic clinical trials or observational studies, clinical mechanistic studies, or laboratory studies utilizing new or existing human biosamples, and should involve junior faculty investigators in key roles. These projects need to address mechanisms of disease or the management of asthma in children living in low-income urban communities.

The CAUSE-CRCs will contribute to the overall CAUSE strategic goals by participating in the CAUSE Steering Committee and other network functions.

Note: It is anticipated that at least three network-wide CAUSE clinical projects will be implemented during the course of the awards. At least one project will be a clinical trial, while the other projects may be either clinical trials or observational clinical studies. The clinical projects to be implemented will be chosen by the CAUSE-LC PD(s)/PI(s) from projects proposed by the CAUSE-LC or by the CAUSE Steering Committee based on recent scientific advances.

Applications proposing the following topics will be deemed non-responsive and will not be reviewed.

    • Animal Research
    • Research on HIV/AIDS
    • Phase III, IV or V clinical trials
    • Clinical studies or clinical trials performed at a foreign site
    • Studies using only transformed human cell lines

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