Limited Submission Programs - Burroughs Wellcome: Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease

Summary of Opportunity
Burroughs Wellcome: Investigators in Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease
OSP Deadline 10/29/13
Funding Agency Deadline 11/01/13 by 4:00 p.m. EST
Funding or Award Criteria

Program Description: The Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease program provides opportunities for assistant professors to bring multidisciplinary approaches to the study of human infectious diseases. This award provides $500,000 over a period of five years.

The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for accomplished investigators still early in their careers to study what happens at the points where human and microbial systems connect. The program supports research that sheds light on the fundamentals that affect the outcomes of this encounter: how colonization, infection, commensalism and other relationships play out at levels ranging from molecular interactions to systemic ones.

Studies supported by the program may have their roots in pathogen or host biology but the focus of the work should be on the interplay of host and microbe.

The program emphasizes research that opens up unexplored areas.  Research on under-studied infectious diseases, including pathogenic fungi, protozoan and metazoan diseases, and emerging infections is especially of interest. In addition, excellent animal models of human disease, including work done in veterinary research settings, are within the program’s scope. Interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged.

The awards are intended to give recipients the freedom and flexibility to pursue high-risk projects and new avenues of inquiry. Work supported will have the potential to significantly advance the understanding of how microbes and the human system interact, especially in the context of infection. Biochemical, pharmacological, molecular, genetic, immunologic, and other approaches are all appropriate for support by the program. Areas of particular interest include:

  • Cell/Pathogen interactions—studies of host responses at the cell surface, cell signaling in response to infection, microbial persistence in host cells, and other work.
  • Host/Pathogen interactions—studies of how host genetics influences resistance and susceptibility to infection, innate and adaptive immune responses to microbes, pathogen modulation of the immune system, and other work.
  • Novel routes to disease causation—studies of the role of infectious agents in the etiology of chronic, autoimmune, and immunologic diseases, and other work.

Approaches that fit into these frameworks might include the study of host susceptibility to particular pathogens, host resistance to chronic or acute disease, or basic studies of infectious microbes—as long as the work is oriented toward understanding how the organism interacts with the host. Virulence factors, immune mechanisms, and genetic studies in microbes and the host all provide fertile ground for this kind of study. Nominating institutions should note that research on under-funded and under-studied organisms is especially of interest: proposed work in well-funded systems may be viewed as less relevant to the program’s goals.

Applicable Field(s)  
Number of Nominees Allowed

Two (2) candidates per institution*

  • To encourage applications from veterinarians, institutions that nominate a researcher who holds the D.V.M. will be allowed three nominations.
  • Institutions may have a single additional nomination if they nominate a researcher working in pathogenic helminths, mycology, or reproductive science.
  • BWF encourages institutions to nominate underrepresented minorities and women for this program.
  • The institution must submit a statement of nomination for each candidate. In this statement, BWF expects that the institution will tangibly demonstrate its commitment to support each candidate it nominates, including the protection of 75 percent of the grantee’s time for research.
Required Internal Review Documents

Associate Deans or Designates should submit the following materials electronically to by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 1, 2013:

  1. Dean's or ORU Director's Letter of Nomination
  2. Two page maximum lay abstract describing the aims/needs of the proposed research project.
  3. The bio sketch/CV of the UT PIW

Each college may submit one (1) nomination.

Nominee(s) Selected to Advance  
Posting Date 09/16/13