The new ARPA-H Agency is now accepting pre-proposals for projects that are responsive to their funding priorities (see pages 3–8 of their program announcement). Of particular interest, check out the Health Science Futures focus area, which seeks to develop innovative tools, technologies, and platforms that can be applied to a broad range of diseases. While approaches that are disease-agnostic are encouraged, proposals are welcome that bring radically new insights to address diseases that include, but are not limited to cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular disease, which may serve to establish generalizable paradigms. Proposers are encouraged to address diseases that affect large populations, rare diseases, or diseases for which treatment options are limited. Topics of interest include:
- Novel molecular platform approaches to include the modulation of host systems, delivery to targets with spatial and temporal precision, and mitigation of off-target effects to accelerate interventions that dramatically improve health outcomes
- New approaches to accelerate and routinize mammalian and microbial cellular engineering to enable next generation therapeutic applications, develop multi-scale interventions, and automate hypothesis generation and discovery to expand those applications to disease states in which cellular therapies have not traditionally been employed
- Foundational interventions that target and reverse disease pathogenesis and/or enhance plasticity to address degenerative diseases of the nervous, neuromuscular, skeletal, and other organ systems
- Foundational advances in genetic, cellular, tissue, and organ replacement therapies that enable personalized medical interventions at scale in a manner that is accessible, cost effective, and designed to impact the communities of greatest need
- AI-enabled and empirically validated physiological models that accurately reflect the biological basis of complex diseases, reflect the interface between biological and physical systems, and mimic human response to potential therapeutic or multi-scale interventions from the atomic/molecular to systemic/whole human scales
- Miniaturization of complex hardware to enable broader access and portability such as diagnostic, treatment, imaging, or other devices
Instructions for applying are included in the program announcement. There is a two-stage process. The PI should first send in a three-page pre-application (“abstract”) following instructions found on pages 9–13 of the linked document. This does include a rough budget, such that you will need to work with your grants administrative office to prepare this and complete VERA forms. ARPA-H will then review your proposal and let you know if you are invited to submit a full proposal (described on pages 13–28 of the program announcement document). Pre-applications are being accepted on a continuous basis now through March 2024. There are no budget limits.