Collaborative Development Program

2022 Request for Applications

Background

The Behavior of HIV in Viral Environments (B-HIVE) Center is a multi-institute research consortium led by Bruce Torbett (University of Washington) and Stefan Sarafianos (Emory University). The B-HIVE Center integrates the efforts of 31 research groups representing leaders in the field of HIV virology, with emphasis in structural, computational, and biophysical approaches. Our goal is high-resolution characterization of the structural and dynamic relationships among interacting macromolecules in the HIV life cycle.

The B-HIVE Center has been formed to further the understanding of HIV-1 and HIV-1/cellular host factor macromolecular interactions within distinct cellular environments, which shape the HIV replication cycle. With the limited size of HIV’s RNA genome, it is no surprise that many of the same gene products end up performing different functions in different environments at different times during replication. We focus on the structural and biophysical dynamics of HIV-1 capsid (CA) in its many forms with interacting host and viral partners at distinct stages of the viral lifecycle: viral ingress, nuclear trafficking, integration, and packaging and assembly.

Some of the specific features of the HIV life cycle that remain incompletely characterized from a functional and structural vantage point that we wish to address, include: 1) HIV-1 core interactions with host factors and inhibitors from cytoplasm to nucleus; 2) Structural dynamics of HIV-1 nuclear trafficking, integration, and transition to transcription; and 3) The dynamics of HIV-1 packaging and assembly.

The B-HIVE Center is currently seeking collaborators, early stage in their career and/or new to HIV research, to join us in working to characterize and understand the structural and dynamic viral-host interactions of HIV proteins and host factors that affect viral function. We will accept proposals for review from eligible applicants that contribute complementary methods.  Some examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Applications of native mass spectrometry to resolve HIV macromolecular complexes, including, but not limited to, capsid/small molecule, host factor/Gag or Gag-Pol.
  • Structural or virological aspects of host factors relevant to HIV biology.
  • Machine-learning (ML) applications for protein structure prediction at monomer and multimer levels, using approaches such as AlphaFold and RoseTTA-Fold.
  • Chromosome conformation capture methods applied to HIV.

The Application

Interested applicants are required to contact a B-HIVE Center member to discuss and sponsor their application, ideally before beginning the application process. Not all projects are suitable since we don’t want to duplicate existing B-HIVE effortsProspective applicants are encouraged to visit the B-HIVE Center website (http://www.hivecenter.net/team/) for an updated list of currently active members of the Center and their areas of research, contact information, as well as other information relevant to the B-HIVE Center.

A brief summary of the proposed work and how it will contribute to the B-HIVE Center’s research objectives must be included in the B-HIVE Center face page submitted with their application (see application details below).  Investigators at an early stage in their career and/or new to HIV research are strongly encouraged to apply.

Funding: Grants of approximately $108,000 (total costs) will be awarded to 2 investigators for one year.

The deadline for submission of proposals is midnight (EST), September 2, 2022. Successful applicants will be notified during the week of September 19, 2022. Funding should begin on October 10, 2022.

Proposals should be submitted electronically as PDF files to­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ betorbet@uw.edu and karen.kirby@emory.edu

Eligibility: Faculty eligible for NIH funding may apply. Women, minorities, veterans, and disabled persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Required Components (in indicated order below, see attached document for forms and additional instructions; all components must be included in the application):

1. Face Page Form (including collaboration and sponsoring B-HIVE Center member information) — see below

2. Detailed Budget Form — see below

3. Budget Justification using NIH format

4. NIH Biosketch (4-page maximum)

5. Proposal text (4-page maximum total for sections A-D)

  • A. Specific Aim(s)
  • B. Background
  • C. Preliminary Data
  • D. Research Design and Methods
  • E. Timeline and Specific Milestone(s) (Not to exceed 1 page)
  • F. References Cited
  • G. Plan of collaboration with the sponsoring HIVE Center investigator (Not to exceed 1 page)

Questions: Questions about the application and review processes should be directed to Karen Kirby at karen.kirby@emory.edu, Stefan Sarafianos at ssarafi@emory.edu and Bruce Torbett at  betorbet@uw.edu.

Download Face Page and Detailed Budget Forms