Biophysical and Biomechanical Aspects of Embryonic Development (R01)

Biophysical and Biomechanical Aspects of Embryonic Development (R01)
Department of Health and Human ServicesebryoCapture

National Institutes of Health

Research Objectives

Research funded through this FOA will advance our knowledge of the biophysical and biomechanical factors that are critical for various aspects of morphogenesis during normal and abnormal embryonic development. Aberrations in morphogenesis result in a variety of structural birth defects. The purpose of this announcement is to invite applications designed to exploit innovative ideas for studying biophysical and mechanical processes contributing to embryonic development. This includes quantitative measurement of temporal changes in physical and mechanical properties of cells and tissues in living organisms, in relation to changes in their microenvironment.

Applicants should propose hypothesis-driven research in developmental biology. It should be noted that applications submitted to this R01 FOA should have sufficient preliminary data to substantiate the validity of the proposed research and use of new technologies. It is important to note that the goal of this FOA is to promote studies conducted in vivo, as emphasized below.


The term ‘developmental mechanics’ refers to and emphasizes the importance of an orderly sequence of physical, chemical, and physiological mechanisms essential for normal embryonic development (His, 1874). In the past, research on developmental biomechanics was focused on developing theoretical models and using in vitro experimental approaches for model validation. However, it is now well recognized that morphogenesis occurs through interactions between multiple tissue layers, and physical parameters contributing to these processes are not displayed appropriately when studying individual cells in culture. The challenge is to match theoretical models to experimental data and integrate the analyses across time and space so that cellular mechanisms can be linked to tissue-level behavior. Consequently, to better understand the role of the physical and mechanical forces exerted during development, the focus of this FOA is to promote studies aimed at understanding biomechanics of morphogenesis in vivo.

In recent years, there has been considerable progress in understanding the genetic control of morphogenesis. It is evident that regulated gene expression determines the chemical environment of cells and tissues and thereby regulates biophysical processes. In turn, changes in physical forces feed back to regulate gene function and cell fate. Advancing our knowledge of the physical aspects of development will thus provide a broader view on how the genome of multicellular organisms functions in association with physical forces to specify final shape and architecture of an organ and/or an entire organism.

General Information

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: PAR-16-325
Funding Opportunity Title: Biophysical and Biomechanical Aspects of Embryonic Development (R01)
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Health
Income Security and Social Services
Category Explanation:
Expected Number of Awards:
CFDA Number(s): 93.865 — Child Health and Human Development Extramural Research
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
Posted Date: Jun 10, 2016
Last Updated Date: Jun 10, 2016
Original Closing Date for Applications: Sep 19, 2018  
Current Closing Date for Applications: Sep 19, 2018  
Archive Date: Oct 20, 2018
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Award Ceiling: $500,000


Eligible Applicants:
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Private institutions of higher education
State governments
County governments
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
Small businesses
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Special district governments
Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
City or township governments
For profit organizations other than small businesses
Independent school districts
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Additional Information on Eligibility: Other Eligible Applicants include the following: Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions; Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISISs); Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government; Faith-based or Community-based Organizations; Hispanic-serving Institutions; Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized); Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Organizations); Regional Organizations; Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs) ; U.S. Territory or Possession.

Additional Information

Agency Name: National Institutes of Health
Description: This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications from institutions/organizations that propose to advance our knowledge in the area of the physics and mechanics of embryonic development. Applicants should propose hypothesis-driven developmental research with the prospect of gaining new and critical information about tissue mechanics relevant to vertebrate development and understanding the basis for developmental disorders. Investigators are encouraged to explore approaches and concepts new to the area of developmental tissue mechanics, and use newly developed techniques superior to the ones currently used in the field. It should be noted that applications submitted to this R01 FOA should have sufficient preliminary data to substantiate the validity of the proposed research and feasibility of new technologies or tools.
Link to Additional Information:
Contact Information: If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

NIH OER Webmaster FBOWebmaster@OD.NIH.GOV
If you have any problems linking to this funding announcement, please contact the NIH OER Webmaster


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