Grants for clinical and translational research projects. Pilot Funding

Systems Immunology Pilot Project Grants

At a glance
Sponsoring Program
  • NIAID U19 Grant
Funding level
  • Up to $75,000, direct costs, for one year
  • See below and FAQ for details.
  • Please contact Sara Stone (Email, 617-432-2032) with questions.
Application Due
  • 5:00pm on May 17, 2019
The application process is closed.
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The overarching goal of the Systems Immunology U19 Program (PIs: Arlene Sharpe and Jon Kagan) is to use forward genetic screens in mice to advance our understanding of innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens. This program is driven by our recent development of a CRISPR-Cas9 based system that enables forward genetic screens in mouse immune cells in vivo or in vitro. This platform is coupled with systems-level analysis of single-cell gene expression profiles to identify new genes, pathways, and mechanisms that control innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infection and vaccine adjuvants. We will use single-cell RNA-seq and computational modeling to nominate candidates to perturb functionally in genetic screens. These studies will be complemented by comprehensive analysis of novel candidate regulators in mouse infection models and human cells.

The primary purpose of this request for pilot projects is to develop new technologies that could enhance forward genetic screens in primary mouse or human immune cells to identify novel regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses to acute infection.

Pilot project focus areas:

  • Develop inducible CRISPR systems
  • Optimize hematopoietic stem cell expansion
  • Explore alternative gene editing and regulation technologies
  • Improve efficiency of PerturbSeq

Key Dates

Application Opens: April 1, 2019
Application Due: May 17, 2019
Funding Decisions Announced: June, 2019
Anticipated Funding Start Date: August 1, 2019


Faculty who hold an appointment at Harvard University as an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor, irrespective of type of degree or institutional affiliation. Faculty members at MIT who holds an appointment as an assistant professor, associate professor, or professor. Lecturers, instructors, and research scientists/associates are also eligible. Early career investigators are particularly encouraged to apply. See FAQs for more information about eligibility.