Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) regarding the Availability of Emergency Competitive Revisions to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements for Tissue Chips Research on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

NCATS is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to highlight the urgent need for research on the COVID-19. NCATS is especially interested in research in the use of microphysiological systems or tissue chips in collecting and examining data on the risks and outcomes for COVID-19 infection, and advance the translation of research findings into diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

This Notice announces the availability of competitive revisions for investigators and institutions funded through:

  • The NIH Microphysiological Systems (MPS) Program; or
  • SBIR/STTR-supported investigators, provided the award involves tissue chips; or
  • Microphysiological systems programs from across NIH.

Coronaviruses are a diverse family of viruses that cause a range of disease in humans and animals, and there are currently no approved coronavirus vaccines or therapeutics. A novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, also known as COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, was identified as the causative agent of an outbreak of viral pneumonia centered around Wuhan, China. Current information regarding confirmed cases is changing daily and can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website ( and through other sources. Transmission characteristics and the associated morbidity and mortality are not completely understood, but there is clear evidence of human-to-human transmission. The virus appears to bind to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in humans, which is highly expressed in the lung alveolar epithelial cells and enterocytes of the small intestine, kidney, vascular endothelium, arterial smooth muscles and heart. Patients diagnosed with this illness have reported symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, myalgias, headache, sore throat, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Patients admitted to the hospital generally have pneumonia and abnormal chest imaging, and complications include acute respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and acute myocardial injury. ARDS appears to be a significant predictor of mortality. Many other aspects of the disease are still poorly understood. Given this, there is an urgent public health need to better understand the COVID-19 to facilitate the identification of diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

Sponsor or Type
May 15, 2020 to January 25, 2022

Subscribe to the UArizona Impact in Action newsletter to receive featured stories and event info to connect you with UArizona's research, innovation, entrepreneurial ventures, and societal impacts.

Subscribe now