Events

 

COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease

Call for Applications

2023-2024 CBHD COBRE Institutional Pilot Award

The goal of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD COBRE) Institutional Pilot Award Program is to identify and support activities of talented junior investigators working on human disease-related questions that require computational analyses of complex data sets. Awardees will gain access to the Computational Biology Core (CBC) of staff data scientists who will assist with data analyses. In addition, awardees may be considered for recruitment to a Project Leader position in the CBHD COBRE program.

Eligibility

Applicants for this Pilot Program must hold a faculty appointment (or equivalent) at Brown University or its affiliated hospitals, and propose work that is consistent with the goals of the CBHD COBRE. At the time the application is submitted, the applicant's home institution must demonstrate, in a letter(s) from the Dean, the Provost, or equivalent senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support a multi-year faculty appointment for the proposed Pilot Project Leader independent of the outcome of this grant application. Examples of strong institutional commitment include a start-up package provided by the institution and/or independent research space within the institution. Priority will be given to junior faculty applicants. Established investigators of any faculty rank may apply if they are making significant changes to their career goals and are proposing new lines of research that are significantly different from their current investigative program. 

Amount and Duration of Award

We expect to fund at least two 1-year projects for $50,000 Direct Costs each. Indirect costs and faculty salaries are not allowed. Pilot Project PI's are expected to devote effort however funds may not be used for PI salary.  Institutional support of PI effort must be documented in a letter of support signed by the appropriate institutional official who is responsible for salary oversight. Competitive proposals might include requests for funding to generate new omics-level data sets that would require computational analysis with the help of the CBHD COBRE Computational Biology Core. Alternatively, requests for partial support for a computational biology postdoctoral fellow to join a PI’s research group would be responsive to this request for applications.  This award is expected to be given from 08/01/23 – 07/31/24 with a possibility of a no cost extension (NCE) through 01/01/25.  A NCE is not guaranteed.

Timeline

Applications must be completed using UFunds and are due by 8:00 a.m. on Monday, May 1, 2023

Internal Advisory Committee Review Due Date:  May 15, 2023

External Advisory Committee Review Due Date: June 1, 2023

Estimated Application Award Date: August 1, 2023

Application Process

Applications must be completed using UFunds and should follow an abbreviated NIH format with minor modifications. Click here for PHS 398 forms and instructions. Read and follow Instructions carefully.

  1. NIH face page (PHS 398 face page)
  2. NIH Project Summary Page (PHS 398 Form Page 2)
  3. Research Strategy – Limited to 5 pages including Specific Aims and Research Strategy.
  • Specific Aims – Describe the scientific context and project goals for the 12-month pilot project (½ page).
  • Significance:  Overall significance of the project, including relevance to goals of the CBHD COBRE, and plans for use of data from the pilot award for subsequent independent funding.
  • Innovation:  Include both conceptual and technical innovation.
  • Approach:  Preliminary data (if applicable) and research plan including expected results and alternative approaches. 
  • References: Not included in 5 page limit

 

IRB and IACUC approvals (if applicable) must be initiated at the time of application and in place before funding begins.

  1. PHS 398 Human Subjects and Clinical Trials information Form (Click here for form and here for instructions)
    1. IRB approval
    2. Human subjects education certification
  2. Vertebrate Animals per PHS 398 Instructions (if applicable)
    1. IACUC approval
    2. Vertebrate Animal Section
  3. NIH Biographical Sketch of PI
  4. Updated Other Support of PI
  5. Detailed Budget with Justification using PHS 398 form pages 4 & 5.
    1. Indirect costs are not allowed
    2. Costs of equipment >$5,000 and renovations are not permitted.
    3. Faculty salary is not allowed.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Criteria for Selection

Funding will be determined based on review by the CBHD COBRE Internal and External Advisory Committees.
​The final selection will be made based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit of the work
  • Potential for the award to provide a basis for further research support from external sponsors
  • Potential impact of the research on human disease
  • Use of computational biology methods for data analysis
  • Likelihood that the proposed work will be completed during the award period
  • Strength of the potential investigator to become a leading independent researcher
  • Factors that increase the inclusion of underrepresented groups

Expectations

Awardees will be expected to present a seminar describing their project and results as part of the CBHD COBRE Seminar Series.  They will also be expected to attend the CBHD COBRE and CCMB seminar series. In addition, they are required to provide quarterly reports as requested, as well as a final progress report within 60 days of the end of the approved award period. The report should outline the work that was accomplished and describe the proposal(s) submitted to external sponsor(s) as a result of this award. The report should also describe any significant deviations from or extensions to the project described in the original proposal. Investigators will be contacted thereafter for brief annual updates on grants and publications resulting from funding under this program.

Successful awardees will not be able to be funded by another COBRE, INBRE, CTR, or other IDeA grant funding while this Pilot Award is active.  However, Pilot awardees are certainly eligible to apply for a full Project Leader position in the CBHD COBRE when such openings are announced.

Contact

Address inquiries regarding CBHD COBRE Institutional Pilot Awards to [email protected].

 

 

Calendar

  • Rumi Chunara, Ph.D.,
    Associate Professor of Biostatistics
    Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Tandon
    Director of Center for Health Data Science
    NYU School of Global Public Health

    Talk Title: A Multi-level Perspective For Navigating The Intersection of Data and Health Disparities
    Abstract:
    The science of health disparities illustrates the social, cultural, economic, and other factors at individual, community, organizational, and policy levels that drive health and quality of life. When attempting to quantify these complex concepts through data and statistical analyses, we encounter both promising opportunities to enrich our theoretical frameworks and significant challenges that can exacerbate disparities. In this talk we will illustrate three such areas situated at the nexus of data and health disparities through a multi-level perspective. First, we will investigate the consequences of disparate missingness on causal effect estimation through model transport. Second, we will explore the utility of including data to represent multi-level factors in disease risk prediction. Third, we will discuss the use of machine learning methods for creation of data and measures designed to represent multi-level factors while mitigating algorithmic fairness concerns. Overall, by leveraging a multi-level framework, this talk aims to inspire approaches to quantitative studies that are grounded in and incorporate theoretical and qualitative knowledge.

    Lunch will be provided. *

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Research
  •  

    Weak Genetic Draft and the Lewontin’s Paradox

    Neutral theory assumes that in a population of size N, diversity results from an equilibrium between new mutations arising at rate μ and genetic drift that purge them at rate 1/N, predicting an equilibrium value proportional to Nμ. The difference between this expectation and the much lower observed molecular diversity is known as the Lewontin’s paradox of variation. Here, we investigate the effect of genetic draft, a regime of evolution where recurrent sparse selective sweeps entirely drive the diversity of surrounding loci. More specifically, we focus on the neglected distant effect of selective sweeps on remote neutral loci, where the effect of a single sweep is almost negligible. We derived novel mathematical approximations of this underexplored regime and show that under weak genetic draft, diversity at neutral loci is a power law of the population size: Ne = C. N^, for A < 0.5, where A is the ratio between recombination rate and coefficient of selection (A = c/s). Interestingly the Site Frequency Spectrum at neutral loci is identical to the one produced by genetic drift, as the underlying coalescent tree is an n-Kingman coalescent. In brief, weak genetic draft produces patterns of diversity that look entirely neutral, while being drastically reduced in magnitude. Ultimately, our study points to the need to explore evolutionary models for which diversity looks neutral but does not scale linearly with population size.

    Bio: Dr. Achaz is a professor at Université Paris-Cité, co-head of research group Stochastic Models for the Inference of Life Evolution (SMILE) at the Collège de France, director of the CNRS network Interdisciplinary Approach to Molecular Evolution (AIEM), and a lecturer in population genetics at Ecole Normale Supérieure.

    Hosted by Daniel Weinreich, CCMB Director and Royce Professor of Teaching Excellence in Biology. 

    Light refreshments will be provided.

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health
  • Portrait of Xu Shi
    Apr
    29
    12:00pm - 1:00pm

    Statistics Seminar Series | Xu Shi, Ph.D.

    School of Public Health at Brown University, 121 south Main Street, Providence, RI 02912

    Xu Shi, PhD,
    John G. Searle Assistant Professor of Biostatistics
    University of Michigan, School of Public Health

    Talk Title: Double Negative Control Inference in Test-Negative Design Studies of Vaccine Effectiveness

    Abstract: The test-negative design (TND) has become a standard approach to evaluate vaccine effectiveness. Although TND can reduce unobserved differences in healthcare-seeking behavior between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, it remains subject to various potential biases, including unmeasured confounding bias, selection bias, and lack of generalizability. In this talk, we present a novel approach to estimate vaccine effectiveness in the general population by carefully leveraging a pair of negative control exposure and outcome variables to account for potential hidden biases in TND studies. We illustrate our proposed method with extensive simulation and an application to COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness using data from the University of Michigan Health System. 
    (Joint work with Qijun (Kendrick) Li, Wang Miao, and Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen)

    Lunch will be provided. *

    Academic Calendar, University Dates & Events, Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Education, Teaching, Instruction, Graduate School, Postgraduate Education, Mathematics, Technology, Engineering, Research, Teaching & Learning
  • Sixth Annual Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars

    June 6-7, 2024
    Brown University
    Providence, RI

    The 2024 Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars (June 6-7) will showcase the research achievements of outstanding molecular life scientists from historically underrepresented groups.

    The conference is free and in person, hosted by the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Department at Brown University.

    Conference Keynote Speakers

    Keynote speakers for the conference will be Dr. Sherilynn Black, PhD (Duke University), and Dr. Blanton Tolbert, PhD (University of Pennsylvania).

    Sherilynn Black, PhD

    Sherilynn Black, PhD

    Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD

    Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD

    The conference program will open Thursday afternoon June 6 and close Friday evening June 7. It will feature short talks by invited early career scholars, panel events focusing on identity and professional development, and a poster session.

    This will be an inclusive event, drawing attendees from the Brown BioMed community (including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and campus organizations) as well as registered participants from across the US. The conference has been named in honor of Dr. Samuel Milton Nabrit, Brown’s first African-American PhD recipient and a marine biologist with a distinguished international career.

    For questions about the 2024 Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars, please contact [email protected].

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Graduate School, Postgraduate Education, Mathematics, Technology, Engineering, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Research
  • Sixth Annual Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars

    June 6-7, 2024
    Brown University
    Providence, RI

    The 2024 Dr. Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars (June 6-7) will showcase the research achievements of outstanding molecular life scientists from historically underrepresented groups.

    The conference is free and in person, hosted by the Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry Department at Brown University.

    Conference Keynote Speakers

    Keynote speakers for the conference will be Dr. Sherilynn Black, PhD (Duke University), and Dr. Blanton Tolbert, PhD (University of Pennsylvania).

    Sherilynn Black, PhD

    Sherilynn Black, PhD

    Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD

    Blanton S. Tolbert, PhD

    The conference program will open Thursday afternoon June 6 and close Friday evening June 7. It will feature short talks by invited early career scholars, panel events focusing on identity and professional development, and a poster session.

    This will be an inclusive event, drawing attendees from the Brown BioMed community (including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and campus organizations) as well as registered participants from across the US. The conference has been named in honor of Dr. Samuel Milton Nabrit, Brown’s first African-American PhD recipient and a marine biologist with a distinguished international career.

    For questions about the 2024 Samuel M. Nabrit Conference for Early Career Scholars, please contact [email protected].

    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Graduate School, Postgraduate Education, Mathematics, Technology, Engineering, Psychology & Cognitive Sciences, Research