The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) invites applications in the field of dynamic imaging that will support the development of new tools or significant enhancements of existing tools to monitor biological processes in motion, across time, and across spatial scales. This grant program will provide 2.5-year challenge grants for projects with specified proof-of-concept milestones.
The long-term goal of this RFA, part of CZI’s Frontiers of Imaging effort, is to drive technology development aimed at measuring cellular and molecular processes in real time in intact, living systems. Priority will be given to proposals for methods developed for imaging in intact tissues or primary cells rather than immortalized cell lines. This opportunity is specifically aimed at technology development; it is not intended to support question-driven basic or translational research, clinical trials, or drug development. Preliminary data is encouraged but not required.
Examples of research themes include:
- Development, detection and/or tracking of multiple labels (e.g. multi-spectral Raman microscopy, hyperspectral imaging, tracking of multiple single particles labeled with different probes);
- Development of new dynamic reporters (e.g. reporters for protease activity, kinase activity, cellular ion concentration fluctuations, protein-protein interaction, organelle specific chemical labeling, mechanical or electrical forces);
- Development of correlative methods for temporal studies (e.g. correlative light and electron microscopy with a dynamic imaging component);
- Adaptation of static methods for dynamic imaging (e.g. improvements of liquid cell electron microscopy), and;
- Hardware, software, algorithm or biological probe development to obtain high-resolution dynamic measurements in deep tissue or in large volumes (e.g. 4D/5D imaging at cellular resolution in whole organs, 4D/5D cell microscopy at super-resolution).
We particularly encourage applications from:
- Researchers in disciplines outside of biomedicine who bring new technology, resources, or frameworks to studying cellular and molecular processes;
- Women, underrepresented minorities, and members of underserved populations; and
- Early-career investigators, defined as principal investigators who have been in an independent faculty role for less than six years at the time of application, i.e. starting their first position after August 2016
Successful outcomes for this RFA could include:
- Development of new chemical probes, biological tools, and hardware for imaging molecular and cellular processes over time;
- Development of new protocols for imaging cellular and molecular processes over time, and;
- Development of new computational techniques and algorithms for detection, tracking, and analysis of targets of interest.
Collaboration and Open Science
CZI seeks investigators who will contribute to a collaborative interdisciplinary network and the advancement of the dynamic imaging field.
- Investigators and members of their labs will participate in annual meetings of all funded groups, smaller meetings focused on specific biological or technical topics, and regular webinars.
- Investigators and CZI staff will work together to identify resources and technology that can drive the imaging field forward.
- Investigators will commit to rapid dissemination of all resulting data, protocols, code, reagents, and results prior to publication through resources such as protocols.io, GitHub, Addgene, and preprints. Please see the Policies section for additional details.