SLU Liver Center Seed Grant Program

Members of the Liver Center met on April 20, 2005 to discuss the use of funds raised by the Friends of the Saint Louis University Liver Center for research. It was decided to put a Liver Center Request for Application (RFA) process in place for research seed and bridge grants. These directed research grants were established to provide seed and bridge funding to Liver Center investigators while they work toward developing their projects, gathering preliminary data, allowing them to submit NIH grant applications and publish their results.

Certain priorities and goals were set by this group:

  1. Research projects that were likely to lead to future NIH funding would be given priority.
  2. Special consideration should be given to efforts that involve collaborative studies between different laboratories or different researchers.
  3. Projects that have the ultimate goal of submitting a program project grant or center grant.
  4. Research in certain diseases would be prioritized, including viral hepatitis, liver cancer, fatty liver disease, iron metabolism, and possibly liver transplantation.

Request for Applications:

It was decided to solicit applications for research funds from members of the Liver Center. No amount would be specified. The format for initial proposals would be no more than a single page, indicating the principal investigator, aims, hypotheses and planned research methods. In addition to this, a very brief and simple budget should be provided, indicating the total amount for personnel, supplies and equipment.

The group agreed on the following members of the Review Committee for the first round of applications: Drs. Sly, Di Bisceglie, Tavis, Bode and Brunt.

Since the initiation of the Liver Center RFA process, 35 grants have been awarded that total $993,482. These seed/bridge funds have generated nine NIH, VA and foundation awards totaling $16,100,000, which represents a 16.5 fold return on investment. This is a true testament of the success the Saint Louis Liver Center has accomplished since its establishment.

“The SLULC seed grant that I received in 2005 led to my NIH U01 for the Viral Hepatitis C project.  This really highlights the role that the Liver Center has played in my career.  Without the Liver Center and Adrian Di Bisceglie’s clinical expertise, I would not have had a chance at either of these awards”.  (John Tavis, PhD – Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology)