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ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award

ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award

The Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC) and the ITHS are pleased to sponsor the Ignition Award pilot study program, focusing on the use of nonhuman primate models of human disease. The purpose of this award is to explore innovative areas of nonhuman primate (NHP) research and generate preliminary data to serve as a basis for submission of new research grant applications (e.g. R01-type grant to NIH or other funding agency) and/or subsequent clinical studies.

Application period closed

Offered once per year.

Application due date: January 18, 2021
No applications time stamped after 11 p.m. Pacific time on January 18 will be considered.

There will be one or two awards. Applications should either have a primary focus on translational applications or a primary focus on the development or enhancement of the use of nonhuman primates as animal models.

Key Dates

  • December 18, 2020: Letter of Intent due to the WaNPRC
  • January 18, 2021: Full application due to the WaNPRC.
    No applications time stamped after 11 p.m. on January 18 will be considered.
  • March 4, 2021: Notice to awardees and other applicants
  • May 1, 2021: Budget initiation
  • April 30, 2021: End of budget period
    NOTE: There will no option for no-cost extensions or carry-forward.

The WaNPRC intends to award up to two separate awards of up to $75,000 each. The award will be administered by the Primate Center and must be used for Primate Center study costs, including animal costs, per diem, procedures, supplies and salaries. This award is not intended to support outgoing subcontracts.



This program is designed to support innovative studies utilizing resources within the WaNPRC. Nonhuman primates are the preeminent animal model of the human condition. This award program will facilitate use of NHP models and services of the WaNPRC and resources within the ITHS to provide information applicable to subsequent grant and/or clinical studies. This program will provide an opportunity to advance research programs developing and expanding the use of nonhuman primates in research of human diseases, also, by operating jointly with the ITHS, advance the translational process of development and use of therapeutics, diagnostics or device development.

Examples of translational projects include, but are not limited to:

  1. The development of clinical tests/diagnostics/therapeutics that have the potential to
    1. speed translational research (i.e., new outcome measures)
    2. improve clinical treatments (i.e., new therapeutics or new indications for approved drugs)
  2. Advance neuroscience applications, surgical techniques
  3. Reproductive / developmental studies that can have direct clinical applications
Application Process Details

Application Process Details

Key Dates

  • December 18, 2020: Letter of Intent due to the WaNPRC
  • January 18, 2021: Full application due to the WaNPRC.
    (email to or Box 357330, Attn: WaNPRC 2021 Pilot Program)
    No applications time stamped after 11 p.m. Pacific on 01/18/2021 will be considered.
  • March 4, 2021: Notice to awardees and other applicants
  • May 1, 2021: Budget initiation
  • April 30, 2022: End of budget period
    NOTE: There will no option for no-cost extensions or carry-forward. This is an absolute end date.

Step 1 – Submit a Letter of Intent to WaNPRC by December 18, 2020. Please include proposal Title, Abstract (250 word max), Key Personnel, WaNPRC Core or Affiliate Scientists, and potential reviewers (can be internal or external to UW). Letters of Intent will be used to identify potential reviewers, and everyone who submits a letter of intent will be eligible to submit a full application.

Step 2 – Submit the application to WaNPRC by January 18, 2021.

(email to or Box 357330, Attn: WaNPRC 2020 Pilot Program).

No applications time stamped after 01/18/2021, 11:00 PM Pacific will be considered

Step 3 – Review of Applications

The Review Committee will score the applications and applicants will be notified of their status by March 4, 2021.  All applicants will receive reviewers’ comments. Scoring is not provided. Detailed review criteria are listed below.

NOTE:  The PIs receiving awards are responsible for securing approval from the UW Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee before a new project can begin.

Step 4 – 2021 Award recipients

Budget period is anticipated to begin May 1, 2021 and must be obligated by April 30, 2022. There will be no option for a no-cost extension or carry-forward.



Any research scientist or research faculty can apply except those who have received an ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award within the previous three years.

The Center particularly wants to encourage applications from early-stage investigators and junior faculty.  This is an opportunity to pursue innovative research projects or collect preliminary data that can provide proof of concept and lead into future funding

Review Criteria & Committee Details

Review Criteria & Committee Details

The combined Research Review Committee (RRC) for the Ignition Award applications will consist of members of the WaNPRC, and the ITHS Drug and Device Advisory Committee (DDAC). Members of the committee are selected to provide interdisciplinary insight into the proposed research. The committee is composed of core and affiliate scientists. If potential conflict of interest exists, ad hoc members will be appointed. If the committee does not feel the membership includes the necessary scientific expertise to provide an adequate review, an ad hoc reviewer will be added for that application.

As needed, the WaNPRC will also invite representation from CoMotion for guidance on innovation represented by the technology.

Applications will be critiqued and scored by the RRC. It is anticipated that the projects with the lowest score/highest priority will be funded. Based on funding levels, it is anticipated that one or two projects will be funded during this 2020 review cycle.

Reviews are performed according to the following standards:

  1. Applicability to the WaNPRC and ITHS missions
  2. Scientific merit
  3. Proposed activities conducted on site at the WaNPRC
  4. Innovation
  5. Potential impact on human health
  6. Probability of future grant funding and/or clinical studies
Reporting Requirements

Reporting Requirements

Ignition Awards are an investment in translational research to improve human health. Meetings with ITHS representatives to assess the effective utilization of ITHS resources and required progress and results reporting are important aspects that aid in evaluating the success of this funding mechanism.

ITHS and WaNPRC each have specific requirements for reporting.

The ITHS requires the following reports and presentations (if applicable):

  • Pre-award meeting with the DDAC to establish other ITHS resources that would benefit your program.
  • Semi-annual progress report.
  • Annual report and presentation to DDAC.

The WaNPRC requires an interim and annual report from all award recipients. The dates and specifications for these reports will be stated in the WaNPRC Notice of Award.

Quarterly in-person meetings with an ITHS representative may be requested to track the progress of funded activities.



The WaNPRC and the ITHS reserves the right to publicly disclose information about its granting activities. ITHS communications to the public may include lists of funded applications, the names of principal investigators and applicant institutions and departments, titles of proposed activities, and reports about progress and outcomes. Please note that records produced at the University of Washington are subject to the Washington State Public Records Act, Chapter 42.56 RCW.

Contact Information

Contact Information

Any questions on the application award process can be directed to


Definitions of Clinical and Translational Research

Clinical Research

NIH defines human clinical research as research with human subjects that is: (1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. Patient-oriented research includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b) therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies. (2) Epidemiologic and behavioral studies. (3) Outcomes research and health services research. Note: Studies falling under Exemption 4 for human subjects research are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Source: NIH PHS 398 Instructions on Human Subjects Research

Translational Research

Translation: The process of turning observations in the laboratory, clinic and community into interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

Translational Science: The field of investigation focused on understanding the scientific and operational principles underlying each step of the translational process.

Source: Definitions provided by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

Translational research includes:

  • the process of making discoveries in the research laboratory or in preclinical studies that will have an impact on human health and may lead to the development of studies in humans,
  • the process of applying discoveries generated during research in the laboratory, and in preclinical studies, to the development of trials and studies in humans and
  • research aimed at enhancing the adoption of best practices in the community. Cost-effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies is also an important part of translational science.

Source: Based on Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) RFA-RM-07-007 CTSA RFA

Using this definition in our review and funding programs, the translational potential of research is rated as:

  • High: Research that will be an important step towards the eventual goal of impacting human health, and the pathway to this impact is clear
  • Moderate: Research that will be a moderately important step towards the eventual goal of impacting human health, and/or the pathway to this impact is only partially defined
  • Low: Research that will have little effect on the eventual goal of impacting human health or research for which the pathway to potential impact is unclear

Previous Awardees

Awardees - ITHS/Primate Center Ignition Award

Dembrow, NikolaiDeveloping a primate culture platform for the treatment of degenerative disorders.Physiology & BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2019
Ting, JonathanA comprehensive viral genetic toolbox optimized for primate brain cell types and translational neuroscience.Allen Institute for Brain SciencesApril, 2019
O'Connor, MeganEvaluation of SIV Co-Infection on ZIKV Pathogenesis in Pigtail Macaques.MicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2018
McGuire, AndrewProof of Concept for an Epstein Barr Virus Vaccine.Vaccine and Infectious Disease DivisionFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2018
Gale, Michael Using the Pigtail Macaque Model to Evaluate Novel Vaccines for Prevention of Zika InfectionImmunology
University of WashingtonApril, 2017
Patton, DorothyMn model development: GC infection and URT imaging by PETObstetrics & GynecologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2017
Curnow, ElizaA nonhuman primate model of Fragile X syndromeWashington National Primate Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2017
Chin, MichaelPharmacokinetics, organ toxicity and immunogenicity of recombinant tafazzin in
non human primates
CardiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Horwitz, GregCell-type specific promoter sequences for targeting NHP neuronsPhysiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Kean, LeslieCreating a Novel Model for the Treatment of Graft-versus-Host-Disease in Rhesus MacaquesPediatricsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2016
Isoherranen, NinaMaternal phthalate kinetics in a nonhuman primate modelPharmaceuticsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Perlmutter, SteveNHP Model for cervical myelopathy and therapeutic use of electrical stimulationPhysiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Smith, JasonA Rhesus model to uncover the role of α-defensins in rotaviral infectionMicrobiologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2015
Clark, EdwardTesting CD180-based Hepatitis B virus vaccine in macaquesMicrobiology/ImmunologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Neitz, MaureenIn vivo directed evolution of AAV vectors that transduce photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium when injected into the vitreousOphthalmologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Adams-Waldorf, KristinaSurfactant Protein A to prevent pre-term birthObstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2014
Kiem, Hans-PeterDevelopment of an in vivo model of Hepatitis C virus infection, replication and pathogenesisClinical ResearchFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Riddell, StanleyEvaluating the safety of T-cells engineered to express chimeric antigen receptors for ROR1 and a tumor-specific epitope of EGFRClinical ResearchFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Moshiri, MariamFetal lung maturity assessment with MRI using fetal lung to liver signal intensity ratio and MR spectroscopyRadiologyFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterApril, 2013
Horwitz, GregTargeted Genetic Manipulation of NHP Neurons in Vivo.Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of WashingtonFebruary, 2012
Robinson, FarrelDissolution of perineuronal nets to aid adaptation to a vestibular prosthesis.Biological StructureUniversity of WashingtonFebruary, 2012
Curnow, ElizaM. fascicularis model for cancer-oocyte target SAS1B.Reproductive Biology and Stem Cell Core, Reproductive and Developmental Sciences Division, Washington National Primate Research CenterN/AFebruary, 2012
Murray, CharlesTransplantation of M. nemestrina induced pluripotent stem cell (MniPSC) u2013 derived cardiomyocytes into nonhuman primates after myocardial infarctionPathology and BioengineeringUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Lieber, AndreSafety studies with a high affinity companion therapeutic for monoclonal antibodies to treat cancerMedicineUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Phillips, JamesVestibular prosthesis for bilateral and uncompensated unilateral lossOtolaryngologyUniversity of WashingtonApril, 2011
Juul, SandraA Novel Non-Human Primate Model of Neonatal Stress and Sedative Drug UsePediatricsUniversity of WashingtonMarch, 2010
Zhang, GlennIdentification of Molecular Signature of Successful Influenza VaccinationsAnimal SciencesOklahoma State UniversityMarch, 2010
Ho, RodneyNeuro-Imaging of a Novel CNS Targeted Drug Delivery Device in PrimatesPharmaceuticsUniversity of WashingtonJanuary, 2010