2022 Proposals are now closed

We are very pleased to announce that our Center for Iron and Heme Disorders (CIHD) within the Division of Hematology at the University of Utah School of Medicine will fund 2 mini-grants in 2022. Funds for these Pilot and Feasibility grants are from the NIH NIDDK Institute. The two awards will be for $50,000 for one single year with no second-year extensions. The grants will be awarded competitively and are designed to support research projects from internal and external CIHD members that utilize our CIHD Cores and advance the mission of our program. The goals of the CIHD are to support research on molecular/cellular biological pathways involved in normal hematopoietic stem cell biology, erythroid differentiation and disease states in addition to iron and heme biology. Our intent is also to: 1) support junior faculty members or established investigators launching new research directions that meet our mission objectives; 2) support CIHD members engaged in collaborative research projects with other CIHD members or investigators outside of the CIHD.


2022 Proposals are due July 1 with funding starting August 1, 2022.

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants must be members of the CIHD (information on application can be found on our website; cihd.cores.utah.edu).  One proposal per applicant will be accepted in each year. A Principal Investigator (PI) must be a tenure track or research track faculty with an appointment of at least 0.75 FTE. Research faculty must have had a two-year residency at their institution prior to funding applications. CIHD members are entitled to apply with a proposal distinct from any previous CIHD proposals from past funding periods. CIHD members from outside Utah are welcome to apply if they have an active collaboration with a Utah member of the CIHD. Proposals that have previously been submitted to an extramural agency and found to be non-competitive will not be reviewed. One exception to this restriction is proposals previously submitted to an extramural agency that were declined on the basis of insufficient preliminary data. In that case, an executive summary statement specifically stating this deficiency should be submitted along with the application.


Proposal Submission (web site: cihd.cores.utah.edu)

Proposals will be limited to three pages of narrative on significance, background and proposed studies. All proposals will require in addition a statement of relevance of the proposed project to our CIHD mission objectives, a description of the CIHD cores to be utilized, NIH-style biosketches including current and pending support, a proposed budget and justification page and a page describing plans to submit proposals to NIDDK for extramural support.

Checklist for submission

  1. Abstract: 1 separate page
  2. 3 pages of project description: significance, background and proposed studies
  3. Statement of relevance to our CIHD
  4. Description of CIHD cores to be utilized
  5. NIH-style biosketch
  6. Current and pending support
  7. Proposed budget and justification ($50,000 maximal budget)
  8. NIH grant submission plans


Applications should be submitted as pdf files to dennis.winge@hsc.utah.edu.

Proposal Evaluations

Proposals will be reviewed by an external email review committee consisting of senior scientists at other universities. The group will each address the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal and rank the merits of the various proposals. Confidentiality of this process will be stressed to all reviewers. This group will rank the submitted proposals and make a recommendation for funding to the CIHD Internal Advisory Committee.

 The review criteria used to evaluate submitted proposals will include:

  1. a) Does the proposal have high scientific merit and potential impact?
  2. b) Does the proposed work have high potential to leverage extramural funding?
  3. c) Does the project meet the CIHD mission objectives stated on our web page and in the publicized funding opportunity?
  4. d) Does the project build or strengthen cross-disciplinary collaborative efforts? Not all projects need to build collaborative partnerships, but this is a desired goal of the CCIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program.
  5. e) Is the applicant an early-stage investigator or a senior investigator with a major new research direction?


Previous CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards

CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards 2021-22

Iqbal Hamza, PhD University of Maryland, College Park: Interactors of HRG1 heme transporter in reticuloendothelial macrophages.

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah: Unraveling the Mechanism and Biological Significance of Hemozoin Motion in Malaria Parasites

Diane Ward, PhD, University of Utah: The role of macrophage Cyb561a3/Lcytb in lysosomal iron recycling for erythropoiesis

Timothy M Bahr, MS MD, University of Utah: Iron deficiency in preterm neonates: prevalence, surveillance, contributing factors

Makiko Yasuda, MD PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt Sinai: Investigations of hepatic heme homeostatic mechanisms using ALAS-deficient mice


CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards 2020-21

Robert Christensen, MD, University of Utah: Neonatal iron deficiency; defining pathogenic mechanisms & improving detection

Tomas Ganz, MD, UCLA: Metabolic Effects of Pathologically Increased Erythroferrone in Anemias with Ineffective Erythropoiesis

Adam Hughes, PhD, University of Utah: Elucidating the role of the LON protease in the regulation of cellular iron metabolism

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah: Mechanism of Iron Acquisition by Malaria Parasites


CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards 2019-20

Ryan O’Connell, PhD, University of Utah: The role of Rab27a/b during mitochondria release from maturing erythroblasts

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah: Mechanism of Iron Acquisition by Malaria Parasites 3.

Diane Ward, PhD, University of Utah: The role of the reductases Lcytb and Steap3 in lysosomal iron recycling in macrophages

Richard Eisenstein, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Iron regulation of erythropoiein expression

Amy Medlock, PhD and Amit Reddi, PhD, University of Georgia:  Creation of Transgenic Zebrafish with Hepatic and Erythroid Expressed Heme Sensors

Yvette Yien, PhD, University of Delaware:  Regulation of erythroid heme synthesis and vertebrate development by the mitochondrial unfoldase, CLPX


CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards 2018-19

Dean Tantin, PhD, Tracey Lamb PhD: Does Oct1 loss-of-function in bone marrow progenitor cells exacerbate the severity of malarial anemia?

Oleh Khalimonchuk, PhD, Amit Reddi PhD, University of Nebraska, Department of Biochemistry: Mitochondrial Behavior and Heme Transport in Erythropoiesis

Betty Leibold, PhD, University of Utah: Cell-Cycle Regulation of IRP2 Phosphorylation during Hematopoiesis

Amy Medlock PhD, Amit Reddi PhD, University of Georgia: Creation of Transgenic Zebrafish with Erythroid Expressed Heme Sensors

Ryan O’Connell PhD, University of Utah: Determine the role of Rab27a/b during mitochondria release from maturing erythroblasts

Joe Prchal MD, University of Utah: Search for Novel Parameters of Augmentation of Erythropoiesis. Deciphering Molecular Differences of VHL Mutated Congenital Polycythemia versus Tumor-Predisposition

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah: Structure and Function of a Divergent Eukaryotic Cytochrome c

Diane Ward, PhD. University of Utah: The role of Abcb10 in red cell hemoglobinization


CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Program Grant Awards 2017-18

Congratulations to the the following five investigators whose proposals were funded in the CIHD 2017 Pilot and Feasibility Grants Program:

Matthew Barber, PhD, University of Oregon: Host-pathogen conflicts shaping bloodstream hemeprotein evolution

Adam Hughes, PhD, University of Utah: The role of lysosomes in maintenance of cellular iron metabolism

Elizabeth Leibold, PhD, University of Utah: Cell-cycle regulation of IRP2 phosphorylation during hematopoiesis

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah: Role of Acyl Carrier Protein in Iron/Sulfur Cluster Biogenesis by Malaria Parasites

Diane Ward, PhD, University of Utah: The role of Abcb10 in red cell hemoglobinization


Utah CIHD Pilot and Feasibility Grant Awards for 2016-17

Our NIDDK-funded Center for Iron and Hematology Disorders has awarded three pilot research grants for the 2016/2017 fiscal year. Six proposals were considered for funding and the three successful applicants include the following:

Dr. Paul Sigala PhD, University of Utah, Department of Biochemistry, University of Utah: the role of the acyl-carrier proteins present in the mitochondria and apicoplast of Plasmodium in iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis in the two organelles and the role of each pathway in the physiology of Plasmodium parasites. A long-term goal of his research is developing new therapeutic targets in treating malaria.

Dr. Amy Medlock PhD, University of Georgia: the role of two novel proteins PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 in modulating heme synthesis in mammalian cells. She demonstrated that these proteins interact with ferrochelatase and regulate its activity. She proposes to generate knockout cell lines in culture and zebrafish to investigate the physiological consequences of loss of these proteins on heme production.

Dr. Matt Barber, PhD, University of Oregon: the evolutionary battle between pathogens and primate hosts for access to iron and heme. He will address how primates evolved in response to iron and heme piracy by pathogenic bacteria. In his proposed studies, Dr. Barber will focus on phylogenetic analyses of hemoglobin and hemeopexin.


Extramural Funding

2020-2021 Grants Extramural Funding

Adam Hughes, University of Utah School of Medicine
NIH/NIGMS R35 GM 119694 utilized CIHD-sponsored metabolism core for application
Investigating the Mitochondrial-Derived Compartment Pathway


R01 DK125740 PI: Iqbal Hamza, PhD
7/1/20 – 6/30/24
Heme trafficking and recycling in iron metabolism


Philpott lab postdoc
PI: Shyamalagauri Jadhav, Ph.D.
ODS Research Scholars Award
Liver-specific loss of iron chaperone PCBP1 leads to dysregulated iron and hepatic steatosis


R01 DK128068-01 PI: J. Christian and Jodie Babitt, MPIs
BMP Ligands in Hepcidin Regulation


R21 HD102668-01, PI: J. Christian
Analysis of BMP Heterodimer formation and function, Diversity supplement



2019 Grants Extramural Funding

Matthew F. Barber, PhD, University of Oregon:
Recently awarded an NIH R35 MIRA award in which he included CIHD-sponsored work in his application. Here is the grant info:
NIH Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (R35GM133652) 2019 – 2024
National Institutes of Health (NIGMS)
Title: Molecular mechanisms of evolution at the host-microbe interface

Paul Sigala, PhD, University of Utah:
Received a 5-year R35 MIRA (1R35GM133764) from NIGMS based on last year’s PF award, entitled “Comparative Heme Metabolism in Divergent Eukaryotes”, that featured preliminary data obtained during out CIHD Pilot Grant period.

Amy Medlock, PhD, University of Georgia
Awarded a SHINE grant 2018
R01 DK111653 Title: Identifying the function of the mitochondrial heme biosynthesis complex in erythropoiesis

Adam Hughes, Ph.D. University of Utah
Awarded R01 2019
R01 AG061376 Title: The role of the lysosome in aging