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Purpose: NINDS, the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invite applications for studies of the plasticity and behavior of human stem cells and the regulation of their replication, differentiation, and function in the nervous system. Because of their ability to generate neurons and glia, stem cells are promising candidates for the development of cellular and genetic therapies for neurological disorders, including congenital, neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as neuroregulatory problems in heart, lung, and blood diseases and sleep disorders. Animal studies demonstrate that stem or progenitor cells can be derived from a variety of tissues and from hosts of different ages; however, the requirements and potential for differentiation of each cell type appears to be unique. In a recently issued PA (PA-01-078), NINDS and other institutes at NIH invited studies to investigate the influence of extrinsic signals in the nervous system on the biology of nonhuman stem cells. The development of treatments for human conditions ultimately will require an understanding of the biology of human stem cells. To achieve this goal, NINDS, NIA, NIMH, and NHLBI encourage applications to study the fundamental properties of …

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