This is a Small Business Sources Sought notice. This is NOT a solicitation for proposals, proposal abstracts, or quotations. The purpose of this notice is to obtain information regarding: (1) the availability and capability of qualified small business sources; (2) whether they are small businesses; HUBZone small businesses; service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses; 8(a) small businesses; veteran-owned small businesses; woman-owned small businesses; or small disadvantaged businesses; and (3) their size classification relative to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for the proposed acquisition. Your responses to the information requested will assist the Government in determining the appropriate acquisition method, including whether a set-aside is possible. An organization that is not considered a small business under the applicable NAICS code should not submit a response to this notice.

This notice is issued to help determine the availability of qualified companies technically capable of meeting the Government requirement and to determine the method of acquisition.  It is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to issue a solicitation or ultimately award a contract.  Responses will not be considered as proposals or quotes.  No award will be made as a result of this notice.  The Government will NOT be responsible for any costs incurred by the respondents to this notice.  This notice is strictly for research and information purposes only.

Background:  Parkinson’s disease (PD) is typically characterized as a degenerative movement disorder, clinically manifested with distinct motor disturbances, including slowness of movement, resting tremor, rigidity, and postural instability, resulting from extensive loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of midbrain. Besides motor symptoms, PD patients often develop cognitive dysfunctions, which leads to Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). Approximately 75% of PD patients develop dementia within 10 years of diagnosis, and the prevalence of PDD is 0.3-0.5% in general population older than 65 years. There is no cure for PDD. The exact pathogenic mechanisms of PDD are largely unknown. An important step in intervening complexed neurological disorder like PDD, is to elucidate the functional roles of different neural circuits responsible for specific behavioral phenotypes.

Purpose and Objectives:  The objective of this work is to investigate the synaptic inputs and physiological functions of a specific subpopulation of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in declarative memory formation. The knowledge gained from this study will provide cell type and circuit specific mechanisms of PDD and lay the foundation for designing new therapeutic interventions for treatment of cognitive impairments in PDD.

Project requirements: The National Institute on Aging requires senior neuroscientist services for the live imaging, electrophysiology, and behavioral studies of mouse models resembling key clinical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD). The neuroscientist will apply advanced sophisticated modern neuroscience experimental techniques, including – but not limited to – live imaging of neuronal activity in behaving mice with miniScope or fiber photometry, stereotactic injections and mouse survival surgery, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscope, and mouse behavioral testing. This work requires familiarity with MATLAB for data analyses. The neuroscientist will play an important role in assisting manuscript preparation and research training of other team members.

In keeping with the general requirements above, the contractor will:

  • Conduct full-time, independent research relating to the pathophysiological mechanisms of PDD, guided by the point of contact (Dr. Huaibin Cai) for 30 hours per week.
  • Provide project updates weekly and ongoing. Data communication is essential in this role both for presenting projects to other scientists and journals but as well as internal oversight and project development. Ongoing project updates will account for roughly 2 hours per week and include time for meetings, presentations, manuscript drafting and revision. This will also help ensure that the scope of work and general requirements is being adequately fulfilled in a timely manner.
  • Teach other team members crucial research skills for about 3 hours per week.
  • Support LNG’s mission to share the results with the broader scientific community by uploading data to the respective data repositories.
     
    The senior neuroscientist must have a doctoral degree with three or more years' postdoctoral training in neuroscience or a life science field. The neuroscientist is expected to be an expert in live imaging techniques in behaving mice, electrophysiology and neuroanatomy. Previous experience with basal ganglion physiology is a plus. 

For additional information, please refer to the attached document titled, “Draft Statement of Work (Services)”.

Anticipated period of performance: Consists of a twelve (12) month base period followed by one (1) twelve (12) month optional period.

Other important considerations: The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is 541715 with a size standard of $1,000.00.

Capability statement /information sought:

Respondents to this notice must provide, as part of their responses, a capability statement to include the following:

(1) information regarding the respondents' (a) staff expertise, including their availability, experience, and formal and other training; (b) current in-house capability and capacity to perform the work; (c) prior completed projects of similar nature; (d) corporate experience and management capability; and, (e) examples of prior completed Government contracts, references, and other related information; (2) respondents' DUNS number, organization name, address, point of contact, and size and type of business (e.g., 8(a), HUBZone, etc.) pursuant to the applicable NAICS code; and, (3) any other information that may be helpful in developing or finalizing the requesting program’s acquisition requirement.

Information submission instructions:

One (1) copy of the response is required and must be in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format using 11-point or 12-point font, 8-1/2” x 11” paper size, with 1” top, bottom, left and right margins, and with single or double spacing.

The information submitted must be in an outline format that addresses each of the elements of the project requirement and in the capability statement /information sought paragraphs stated herein.  A cover page and an executive summary may be included but is not required.

The response is limited to ten (10) page limit.  The 10-page limit does not include the cover page, executive summary, or references, if requested.

The response must include the respondents’ technical and administrative points of contact, including names, titles, addresses, telephone and e-mail addresses.

All responses to this notice must be submitted electronically to the Contracting Officer.  Facsimile responses are NOT accepted.

The response must include the Sources Sought Notice Number 75N95021Q00037 in the subject line and be submitted electronically to Renee Dougherty, Contracting Officer at e-mail address renee.dougherty@nih.gov.

The response must be received on or before January 11, 2021, 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

Disclaimer and Important Notes:  This notice does not obligate the Government to award a contract or otherwise pay for the information provided in response. The Government reserves the right to use information provided by respondents for any purpose deemed necessary and legally appropriate. Any organization responding to this notice should ensure that its response is complete and sufficiently detailed to allow the Government to determine the organization’s qualifications to perform the work.

Respondents are advised that the Government is under no obligation to acknowledge receipt of the information received or provide feedback to respondents with respect to any information submitted. After a review of the responses received, a solicitation may be published in beta.SAM.gov. However, responses to this notice will not be considered adequate responses to a solicitation.

Confidentiality: No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response. The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in any resultant solicitation(s).