In 1993, Congress passed Public Law 103-43 directing NICHD to fund contraceptive research centers and to focus the efforts of these centers on research that may lead to new contraceptive products. Because the complexity of contraceptive research and development could severely limit progress achieved by individual investigators working alone, the institute funds the CDRCP using P50 Specialized Centers mechanism.
Funded through NICHD’s Contraception Research Branch, the CDRCP includes multiple centers and technical service core facilities. The centers are interactively organized to allow research on discovering and/or developing promising new leads for regulation of fertility, as well as additional relevant projects. Individual projects focus on preclinical and/or clinical research. The CDRCP also serves as a national resource for supporting the career development of young scientists pursuing research in fertility regulation.
Each center addresses three or more projects devoted to preclinical or clinical research on new contraceptives. These projects rely on a variety of approaches, such as:
- Male and female contraceptive programs for novel targets including the following:
- Soluble Adenylyl Cyclase
- Retinoic Acid Receptor Alpha
The centers also address issues such as novel delivery methods for contraception, multipurpose prevention technologies (i.e., those that protect against sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy), translational research aimed at product identification and optimization for male contraception, and non-hormonal methods of ovulation inhibition for contraception.
The centers share common resources and research information throughout the funding period. Within the centers, training opportunities are also a priority.