About SPARC

Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC)

Visit the NIH SPARC program website to learn more.

The NIH SPARC Program

Our Goal

To transform our understanding of nerve-organ interactions by providing access to high-value datasets, maps, and computational studies with the intent of advancing bioelectronic medicine towards treatments that change lives.

The SPARC program is supported by the NIH Common Fund to accelerate development of therapeutic devices and identification of neural targets for bioelectronic medicine—modulating electrical activity in nerves to help treat diseases and conditions, such as hypertension and gastrointestinal disorders, by precisely adjusting organ function.

Some of the ways the SPARC program is providing a scientific and technological foundation for bioelectronic medicine include:

  • Constructing anatomical and functional datasets from organ-specific neural circuitry, including those that mediate visceral pain
  • Creating new tools and technologies to enable precise manipulation and measurement of nerve-organ interactions and their associated functions
  • Establishing effective research partnerships with clinicians, basic scientists, engineers, and private industry to pursue data-intensive, mechanistic clinical studies.

SPARC Program Leadership

Oversight for the SPARC program is provided by the NIH Working Group, led by the Office of Strategic Coordination, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Learn More

Visit the NIH Common Fund’s SPARC program website to learn more about public health relevance, translational partnerships, SPARC components, the latest research highlights, and more. To keep up with the latest news and events from the SPARC Portal, sign up for our mailing list. To find out more about the SPARC Program and current funding opportunities, email the NIH Working Group.

The SPARC Portal

The SPARC Portal is an international project funded by the NIH Common Fund’s SPARC program under OT3OD025349, OT3OD025348, and OT3OD025347. The SPARC Portal was created to help facilitate autonomic neuroscience research by hosting a growing collection of digital resources, including datasets, maps, and computational studies that focus on the role of the autonomic nervous system in controlling organ function.

The resources available on the SPARC Portal are generated by SPARC program-supported research projects. Our long-term goal is to make this a resource the larger community can also contribute to. We are continually adding new datasets, maps, and computational studies to the site and are building new functionality to access and interact with those resources — so please check back periodically. We encourage you to ask questions and help us improve the SPARC Portal by providing your feedback.