News & Events

NIAMS Update March 2014

NIH NIAMS NIAMS
Update
An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleagues
March 20, 2014

Introduction

The NIAMS Update is a monthly digest published for those interested in the latest scientific news and resources on diseases of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. We encourage further dissemination of this resource.

Contact Information

Office of Science Policy, Planning and Communications
(OSPPC)
Communications and Public Liaison Branch
(CPLB)
niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

Anita Linde, M.P.P.
Director—OSPPC

Nancy Garrick, Ph.D.
Deputy Director—CPLB

Trish Reynolds, R.N., M.S.
Media Liaison

Colleen Labbe, M.S.
Public Liaison

Introduction

    Spotlight
   News
   Meetings
   Publications
   Funding Announcements

Read More at NIAMS

Spotlight

Letter From Dr. Stephen I. Katz: NIH Loan Repayment Programs

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

Education is the foundation of our nation’s biomedical research enterprise. Despite its immeasurable benefits, it can also place a heavy financial burden on recent graduates as they embark on their careers. Since 1988, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has repaid more than $500 million of student loan debt to reduce the financial obstacles that can prevent people from pursuing research careers.

As part of our commitment to ensuring that a diverse and highly trained workforce will sustain the momentum of past generations, this month’s letter features the NIH Loan Repayment Programs.

Read more.

News

word collage

NIAMS Releases Two Notices of Intent To Publish for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) Rheumatoid Arthritis/Lupus Initiative
Two announcements have been published that describe the intended development of a Leadership Center and Research Sites for the Accelerating Medicines Partnership’s rheumatoid arthritis and lupus initiative. The resulting network will be developed by the NIH in collaboration with industry partners and patient advocacy groups that will co-fund and actively participate in the scientific direction of the project. The notices have been published to provide potential applicants with enough time to start the process of forming teams, building collaborations and planning responsive applications.

The 2015 NIAMS Congressional Justification
When the President submits his budget to Congress each year, the executive branch agencies provide a document called the Congressional Justification. The Congressional Justification submitted by the NIAMS complements the President's budget request by explaining the Institute's mission, highlighting recent research accomplishments and future initiatives, and providing comparative budget data for the previous, current and upcoming fiscal years. Brief descriptions of the Institute's Extramural and Intramural Research Programs are also included, along with overviews of key research support activities. Additionally, a series of Program Portraits are included that highlight accomplishments and future directions of selected activities funded by the Institute. To view the fiscal year 2015 NIAMS Congressional Justification or access archived documents from previous years, please visit the NIAMS website.

New Genetic Susceptibility Factors for Sjögren’s Syndrome Revealed
By analyzing the genomes of thousands of people, scientists funded in part by the NIAMS have uncovered several genes associated with an autoimmune disease called Sjögren’s syndrome. The findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, could help researchers develop new strategies to diagnose and treat the condition.

Drawing of a brain section with an inflamed blood vessel Without a key blood vessel enzyme, children are prone to fevers, rash and strokes.

NIH Team Discovers Genetic Disorder Causing Strokes and Vascular Inflammation in Children: Next-Generation Sequencing Defines New Pathway for Blood Vessel Disease
NIH researchers have identified gene variants that cause a rare syndrome of sporadic fevers, skin rashes and recurring strokes, beginning early in childhood. The team’s discovery coincides with findings by an Israeli research group that identified an overlapping set of variants of the same gene in patients with a similar type of blood vessel inflammation. NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., also blogged about the new findings.

NIH Adds Substantial Set of Genetic, Health Information to Online Database: Information on Older Adults Is Largest Ever Resource for Researchers
Researchers will now have access to genetic data linked to medical information on a diverse group of more than 78,000 people, enabling investigations into many diseases and conditions. The data, from one of the nation’s largest and most diverse genomics projects—Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging (GERA)—have just been made available to qualified researchers through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), an online genetics database of the NIH.

NIH Researchers Identify Mutation Linked to Severe Form of Cushing’s Syndrome
Mutations in a gene containing part of the information needed to make an enzyme that provides energy for governing basic cell functions appear to contribute to a severe form of Cushing’s syndrome, according to researchers at the NIH and nine European research institutions.

ODP Strategic Plan Charting the Course

Office of Disease Prevention Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–2018
The NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) has announced the release of its Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–2018 (PDF – 3MB). Developed with input from a variety of stakeholders, the plan includes activities to strengthen existing programs and develop new initiatives to advance the prevention research agenda at the NIH and improve public health.

News on Fiscal Policies, and More, for 2014
The NIH announced policies for fiscal operations and legislative mandates for fiscal year (FY) 2014, implementing the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by President Obama on January 17, 2014.

NIH Director’s Blog

Rare Disease Day Logo

Rare Disease Day: We’re Joined Together by This Common Thread
On February 28, 2014, the NIH marked Rare Disease Day. In the United States, rare diseases are defined as conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people. That doesn’t sound like a lot. However, when you consider that more than 6,500 conditions fall into this category, rare diseases are a challenge collectively faced by as many as 25 million Americans.

heart muscle cellsMicrograph of lab-grown rat heart muscle cells. Mitochon–
dria (red), cytoskeleton (green), and nuclei (blue). Credit: Douglas B. Cowan and James D. McCully, Harvard U.

Snapshots of Life: Mending Broken Hearts
This may not look like your average Valentine’s Day card, but it’s an image sure to warm the hearts of many doctors and patients. Why? This micrograph, a winner in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s 2013 BioArt Competition, shows cells that have been specially engineered to repair the damage done by heart attacks—which strike more than 700,000 Americans every year.

A new type of stem cells, called STAPs.
Credit: Haruko Obokata, RIKEN Ctr. for Dev. Biol., Kobe, Japan

The Acid Test: Turning Regular Cells Into Stem Cells
Taking a 30-minute soak in a bath of acid might not sound like a good thing. But it happens to be the latest—and the most shockingly simple—strategy for creating stem cells. The powerful appeal of stem cells for science and medicine lies in the fact that they are both self-renewing and pluripotent, which means they can develop into almost any type of cell in the body. Stem cell technology offers an essentially limitless supply of specialized cells to researchers for exploring the fundamentals of biology, screening for new drugs and developing new ways to regenerate damaged tissue and repair diseased organs.

Credit: John Weisel, University of Pennsylvania

Cellular Shape-Shifters to the Rescue
Just as superheroes often change their forms to save the day, so it seems do red blood cells as they mobilize to heal a wound. Red blood cells usually look like oval, bi-concave discs, but NIH-funded researchers recently discovered that they are actually talented shape-shifters.

Other Federal News

Rare Diseases Take Spotlight in Annual Event
Patient groups, researchers and health organizations geared up for Rare Disease Day, a global campaign that aims to raise awareness of the more than 250 million people worldwide who suffer from rare diseases.

FDA Speeds Innovation in Rare Disease Therapies
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Orphan Products Development launched web-based educational resources for patients and industry on rare disease topics. The page debuted on International Rare Disease Day on February 28. Topics include how to interact with FDA.

FDA Is Committed to Determining Sex Differences in How Drugs Work
There's a lot happening these days with regard to the personalization of medicine and how drugs work differently in people, particularly in men versus women. The FDA has a long history in understanding and analyzing these effects.

Meetings

Public Workshop: Synergizing Efforts in Standards Development for Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Products
This is a rescheduling of the original December 10, 2013 meeting.
March 31, 2014
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST
FDA White Oak Campus
The Great Room, Bldg. 31, Room 1503A
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, Maryland 20993

NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
The NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are Continuing Medical Education-certified, open to the public and available live via webcast.

Upcoming Lectures:

April 3, 2014 (rescheduled from April 9)
Jeannie Lee, Harvard Medical School
‘Epigenetic Regulation by Long Noncoding RNAs’

April 30, 2014
Peter Palese, The Mount Sinai Hospital
‘Toward a Universal Influenza Virus Vaccine’

NIH Science Lectures and Events Available Online
The NIH hosts a number of science seminars and events that are available online through real-time streaming video. You can watch an event at your convenience as an on-demand video or a downloadable podcast. Most events are available to all; a few are broadcast for the NIH or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are marked as such. See additional details on events.

The NIAMS Exhibit The NIAMS Exhibit

NIAMS Exhibit Schedule
The NIAMS exhibit is traveling to several events. See the schedule of health fairs and exhibits.

Publications

NIH Research Matters
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.

Artistic rendering of human stem cells on the polymer scaffold.Artistic rendering of human stem cells on the polymer scaffold. Courtesy of Charles Gersbach and Farshid Guilak, Duke University

Engineering Cartilage
Researchers developed a 3-D scaffold that guides the development of stem cells into specialized cartilage-producing cells. The approach could allow for the creation of orthopedic implants to replace cartilage, bone and other tissues.

Shivering Triggers Brown Fat To Produce Heat and Burn Calories
Shivering, like exercise, triggers muscles to secrete a hormone that stimulates energy use in brown fat cells. The findings hint at new ways to alter the body’s energy balance and treat conditions such as obesity.

NIH News in Health
Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by the NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH’s own scientists or by its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.

women talking

Stop the Spread of Superbugs: Help Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria
For nearly a century, bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics have helped to control and destroy many of the harmful bacteria that can make us sick. But in recent decades, antibiotics have been losing their punch against some types of bacteria. In fact, certain bacteria are now unbeatable with today’s medicines. Sadly, the way we’ve been using antibiotics is helping to create new drug-resistant ‘superbugs.’

Funding Announcements

NIAMS Announcements

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis/Lupus: Leadership Center (UM2)
(NOT-AR-14-013)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Accelerating Medicines Partnership Rheumatoid Arthritis/Lupus Research Sites (UH2/UH3)
(NOT-AR-14-014)

Empirical Research on Ethical Issues Related to Central IRBs and Consent for Research Using Clinical Records and Data (R01)
(RFA-OD-14-002)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: April 18, 2014

Development of Software and Analysis Methods for Biomedical Big Data in Targeted Areas of High Need (U01)
(RFA-HG-14-020)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: May 19, 2014
Application Receipt Date: June 19, 2014

Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Parent Admin Supp)
(PA-14-077)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: No due dates on these applications, but not accepting applications from July 1, 2014 to October 1, 2014.

Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 Parent)
(PA-14-078)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: A change of grantee organization request must be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization and preferably several months in advance.

Successor-in-Interest (Type 6 Parent)
(PA-14-079)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: A successor-in-interest request must be made before the anticipated start date at the new organization and preferably several months in advance.

Direct Phase II SBIR Grants to Support Biomedical Technology Development
(PAR-14-088)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements

Limited Competition: Renewal Applications for Technology Development for New Affinity Reagents Against the Human Proteome (U01)
(RFA-RM-14-002)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: March 25, 2014
Application Receipt Date: April 25, 2014

Request for Information (RFI): Input on Future Directions for the Science of Behavior Change Common Fund Program
(NOT-RM-14-007)

Notice of Correction to Award Information, Eligibility Information, and Application and Submission Information in RFA-RM-13-016 ‘NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative (U54)’
(NOT-RM-14-008)

Other Funding Announcements

Data Sharing for Demographic Research Infrastructure Program (U24)
(RFA-HD-14-015)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: March 25, 2014
Application Receipt Date: April 25, 2014

NIH Implements Option for Applicants to Switch Between the SBIR/STTR Programs and the SBIR Direct to Phase II Pilot of the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011
(NOT-OD-14-048)

New Requirements in the Funding Opportunity Announcement PAR-14-073 ‘Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10)’
(NOT-OD-14-049)

Timetable for Next Round Resubmission of New Investigator R01 Applications Changed for October 2014 Council
(NOT-OD-14-050)

Notice of Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements and Contracts
(NOT-OD-14-052)

Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2014
(NOT-OD-14-053)

Notice of Revised Term of Award for All Recovery Act Awards to Repeal Section 1512 Reporting Requirement Effective February 1, 2014
(NOT-OD-14-054)

NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards — FY 2014
(NOT-OD-14-055)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2014
(NOT-OD-14-046)

Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of the ‘Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (Parent F30)’ Funding Opportunity Announcement
(NOT-OD-14-056)

Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of the ‘Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (Parent F31)’ Funding Opportunity Announcement
(NOT-OD-14-057)

Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of the ‘Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (Parent F32)’ Funding Opportunity Announcement
(NOT-OD-14-058)

Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of the ‘Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (Parent F33)’ Funding Opportunity Announcement
(NOT-OD-14-059)

Notice of Intent to Publish the Reissuance of the ‘Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 - Diversity)’ Funding Opportunity Announcement
(NOT-OD-14-060)

Registration Now Open for the 2014 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Baltimore, MD
(NOT-OD-14-061)

If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, the primary source for information about NIH funding opportunities. You can also request a weekly Table of Contents from the NIH Guide.