News & Events

NIAMS Update November 2008

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
November 20, 2008
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

Melanie M. Martinez, M.P.A. Public Liaison Officer niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

Trish Reynolds, R.N., M.S. Media Liaison niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D. Director, Office of Communications and Public Liaison niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

News
New NIH Policy Establishes Goals to Support Scientists Early in Their Careers
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a new policy establishing goals to encourage funding for scientists new to NIH and those who are at an early stage in their careers. The involvement of new investigators is considered essential to the vitality of health-related research and has been the focus of several critically important NIH initiatives. NIH is hopeful that this new policy will nurture a new cadre of promising scientists and provide the continued expertise needed to foster the next generation of biomedical research. NIH expects this new policy will level the playing field, allowing new investigators to achieve success rates comparable to those of established scientists submitting new grant applications. Achievement of a comparable success rate should permit NIH to support 1,650 or more New Investigators across all Institutes and Centers in FY 2009, a number equivalent to that achieved in FY 2008.
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NIH Funds 16 Science Education Partnership Awards
NIH announced that it will provide up to an estimated $17 million to fund 16 Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPAs). Led by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) — a part of NIH — SEPAs provide 2 to 5 years of support to stimulate scientific curiosity and encourage hands-on science education activities. By supporting collaboration among scientists, educators, and community organizations, SEPA projects help improve public understanding of NIH-funded medical research and encourage young people to choose science as a career path.
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NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives Welcomes Six New Members
NIH has selected six outstanding individuals to serve as members of the Director's Council of Public Representatives (COPR), the advisory committee to the NIH Director on issues important to the public.
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NIH Announces Initial Implementation Timeline for Enhancing Peer Review Activity
NIH announced that it will begin implementing changes to enhance its peer review system, after an extensive, year-long review. While the peer review system is a cornerstone of NIH, the increasing complexity and interdisciplinary nature of modern research have created a number of new challenges and demands on the system that merit enhancements in critical areas.
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Dietary Supplements Glucosamine and/or Chondroitin Fare No Better than Placebo in Slowing Structural Damage of Knee Osteoarthritis
The dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, together or alone, appeared to fare no better than placebo in slowing loss of cartilage in osteoarthritis of the knee, researchers from the Glucosamine/chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT) team report in the October issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Interpreting the study results is complicated, however, because participants taking placebo had a smaller loss of cartilage, or joint space width, than predicted. Loss of cartilage, the slippery material that cushions the joints, is a hallmark of osteoarthritis, and its loss is typically measured as a reduction in joint space width—the distance between the ends of bones in a joint as seen on an X-ray.
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NIH Announces Funding for New Epigenomics Initiative
NIH announces funding for the new NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Program. Epigenetic processes control normal growth and development, and epigenomics is a study of epigenetic processes at a genome-wide scale. NIH will invest more than $190 million over the next 5 years to accelerate this emerging field of biomedical research. The first grants will total approximately $18 million in 2008.
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Report from the NIH workshop, "Transforming Regenerative Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach," is available on the Web.
An NIH workshop on "Transforming Regenerative Medicine: An Interdisciplinary Approach" was held on May 19-20, 2008, in Bethesda, Maryland. The primary objective of this critical workshop was to bring together leaders in the multiple fields that constitute regenerative medicine to explore strategies for better coordinating biological knowledge, engineering technologies, and clinical needs, with resources, to promote transformation of regenerative medicine.



New Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Centers Target Stress-Related Illnesses, Obesity, Cancer, and Other Conditions
NIH's National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has added four new Centers of Excellence for Research on Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CERCs) to its research centers program. The new centers will add to knowledge about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches and their potential in treating and preventing diseases and conditions that are common among Americans.
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NIH News in Health: Understanding Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, which keeps your bones strong. Some recent studies suggest that taking extra vitamin D can have other health benefits, but the evidence to date has been unclear. Medical experts held a conference at NIH to take a closer look at the scientific evidence on vitamin D. They reported their conclusions in August 2008.
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NIH News in Health: Children & Clinical Studies
Treatments for children are often based on what works in adults. But children aren't little adults. Kids who participate in clinical studies can help save lives and improve the health of countless children. This new Web site, with videos from kids, parents, and experts, offers an insider's guide to help parents make well-informed decisions about whether to enroll their child in a clinical study.
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NIH Public Bulletin
Read about the latest public events, activities, and health information resources from NIH in the current issue of the NIH Public Bulletin.
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NIH MedlinePlus Magazine: An Athlete's Nightmare: Tearing the ACL (p. 24-26)
Two years ago, then-15-year-old Michelle Backus was out-maneuvering a teammate during soccer practice when she heard "a pop" coming from her left knee. The pain was instantaneous. "It felt like glass breaking," she says, "I fell over, and I knew it wasn't good." Michelle had just torn a part of her knee called the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL.
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Meetings

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland
December 16-18, 2008
Registration and information:



Save the Date: NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council Meeting will be held February 3, 2009, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 10, NIH Campus.
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You are cordially invited to the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, to speak with RCDC staff about the new RCDC public reporting Web site. During the 90-minute session, RCDC staff will demonstrate the new site and respond to audience questions. These sessions will be held throughout fall 2008 and early winter 2009, and each session will have the same format. Meeting dates are subject to change.

If you plan to attend, please select the date below that best fits your schedule, and then send an RSVP with your name, organization, and email address to rcdcpublicinfo@mail.nih.gov.

Friday, November 14, 2008      3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 4, 2008      1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Friday, December 12, 2008      2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 18, 2008      10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  Cancelled
Friday, January 9, 2009      2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 15, 2009      10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009      1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.




Publications
Nine New Esenciales Publications Available
Nine new Esenciales publications are now available from NIAMS. Esenciales is a series of easy-to-read fact sheets in Spanish that contain general information. They describe different diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin along with the causes and treatment options. The fact sheets also provide information on current research. The new fact sheets, along with more Esenciales titles and other NIAMS Spanish-language materials, are available on the NIAMS Web site.

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Funding Announcements
NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information SystemT (PROMIS) Network Center (U54)
(RFA-RM-08-022)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: February 3, 2009
Application Receipt Date: March 03, 2009
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Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information SystemT (PROMIS) Research Sites (U01)
(RFA-RM-08-023)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: February 3, 2009
Application Receipt Date: March 03, 2009
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Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information SystemT (PROMIS) Technology Center (U54)
(RFA-RM-08-024)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: February 3, 2009
Application Receipt Date: March 03, 2009
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2009 NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program (DP1)
(RFA-RM-09-001)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: May 15, 2009
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Pre-Application for the 2009 NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program (X02)
(PAR-09-012)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: December 17, 2008
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2009 NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
(RFA-RM-09-003)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: May 27, 2009
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Pre-Application for the 2009 NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (X02)
(PAR-09-013)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: January 15, 2009
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Other Research Announcements

Replication and Fine-Mapping Studies for the Genes Environment and Health Initiative (GEI) (R01)
(RFA-CA-09-003)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: October 24, 2008
Application Receipt Date: December 01, 2008
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