News & Events

NIAMS Update August 2009

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
August 20, 2009
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 Communications and Public Liaison
niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D.
Director

Melanie M. Martinez, M.P.A.
Public Liaison Officer

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

Spotlight
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act logo Stimulus Funding Helps NIAMS to Reach Students, Science Educators
NIAMS, backed by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), is using a new administrative supplement mechanism to expose students and science educators to the benefits of health-related research careers. The supplemental funding will put them in the laboratories of NIAMS grantees for an upfront-and-personal experience with the workings of research.


News
  Stimulus Funding Helps NIAMS to Reach Students, Science Educators
From left to right: Henry Donahue, Ph.D., vice chair for research and director of the Division of Musculoskeletal Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine and Jason Ambler, biology teacher at Pennsylvania's Hershey's High School
The ARRA Chronicles
Dateline: Hershey, PA

“I’ve been teaching biology for 10 years. It is one thing to teach information from a book, but it’s an entirely different experience to do the research yourself and really delve into the background necessary to work at this level. I feel that the best way to learn is to do and to teach others how to do it themselves.”

So says Jason Ambler, a biology teacher at Pennsylvania’s Hershey High School and a biomedical researcher this summer at the Hershey Medical Center. He is at the Center courtesy of a new Administrative Supplement for Students and Science Educators funded by ARRA and administered by NIAMS.


Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Sworn in as National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director
Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., became the 16th director of NIH. He was nominated to lead the NIH, the nation’s premiere biomedical research agency, by President Barack Obama on July 8, and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 7.


2008 NIH-Supported Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Recipients Announced
Eleven NIH grantees and one intramural scientist have been selected by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy to be among this year’s 100 researchers to receive this Presidential award, the nation’s highest honor for scientists at the outset of their professional careers. Two NIAMS-supported researchers were among the awardees, Helen H. Lu, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering and assistant professor of dental and craniofacial bioengineering at Columbia University in New York and Jeremy F. Reiter M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco will be honored by President Barack Obama along with the other awardees at a White House ceremony later this year. Since the program began in 1996, NIH has now funded a total of 153 PECASE recipients. Select complete list to see NIH-supported PECASE recipients and review program information.


Bone Formation Gone Awry — NIAMS Researchers Identify Cell Involved in Pathology
Heterotopic ossification is a condition in which bone grows within soft tissue, impeding the normal function of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Scientists have been trying for some time to isolate the type of cells that lead to this abnormal bone formation, without success. Now, researchers, supported in part by NIAMS, have identified a cell that contributes to this debilitating condition.


Study Shows Safety of Gene Therapy for Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
Researchers supported by NIAMS have shown that gene therapy may be possible for a potentially severe form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, a group of disorders that often begins in childhood and causes wasting of skeletal muscles, particularly those around the hips and shoulders.


Scientists Gain New Insights into Osteoporosis in Men
Scientists funded by NIAMS have uncovered new clues related to bone loss and the risk of fractures (broken bones) in older men. Osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become weak and prone to fracture, has been less clearly understood in men than in women. But two separate analyses from the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study (MrOS)—recently published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research—have made important contributions to the understanding of the disease and its consequences in men.


Scientists Discover Genetic Clues in Common Form of Blood Vessel Malformations
Sometimes answers to medical problems come from unexpected places. This is especially true in the field of genetics, where investigations into specific diseases can lead to more general insights. Researchers studying a rare disease caused by inherited mutations in a gene discovered that non-inherited, also called somatic, mutations in the same gene can lead to the more common type of the same disease—sporadic venous malformations (VM). The study appeared in a recent issue of Nature Genetics.


NIH Expands National Consortium for Transforming Clinical and Translational Research, Releases First Progress Report
Clinical and Translational Science Awards will be made to seven more academic health centers, bringing the consortium to 46 member institutions, NIH's National Center for Research Resources announced. This national network of medical research institutions is working to accelerate the process that develops laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, to engage communities in clinical research, and to train a new generation of clinical and translational researchers.


NIH and Wikimedia Foundation Collaborate to Improve Online Health Information
NIH and the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates the Wikipedia® online encyclopedia, are joining forces to make health and science information more accessible and reliable. This collaboration is the first of its kind for both organizations.




Other Federal News
New Spanish-Language Versions of Consumer Summary Guides from Effective Health Care
Spanish-language versions of two Consumer Summary Guides are now available from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Effective Health Care Program:





Meetings and Events
Save the Date: NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held September 16, 2009, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus.




Publications
NIH Public Bulletin
Read about the latest public events, activities and health information resources from NIH in the latest issue of the NIH Public Bulletin.

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

New Publications

¿Qué es la artritis juvenil? (What Is Juvenile Arthritis?)
Esenciales is a series of easy-to-read fact sheets in Spanish that describe different diseases of the bones, joints, muscles and skin, along with the diseases’ causes and treatment options. The fact sheets also provide information on current research. Find this new fact sheet, along with more Esenciales titles and other Spanish-language materials, on the NIAMS Web site.

Revised Publications

¿Tengo lupus? (Do I Have Lupus?)
This bilingual booklet contains general information about lupus. It describes what lupus is, the different forms of lupus, its symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis, coping strategies and treatment options. Highlights on current research also are provided.

Many Shades of Lupus: Information for Multicultural Communities
This booklet contains general information about lupus. It describes what lupus is, the different forms of lupus, its symptoms, causes, coping strategies, diagnosis and treatment options. It also discusses how lupus affects people of different races and ethnicities. Highlights on current research also are provided.

Handout on Health: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This booklet contains general information about systemic lupus erythematosus. It describes what systemic lupus erythematosus is, its causes and treatment options. Highlights on current research also are provided.

Joint Replacement Surgery: Information for Multicultural Communities
This easy-to-read booklet contains general information about joint replacement surgery for multicultural communities. It describes what joint replacement surgery is, when surgery is necessary and what happens during and after surgery. Highlights on current research and a list of additional resources also are provided.

Questions and Answers about Raynaud’s Phenomenon
This booklet contains general information about Raynaud’s phenomenon. It describes what Raynaud’s phenomenon is, how it develops and who is more likely to get the condition. It also explains how Raynaud’s phenomenon is diagnosed and treated. Highlights on current research also are provided.

Questions and Answers about Spinal Stenosis
This booklet contains general information about spinal stenosis. It describes what spinal stenosis is, its causes and treatment options. Highlights of current research on spinal stenosis also are included.



Funding Announcements
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Recovery Act of 2009: Revised NIH Award Terms Available
(NOT-OD-09-120)






NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

Development of New Technologies Needed for Studying the Human Microbiome (R01)
(RFA-RM-09-008)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 17, 2009
Application Receipt Date: September 14, 2009


Development of New Technologies Needed for Studying the Human Microbiome (R21)
(RFA-RM-09-009)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 17, 2009
Application Receipt Date: September 14, 2009








NIAMS Research Announcements

NIAMS Building Interdisciplinary Research Team (BIRT) Revision Awards (R01)
RFA-AR-10-001)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: October 14, 2009
Application Receipt Date: November 13, 2009


Other Research Announcements

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (K12)
(RFA-OD-09-006)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: September 23, 2009
Application Receipt Date: October 22, 2009


















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.