You are here:
NIAMS Update December 2009
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Janet S. Austin, Ph.D.
Melanie M. Martinez, M.P.A.
Public Liaison Officer
Trish Reynolds, R.N., M.S.
|Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D.|
Dr. Daniel Kastner Presents Annual Astute Clinician Lecture
NIAMS’ own Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., recently presented “Fevers, Genes, and Histories: Adventures in the Genomics of Inflammation,” at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series. As a member of the NIH community since 1985, Dr. Kastner presented the annual Astute Clinician Lecture, which honors a U.S. scientist who has observed an unusual clinical occurrence and by investigation of this occurrence has opened a new avenue of research.
In his introductory comments, NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., explained that Dr. Kastner’s work has “opened our eyes to a whole new area of the immune system.” With a long-time interest in patients suffering from hereditary recurrent fevers, Dr. Kastner discussed tools of modern genetics and genomics used to identify new genes, gene families and biochemical pathways that control inflammation. He also discussed how these tools lead to the discovery of new meaning for genes and proteins already in the inflammatory lexicon.
A new confocal microscope attachment called FLIM, purchased with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will allow scientists in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at NIAMS to probe biomedical images with increased precision.
It’s roughly the size of a small copy machine, but in the minds of scientists in the IRP at NIAMS, it stands a lot taller. The Institute recently acquired a genome analyzer, an instrument that examines genes and investigates the genetic makeup (genome) of different organisms.
New research suggests that the appetite-regulating hormone leptin may play a role in the long-recognized connection between obesity and osteoarthritis. The most common form of arthritis, osteoarthritis is characterized by the breakdown and loss of cartilage and the formation of bony overgrowths in the joints.
Scientists at NIAMS, working with researchers at sites across the country, have employed a new statistical method to identify predictors of spine damage severity in people with ankylosing spondylitis. These predictors include a number of genetic markers, as well as the patient being older at disease onset, being male and being a smoker. The findings were published in the July 2009 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
The last phase of the NIH Enhancing the Peer Review Process implements shortened and restructured NIH grant applications. The page limits of the Research Plans Section for most grant mechanisms will be reduced by about one-half and the applications restructured to align contents with the enhanced review criteria. Objectives are to emphasize impact and investigator qualifications, reduce focus on methodological detail and reduce administrative burden on applicants and reviewers.
The success of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS has had a tremendous impact on the longevity of many patients. However, ART and its maintenance of HIV/AIDS as a chronic disease have given rise to several debilitating conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. NIAMS’ leadership in funding bone and muscle research provides critical resources for elucidating the mechanisms of these comorbidities of HIV/AIDS. In addition, the Institute’s support of skin and autoimmune diseases research includes projects in immune system function and structural biology of viruses. Findings from these studies contribute to the understanding of HIV infection and its prevention, as well as the effects of infection-associated inflammation on bone, muscle and other tissues.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the approval of the first 13 human embryonic stem cell lines for use in NIH-funded research under the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research adopted in July 2009.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the launch of the Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), a trans-NIH initiative to expand the Agency’s funding of basic behavioral and social sciences research.
“Women in Science at the National Institutes of Health 2007–2008” is a new publication showcasing the achievements of some of the accomplished women at NIH. It is intended to inspire a diversity of girls and boys, women and men to enter or continue in science careers. Sponsored and prepared by the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health with assistance from the members of the NIH Coordinating Committee on Research on Women’s Health, the book celebrates the careers and accomplishments of 289 talented female scientists and administrators who are part of the NIH community. View the profiles of the featured NIAMS scientists Joan A. McGowan, Ph.D., Ivona Aksentijevich, M.D., Elaine Frances Remmers, Ph.D., Susana A. Serrate-Sztein, M.D., and Madeline Turkeltaub, Ph.D., R.N., in section 2, pages 92–95.
|NIAMS Coalition Members|
NIAMS Hosts 2009 Coalition Outreach & Education Meeting
The NIAMS Coalition 2009 Outreach & Education Meeting was held on November 3, 2009, in Bethesda, MD. The meeting brought together approximately 70 NIAMS Coalition members representing more than 50 different Coalition organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to provide members an opportunity to network and share best practices on the importance of connecting science to the public, while learning more about the inner workings of NIH and NIAMS.
Save the Date: NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held February 2, 2010, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus.
NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) 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 lectures, open to the public and available live via Webcast.
January 6, 2010
Dr. John Rich
“Wrong Place, Wrong Time: Understanding Trauma and Violence in the Lives of Young Black Men”
January 13, 2010
Dr. George Rose
“Protein Folding: Seeing is Deceiving”
January 20, 2010
Dr. Carol Robinson
“From Rare Gases to Ribosomes”
January 27, 2010
Dr. Art Horwich
“Molecular Chaperones in Protein Folding and Neurodegeneration”
The Fall/Winter 2009 issue of NIAMS IRPartners is now available. This issue highlights a recently discovered genetic immune disorder, provides a brief snapshot of the Institute’s involvement with nanobiology and nanomedicine, and features the Barney Neighborhood House, an organization that provides social services to senior residents in Washington, DC. NIAMS IRPartners is a biannual newsletter for patients of the IRP at NIAMS.
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH. November 2009 featured a study funded in part by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Wide Variety of Bacteria Mapped Across the Human Body.”
Read about the latest public events, activities and health information resources from NIH in the latest issue of the NIH Public Bulletin.
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.
The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center (NRC) has released a 12-month pocket planner that contains tips and resources for improving bone health. Each month of the planner offers a unique strategy for enhancing bone health, such as:
- Getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
- Staying active for strong bones.
- Talking to your health care provider about your bone health.
Handout on Health: Back Pain
This booklet contains information about back pain. It describes risk factors for and causes of back pain as well as methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions that cause back pain. Highlights of current research on back pain are also included.
This booklet contains information about atopic dermatitis. It describes risk factors for and causes of atopic dermatitis, as well as methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions that cause atopic dermatitis. Highlights of current research on atopic dermatitis are also included.
This booklet contains general information about osteonecrosis (avascular necrosis). It describes what osteonecrosis is, its causes and treatment options. Highlights of current research on osteonecrosis are also included.
This booklet contains general information about epidermolysis bullosa. It describes what epidermolysis bullosa is, its causes and treatment options. Highlights of current research on epidermolysis bullosa are also included.
NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Administrative Supplements To Support Core Consolidation
Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply