News & Events

Shorttakes

June 2009 (historical)

A compilation of news from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). Published three times a year. Just scan these "shorttakes" for information on what's happening at NIAMS, or access the complete articles for viewing or use in your own newsletter or other publication.

From the Director . . .

The NIAMS, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a whole, are delighted with the robust response to the many funding initiatives (http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/) supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We have been hearing from many of our colleagues in the extramural community, and we are very excited about their enthusiastic participation in these unprecedented activities. This extraordinary opportunity reflects the Obama Administration's, the U.S. Congress', and, indeed, the Nation's interest in medical research, and demonstrates the important role of medical research funding in the country's economy.

A central tenet of the NIH's ARRA-associated programs is the rapid distribution of funds, to stimulate the economy, create and preserve jobs, and advance biomedical research. In addition, the NIH is committed to maintaining its high standard of peer review, which is the foundation of our support of the most promising and meritorious biomedical and behavioral research. Peer review of ARRA applications is being organized by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), as well as by the scientific review branches of individual Institutes and Centers.

Because of the volume of ARRA applications we are receiving, and the need to award ARRA monies in an expeditious fashion, I would like to strongly encourage all NIAMS-supported researchers to respond to the call from NIH review staff—both from the CSR and from the Institutes and Centers—to join in this important activity. The scientific promise of the many projects that will be supported through ARRA is truly breathtaking— we must all do our part to ensure that the very best research is funded in a timely manner. The NIAMS leadership is committed to having outstanding reviewers to help us identify the most meritorious proposals that warrant utilization of these ARRA funds.

There are more ARRA-funded initiatives still to come from the NIH. The NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) has recently updated its Frequently Asked Questions Web page (http://grants.nih.gov/recovery/faqs_recovery.html) related to ARRA. We strongly recommend viewing this page, and revisiting it frequently.

We are very grateful to President Obama and the U.S. Congress for this unprecedented opportunity. We welcome your questions and comments and, most importantly, your participation! Additional information is available at: http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/default.aspx and http://www.niams.nih.gov/.

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
Director
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institutes of Health

Research Watch . . .

Researchers in the Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch of NIAMS, in collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, have discovered that tissue removed from traumatic wounds, traditionally considered medical waste, can be a source of progenitor cells.

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/progenitor_cells.asp

Scientists at NIAMS have discovered that the protein Lyn kinase, expressed in basophils, helps control the way T helper cells differentiate in mice. This ability to govern cell differentiation makes basophils and their cell-signaling pathways possible targets for future therapeutic strategies in lupus and other immune-mediated diseases.

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/protein_immu_cell.asp

Researchers funded by NIAMS examined patient preferences for surgical or non-surgical treatment for herniated disks and the factors that influenced those opinions.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/SPORT.asp

Researchers supported in part by a grant from NIAMS have identified a potential biomarker for rheumatoid arthritis, the autoantigen, citrullinated alpha-enolase peptide, or CEP-1.

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/RA_biomarker.asp

Researchers have identified a mechanism in mice that contributes to the development of pemphigus foliaceus, an autoimmune disease that causes skin blistering.

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/target_pemphigus.asp

NIAMS researchers, along with scientists from the National Cancer Institute, investigated the role of B cells in the origin of lymphoma and how an enzyme called activation-induced cytidine deaminase, or AID, acts on B cells causing them to become malignant cancer cells.

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/understanding_lymphoma.asp

Research supported by NIAMS offers new insight into the cellular mechanisms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Full story:
http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/immune_cell_lupus.asp

Low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased risk of hip fracture.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2009/low_vitD_hip_fracture.asp

NIAMS scientists have visualized a protein that forms part of the shell of a retrovirus. The findings contribute to our understanding of the structure, function, and creation of retroviral capsids and may help in the development of therapies to disrupt the functioning of retroviruses, which include the HIV/AIDS virus.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2009/02_10.asp

NIH announced a program to fund highly meritorious biomedical experiments that could utilize the unique environment of the International Space Station and produce breakthroughs to improve human health on Earth.

Full story: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/apr2009/niams-08.htm

Grants and Contracts . . .

The following announcements related to the NIAMS appeared in recent issues of the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts. These announcements are made to the research community to express our interest in funding specific areas of research. For more information on NIAMS grants and contracts, visit the NIAMS Web site at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Funding/ and the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html.

Requests for Applications

Multiplex Assay Development for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (SBIR [R43/R44]), PA-09-127. Issued: April 6, 2009; letters of intent receipt dates: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-127.html

NIAMS Clinical Trial Outcomes Instrument Development Grant Program (U01), RFA-AR-10-005. Issued: April 17, 2009; letter of intent receipt date: July 30, 2009; application receipt date: August 31, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-10-005.html

Translation and/or Commercialization of Musculoskeletal and Skin Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Research SBIR [R43/R44], RFA-AR-10-004. Issued: April 24, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: October 19, 2009; application receipt date: November 19, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-10-004.html

Ancillary Studies to Large Ongoing Clinical Projects (R01), RFA-AR-10-010. Issued: April 29, 2009; letters of intent receipt dates: July 3, 2009; November 3, 2009; March 1, 2010; application receipt dates: August 3, 2009; December 3, 2009; April 1, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-10-010.html

Ancillary Studies to Large Ongoing Clinical Projects (R21), RFA-AR-10-011. Issued: April 29, 2009; letters of intent receipt dates: July 3, 2009; November 3, 2009; March 1, 2010; application receipt dates: August 3, 2009; December 3, 2009; April 1, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-10-011.html

Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Centers (U54), RFA-HD-09-027. Issued: May 13, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: October 13, 2009; application receipt date: November 10, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-09-027.html

Requests for Applications (ARRA)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Core Facility Renovation, Repair, and Improvement (G20), RFA-RR-09-007. Issued: March 5, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: September 17, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RR-09-007.html

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Extramural Research Facilities Improvement Program (C06), RFA-RR-09-008. Issued: March 5, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: May 6, 2009 (projects between $2M and $5M); June 17, 2009 (projects between $10M and $15M), July 17, 2009 (projects between $5M and $10M).
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RR-09-008.html

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15), RFA-OD-09-007. Issued: April 20, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: September 24, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-09-007.html

Recovery Act 2009 Limited Competition: Enabling National Networking of Scientists and Resource Discovery (U24), RFA-RR-09-009. Issued: April 20, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: May 18, 2009; application receipt date: June 15, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RR-09-009.html

Recovery Act Limited Competition: NCMHD Community Participation in Health Disparities Intervention Research Planning Phase (R24), RFA-MD-09-006. Issued: May 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: May 29, 2009; application receipt date: June 30, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MD-09-006.html

Recovery Act Limited Competition: NCMHD Exploratory Centers of Excellence (P20), RFA-MD-09-007. Issued: May 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: June 1, 2009; application receipt date: July 1, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MD-09-007.html

Recovery Act Limited Competition: NCMHD Dissertation Research Award to Increase Diversity (R36), RFA-MD-09-008. Issued: May 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: May 29, 2009; application receipt date: June 30, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-MD-09-008.html

Requests for Applications (Roadmap)

Novel Statistical Methods for Human Gene Expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL) Analysis (R01), RFA-RM-09-006. Issued: April 1, 2009; letters of intent date: encouraged, but not required, see announcement; application receipt date: September 16, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-09-006.html

Pilot-Scale Libraries (PSL) for High-Throughput Screening (P41), RFA-RM-09-007. Issued: May 27, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: September 4, 2009; application receipt date: October 1, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-09-007.html

Program Announcements

Manufacturing Processes of Medical, Dental, and Biological Technologies (SBIR [R43/R44]), PA-09-113. Issued: February 26, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-113.html

Manufacturing Processes of Medical, Dental, and Biological Technologies (STTR [R41/R42]), PA-09-114. Issued: February 26, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-114.html

Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (BioMed-ISS) (UH2/UH3) (PAR-09-120). Issued: March 9, 2009; letter of intent receipt dates: August 31, 2009, 2010, 2011; application receipt dates: September 30, 2009, 2010, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-120.html

Bio-behavioral Methods to Improve Outcomes Research (R01), PA-09-125. Issued: March 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-125.html

Bio-behavioral Methods to Improve Outcomes Research (R21), PA-09-126. Issued: March 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-126.html

Replication, Fine-Mapping and Sequencing: Follow-Up on Genome-Wide Association Studies for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R01), PAR-09-135. Issued: March 20, 2009; letters of intent receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-135.html

NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21), PA-09-164. Issued: April 16, 2009; letter of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple receipt dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-164.html

NIH Clinical Trial Planning Grant Program (R34), PA-09-186. Issued: May 15, 2009; letter of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple receipt dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-09-186.html

2009 Receipt Date for PAR-08-123 Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Existing Data Sets for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Changed to October 14, 2009 (NOT-AR-10-021)
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-AR-10-021.html

Program Announcements (ARRA)

Recovery Act Limited Competition: High-End Instrumentation Grant Program (S10), PAR-09-118. Issued: March 5, 2009; letters of intent receipt date: April 6, 2009; application receipt date: May 6, 2009.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-118.html

Program Announcements (Roadmap):

Solicitation of Assays for High Throughput Screening (HTS) in the Molecular Libraries Probe Production Centers Network (MLPCN) (R03), PAR-09-129. Issued: March 12, 2009; letters of intent receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-129.html

Highlights From the Hill, DHHS and NIH . . .

Stem Cell Research

On March 9, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order (EO) lifting the limitations on Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The EO did not lay out specific implementation guidelines, but rather allowed 120 days for the development of such guidelines by the Secretary of Health and Human Services through the Director of the NIH. On April 23, the NIH released draft guidelines that are open for public comment through May 26. Several bills were introduced in Congress, most notably H.R. 872 and H.R. 873 that were designed to lift stem cell research funding limitations prior to the President's EO, but no further action has occurred. The Executive Order is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Removing-Barriers-to-Responsible-Scientific-Research-Involving-Human-Stem-Cells/. The draft of the NIH Stem Cell Policy can be viewed and commented on at: http://stemcells.nih.gov/.

Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity

On March 9, President Barack Obama also issued a presidential memorandum directing the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to devise a policy to ensure scientific integrity in Federal decision-making. The memo stated, "Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of my Administration. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions." The entire memorandum is available at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Memorandum-for-the-Heads-of-Executive-Departments-and-Agencies-3-9-09/.

Secretary of Health and Human Services

On April 28, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius was confirmed by the Senate as the new Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services by a vote of 65-31. On May 7, Bill Corr was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of HHS. More information on Secretary Sebelius is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/.

Cures Acceleration Network and NIH Reauthorization

On April 28, Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA), introduced S. 914, the Cures Acceleration Network and National Institutes of Health Reauthorization Act of 2009. This legislation would: 1) establish the Cures Acceleration Network, an independent agency that would make awards to accelerate the development of cures and treatments of diseases; 2) elevate the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) to Institute status; 3) increase NIH's authorization of appropriations to $40 billion for FY 2010, and such sums as may be necessary for each of the FYs 2011 to 2012; and 4) require the Director of NIH to develop and enforce conflict of interest policies. S. 914 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. No further action has occurred.

Pain Research

On January 28, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA), introduced H.R. 756, the National Pain Care Policy Act. This bill would, among other provisions, require the participation of the NIH Director, in consultation with the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, to expand research on pain through the Pain Consortium to be funded by the Common Fund, and require the Secretary, HHS, to establish an Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. H.R. 756 was passed by voice vote by the House on March 30. A companion bill (S. 660) was introduced in the Senate on March 19 by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. No further action has occurred.

Autoimmunity

On April 23, Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), introduced H.R. 2084, the Prevention, Awareness, and Research of Autoimmune Diseases Act of 2009. The bill would: 1) require the NIH to establish a loan repayment program regarding physician research on autoimmune diseases; 2) require the NIAMS to conduct or support research on biomarkers of autoimmune diseases and establish a biomarkers database; and 3) require the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to award not less than 2 grants for the conduct or support of research on environmental triggers of autoimmune diseases. The bill would also require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to award grants to conduct public and professional autoimmune diseases awareness activities, and require the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to award grants for the education of health care providers on potential links between autoimmune diseases and cognitive and mood disorders. A similar bill was introduced in the 110th Congress. H.R. 2084 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. No further action has occurred.

Arthritis

On February 26, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA), introduced H.R. 1210, the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2009. The bill would authorize the Secretary of HHS, in coordination with the Director of NIH, to expand and intensify NIH research and activities with respect to juvenile arthritis and related conditions. A similar bill was introduced in the 110th Congress and passed in the House. H.R. 1210 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. No further action has occurred.

Orthopaedics

On February 12, Representative Gene Green (D-TX), introduced H.R. 1021, the Access to America's Orthopaedic Services Act of 2009. Of interest to NIH are provisions that would require the HHS Secretary: 1) in consultation with NIH, to establish criteria for accounting and reporting the percent of effort expended by researchers funded by NIH or the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on musculoskeletal health; 2) in consultation with NIH, to submit a report that contains information on the number of new investigators awarded musculoskeletal health research grants and recommendations concerning additional resources that NIH or other entities could use to increase the number of new investigators; 3) in consultation with AHRQ, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to conduct a study on the cost-effectiveness of all available methods for measuring bone mass in beneficiaries of the Medicare program; and 4) acting through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and National Institute on Aging (NIA), to conduct a third longitudinal study on aging in the United States. A similar bill was introduced in the 110th Congress. H.R. 1021 was jointly referred to the House Committees on Energy and Commerce and Science and Technology. No further action has occurred.

Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

On February 10, Representative David Wu (D-OR), introduced H.R. 930, the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure, and Care Act of 2009. The bill would: 1) require the NIH to continue to expand and intensify research and related activities on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; 2) require the Directors of NIAMS and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to continue to conduct and support research to expand understanding of the causes of, and find a cure for, psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and coordinate such research throughout NIH; 3) require CDC to establish a psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patient registry; 4) encourage the Secretary to convene a summit on the Federal government's current and future efforts, and the initiatives necessary to fill any gaps, with respect to the conduct or support of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research; and 5) require that the Secretary enter into an agreement with the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to conduct a study on reimbursement policies of public and private insurers for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis treatment. H.R. 930 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. A companion bill (S. 571) was introduced in the Senate on March 11 by Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. No further action has occurred.

Budget Update

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17. As part of the Recovery Act, the NIH will receive $10.4 billion to stimulate biomedical research over the next two years. The funding level for NIAMS under the Recovery Act is $132.7 million. The NIAMS leadership and stakeholders are very grateful for the opportunity to join the NIH to advance and accelerate the biomedical research agenda in this country by focusing on scientific opportunities and public health challenges. Learn more about Recovery Act funding opportunities at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Recovery/default.asp.

FY 2009

On March 11, President Barack Obama signed into law the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111-8, H.R. 1105). This law provides $30.3 billion for NIH, an increase of approximately 3 percent over the FY 2008 enacted level, including the $150 million in supplemental funds. The FY 2009 funding level for NIAMS under the bill is $524.9 million, which is approximately 2.7 percent over the FY 2008 level including supplemental funds.

In accordance with NIH policy, noncompeting awards will be issued at the most recently committed levels. Noncompeting awards previously issued in FY 2009 at reduced levels will be revised to restore funds to the full cost. Based on case-by-case review of grant applications, reductions from direct costs recommended for new and competing awards will be approximately 10 percent. We are pleased to be able to maintain the payline for competing R01 and R21 applications this year at the percentile of 15.0 and at 18.0 for R01 applications from new investigators. All established paylines and funding policies for NIAMS can be found on the NIAMS Web site at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Budget/funding_plan_fy2009.asp

FY 2010

The FY 2010 President's Budget request was released on May 7. The request provides $30.8 billion for NIH, an increase of approximately 1.5 percent over the FY 2009 appropriation, not including the $10.4 billion from the Recovery Act. The proposed funding level for NIAMS under the request is $530.8 million, which is approximately 1.1 percent over FY 2009, excluding the Recovery Act funds. Support for new and early-stage investigators will remain an important goal as well as maintaining our success rate at approximately 20 percent. The FY 2010 Congressional Justification (CJ) document is available on the NIAMS Web site at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Budget/2010cj_full.asp. In addition to budget tables, the CJ document includes narrative sections about the Institute's programs and how funds will be allocated.

The delayed release of the FY 2010 President's Budget led to changes from the usual Congressional Appropriations hearings schedule. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education (Representative David Obey, [D-WI], Chairman) held a hearing on March 26. NIH Acting Director Raynard Kington, M.D., Ph.D., was the primary witness, and he was accompanied by several IC Directors. Unlike in previous years, this hearing was held to discuss the NIH implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5), not the FY 2010 President's Budget, which had not yet been released. The hearing also examined the current status of the National Children's Study.

On May 21, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education (Senator Tom Harkin [D-IA], Chairman) held a hearing on the FY 2010 budget. NIH Acting Director Raynard Kington, M.D., Ph.D., testified and was accompanied at the table by John E. Niederhuber, M.D., Director, NCI; Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Director, NHLBI; and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., Director, NIAID. Also accompanying Dr. Kington were Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., Acting Deputy Director, NIH, and Director, NIDCR; Richard J. Hodes, M.D., Director, NIA; Story Landis, Ph.D., Director, NINDS; Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., Director, NIDDK; Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Director, NIAMS; Thomas R. Insel, M.D., Director, NIMH; and John Ruffin, Ph.D., Director, NCMHD. Dr. Kington's full House and Senate testimonies can be viewed at: http://officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/ui/HomePage.htm.

NIAMS Faces . . .

NIAMS welcomes Timothy Bhattacharyya, M.D., who has joined the Clinical and Investigative Orthopaedics Section of the Intramural Research Program. A staff orthopaedic surgeon at Bethesda's Suburban Hospital since 2008, Dr. Bhattacharyya will continue seeing patients and conducting surgery there while working part-time for NIAMS. Dr. Bhattacharyya received his undergraduate education at Northwestern University in Chicago and attended medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. His general and orthopaedic surgery training was at the Boston Medical Center. Before joining the staff at Suburban Hospital, he served as an instructor of orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School and worked as a staff orthopaedic surgeon at both Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

Charles N. Rafferty, Ph.D., recently joined NIAMS as Chief of the Scientific Review Branch in the Extramural Program. Dr. Rafferty comes to NIAMS from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he created and managed a scientific peer review group and held the position of Assistant Director for Review and Policy. He has a doctorate in biophysics and substantial prior experience in managing research programs in biophysics, bioengineering, and environmental health in both public and private agencies. Dr. Rafferty also served as a Scientific Review Officer and Referral Officer at the NIH Center for Scientific Review between 2000 and 2005.

Su-Yau Mao, Ph.D., has joined NIAMS as the Director of the Arthritis Biology Program in the Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases in NIAMS' Extramural Program. Dr. Mao comes to NIAMS after 11 years at MedImmune Inc, in Gaithersburg, MD, where she led a team doing research on autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Mao received her doctorate degree from University of California, Davis, with a major in Physical Chemistry. Her postgraduate training was at the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked on the chemistry of immonoglobulins. She has worked for NIAMS previously — for seven years in IRP as a Visiting Fellow, a Visiting Associate, and a Visiting Scientist.

The Institute bids farewell to Rocky Tuan, Ph.D., Chief, Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch, IRP, who will be joining the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to direct the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering in the orthopaedic surgery department.

Kudos . . .

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., Director, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, was awarded the Society of Investigative Dermatology's Second Annual Albert M. Kligman/Phillip Frost Leadership Lecture and award. The award is presented to an individual in acknowledgement of significant contributions to the understanding of structure and function of skin.

John J. O'Shea, M.D., Scientific Director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program (IRP), received the 2009 Irish Society for Immunology Public Lecture Award, sponsored by the Royal Dublin Society and The Irish Times. Each year the society recognizes an outstanding immunologist and his or her contributions to the understanding of immunology. Dr. O'Shea's presentation "Learning From Patients: How Rare Diseases Inform Immunology" took place on May 21st in Dublin, Ireland.

Melinda Nelson, Acting Director of the NIAMS Division of Extramural Research Activities (DERA), will be receiving a Special Recognition Award on June 4, 2009, from NIH's Vision Steering Committee. The committee's mandate is to improve the operations and efficiency of grants management and research administration at NIH and in the grantee community. The award recognizes Melinda's time, insights, and many contributions to ensure the high standards of NIH's Grants Professional Certification program.

The NIAMS Office of Communications (OCPL) won three NIH Plain Language Awards and the NIAMS Office of Science Policy and Planning (OSPP) won two. The winning publications were (OCPL): The NIAMS Update; Bone Health for Life: Easy-to-Read Information for Patients and Families; and the Chinese Transadaptation of the Surgeon General's Report: What It Means To You; (OSPP): Draft Testimony from NIAMS Director, Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., before the House Committee on Science and Technology Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics; and the NIAMS Director's Statement to the Appropriations Committees (FY 2009). The NIH Plain Language awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 2.

The NIAMS OCPL received two Blue Pencil Awards of Excellence from the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC). The NAGC Blue Pencil Awards Competition recognizes superior government (local, state, and federal) communications products and their producers in 47 categories. This year, more than 600 entries were received. NIAMS received awards for: the NIAMS Electronic Hall Display and the NIAMS Zones materials for NIH's Take Your Child to Work Day.

NIAMS Communications Update

Multicultural Outreach

National Multicultural Outreach Initiative

NIAMS will host its first planning meeting of the Multicultural Outreach Initiative Ad Hoc Group of the NIAMS Advisory Council on June 3, 2009. The goals of the Multicultural Outreach Initiative are to improve access to research-based and culturally-relevant health information for minority and underserved populations; to emphasize that research is the foundation for progress in achieving better bone, joint, muscle, and skin health; and to support and involve voluntary and professional organizations within NIAMS' Coalition in multicultural outreach.

Outreach to American Indians and Alaska Natives

NIAMS continues to lead the Trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Health Communications and Information Work Group, composed of representatives from 16 NIH Institutes/Centers (ICs). The Work Group's main purpose is to coordinate efforts in developing and disseminating health information to AI/AN communities. On May 12, the Work Group sponsored an NIH workshop titled, ""Creating Collaborations: Partnering with Tribal Community Health Representatives for Health Research and Education." The purpose of the workshop was to increase awareness of successful research-based outreach and education programs that partner with Community Health Representatives (CHRs) to bring health information and education to Native communities. CHRs are a group of 1700 tribal employees who live and work in AI/AN communities nationwide and who serve as health educators and patient liaisons.

Public Liaison

NIAMS Coalition Activities

NIAMS continues to work with the NIAMS Coalition to share the latest research advances and related developments, and to foster dialogue on the future path of NIAMS-funded research. The NIAMS Coalition, a group of more than 70 professional and voluntary organizations, leads the Federal advocacy effort on research into the basic understanding, causes, incidence, treatment and prevention of diseases of the bones, connective tissues, joints, muscles, and skin.

Over the past year, the Institute has engaged in numerous activities with the Coalition, including presenting at many professional and voluntary meetings, providing opportunities to meet with Dr. Katz and other scientific leadership, and hosting NIH campus visits for organization volunteers and family members. For example, this spring NIAMS hosted tours of the NIAMS intramural labs for more than 20 patients and family members of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The visit provided an opportunity for the patients to learn more about the work being conducted at NIAMS and how this research connects to their everyday lives.

Publication Information

In an effort to extend the reach of NIAMS health information about bones, joints, muscles, and skin diseases, NIAMS is now offering health information in audio format. We have recently posted over 25 MP3 files on the Web site. Users may download these files to their computers or their handheld MP3 players and listen to recordings on a variety of health topics. These recordings were created from the health information in our Fast Facts series, an easy-to-read format summarized from our more detailed publications. We may consider adding more health topics in the future. Web visitors may view the list of topics and access the audio files at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/audio_pubs.asp.

Media Highlights

Raphaela Goldbach-Manksy, M.D., M.H.S., Acting Chief, Translational Autoinflammatory Disease Section, Intramural Research Program (IRP), is featured in a CAPS/NOMID (Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes/ Neonatal Onset Multisystem Inflammatory Disease) segment for the series Healthy Body, Healthy Mind which airs nationally on PBS. The feature, "The Mysterious Syndrome Called CAPS" was filmed at the NIH Clinical Center and highlights a NIAMS NOMID patient and her family. Online viewing is available at: http://www.itvisus.com/programs/hbhm/episode_1201_CAPS.asp.

The Spring 2009 issue of MedlinePlus Magazine contains a six-page spread entitled "Healthy Joints for a Lifetime." The feature highlights several NIAMS research initiatives related to osteoarthritis and includes an interview with Rocky Tuan, Ph.D., Chief of the NIAMS Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/pdf/med_mag_spring2009.pdf

Update on Equal Employment Opportunity . . .

The 2009 Summer Internship Program is underway. Approximately twenty-five students from diverse backgrounds have been hired for the 2009 program. The summer internship program provides a unique opportunity for talented students from underserved backgrounds or areas to come to NIAMS for training and mentoring. This program is designed to encourage these students to work in the field of biomedical research, and in particular in the disease areas of NIAMS.

The Institute will host one intern from the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) this summer. The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers with highly motivated postsecondary students with disabilities who are eager to gain experience in the workplace through summer employment. The student will be returning to work in the Office of Communications and Public Liaison for the third consecutive summer.

On February 13, NIAMS staff participated as judges at the Woodrow Wilson Senior High School SciMaTech Academy's annual science fair in Washington, DC.

NIAMS staff participated as judges in a science fair at the Oyster-Adams Bilingual School on April 15. The school has held science fairs for students from prekindergarten to the 7th grade for the past several years. Science themes ranged from behavioral sciences to physics, microbiology, and nutrition.

NIAMS staff members are planning for this summer's annual NIH National Minority Youth Initiative in Biomedical Research. The Native American, African American, and Hispanic students who will be coming to NIH will partake in a program focused on health and career information. One of the many activities will be a tour of NIAMS' laboratories.

NIAMS is the lead institute for the Warriors Transition Program, an NIH-wide initiative. This program is designed to provide wounded service members with the opportunity to transition back into the workforce. While undergoing treatment at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, participants can train at the NIH on a part-time basis until they are ready to seek full-time permanent employment. NIAMS participated in career fairs on March 12 and April 8 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Upcoming Events . . .

Look for the NIAMS exhibit at the following events between now and the September 2009 issue:

  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), Baltimore, Md., June 10-13, 2009
  • 91st Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, ENDO 09, Washington, D.C., June 10-13, 2009
  • National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) 2009 Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia, San Antonio, Texas, June 17-20, 2009
  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), Nashville, Tenn., June 17-21, 2009
  • Association of Women's Health Obstetrics and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), San Diego, Calif., June 28-July 1, 2009
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN), San Antonio, Texas, July 21-24, 2009
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), Toronto, Canada, Aug. 1-6, 2009
  • Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 6-9, 2009
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), Denver, Colo., Sept. 11-15, 2009

Publications . . .

Revised booklets

The Many Shades of Lupus

New easy-to-read fact sheet (English)

What Is Pemphigus?

New easy-to-read fact sheets (Spanish)

¿Quées el fenómeno de Raynaud? (What Is Raynaud's Phenomenon?)

New easy-to-read fact sheets (Chinese)

What Is Acne? (Chinese)
What Is Back Pain? (Chinese)
What Are Knee Problems? (Chinese)
What Is Osteoarthritis? (Chinese)
What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis? (Chinese)
What Are Sprains and Strains? (Chinese)

For information on arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, including copies of the publications listed above, contact:

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Information Clearinghouse
National Institutes of Health

1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301-495-4484
Toll free: 877-22-NIAMS (877-226-4267)
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-718-6366
Email: NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov

If you need more information about available resources in your language or another language, please visit our website or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov.

For information on osteoporosis and other bone diseases, contact:

NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center

2 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3676
Phone: 202-223-0344
Toll free: 800-624-BONE (2663)
TTY: 202-466-4315
Fax: 202-293-2356
Email: NIHBoneInfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.bones.nih.gov

If you need more information about available resources in your language or another language, please visit our website or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov.

For general information on NIAMS and its research programs, contact:

Office of Science Policy, Planning and Communications
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health

Building 31/Room 4C02
31 Center Drive, MSC 2350,
Bethesda, MD 20892-2350
Phone: 301-496-8190
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-480-2814
Email: niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.niams.nih.gov/

If you need more information about available resources in your language or another language, please visit our website or contact the NIAMS Information Clearinghouse at NIAMSinfo@mail.nih.gov.

For information on NIAMS Research Registries:

NIAMS' research programs include 8 patient research registries. For information on these, please visit: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Funding/Funded_Research/registries.asp.

Compiled by the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, NIAMS; phone: (301) 496-8190; e-mail: NIAMSInfo@mail.nih.gov