News & Events

Shorttakes

January 2012

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 the NIAMS, or access the complete articles for viewing or use in your own newsletter or other publication.

From the Director . . .

The year 2012 opens with a challenging budget climate for the NIH. Nevertheless, the NIAMS still has more than $500 million to invest in promising research in arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. The NIAMS will continue to devote the majority of its extramural budget toward funding the best investigator-initiated ideas within its mission areas.

My colleagues on the NIAMS leadership team and I have had recent discussions with the National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council, as well as with other national thought leaders, to gather community feedback on managing science under fiscal constraints. As we’ve done in the past, the Institute provides the current funding plan on the NIAMS website at http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Budget/funding_plan_fy2012.asp. The Institute usually sets aside a pool of money for selective payment of meritorious, high-priority grant applications with scores that fall outside of the NIAMS payline. One consideration is to increase the amount of funds for this category, using metrics for portfolio analysis to support the decision-making process.

The NIH Office of Extramural Research has gathered information on several other scenarios that are also under discussion (http://report.nih.gov/UploadDocs/Ways%20to%20Manage%20Final.pdf):

  • Reducing or limiting the size of awards
  • Limiting the number of awards held by a principal investigator (PI)
  • Limiting the amount of funds a PI can hold
  • Limiting PI salary support

The NIH remains highly committed to supporting the next generation of researchers, and the NIH-wide effort to increase opportunities for new investigators and Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) continues. The NIAMS expects to continue the differential payline for new investigators, and to offer a wide range of targeted funding opportunities including mentored career awards. I am pleased to report that researchers in the NIAMS mission areas have been very successful in competing for prestigious mentored career awards from the NIH, and have gone on to garner independent faculty positions and continued NIH funding. These scientists represent a bright future for research in arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases.

The NIH and the U.S. research community have dealt with fiscal constraints before and, as in the past, we will continue to work together to turn discovery into health. This is a time of great challenges, but also great opportunity.

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

Research Watch and Announcements . . .

A novel technique that enables scientists to measure and document tumor-inducing changes in DNA is providing new insight into the earliest events involved in the formation of leukemias, lymphomas, and sarcomas, and could potentially lead to the discovery of ways to stop those events.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2011/9_29.asp

An immune cell involved in initiating the symptoms of an allergic skin reaction may play an equally, or perhaps more important, role in suppressing the reaction once it becomes chronic. This finding in mice could have future implications for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease that affects an estimated 10 to 20 percent of infants and young children.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10_17.asp

A study shows that the medication etanercept reduces the frequency and severity of symptoms of TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), a rare inherited condition characterized by recurrent fevers, abdominal pain, and skin rashes.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10_25.asp

An international collaboration of scientists has identified a genetic mutation that causes a rare childhood disease characterized predominantly by inflammation and fat loss.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2011/10_31.asp

A study has identified a potential way to halt the cartilage destruction that occurs with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) without suppressing the immune system, as current therapies do.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2011/RA_treatment_target.asp

An interdisciplinary team of physicians and engineers from the United States and Germany found graphite carbon to be a key element in the lubricating layer that forms on metal-on-metal hip implants.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2011/12_22.asp

Researchers have shown that a medication that triggers new bone formation in people with osteoporosis can restore cartilage in a mouse model of injury-induced osteoarthritis of the knee.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2012/bone_drug_promise.asp

Researchers have found that, in embryonic mice, a protein secreted by developing bone signals muscle precursor cells to help bring about a crucial stage of muscle development. The discovery supports the idea that tissues previously thought not to interact through protein signaling do, in fact, communicate with each other.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2012/tie_muscle_bone.asp

Researchers at the NIAMS have developed a new way to see structures within viruses that were not clearly seen before.

Full Story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2012/1_12.asp

Investigators have found that a deficiency in the protein caveolin-1 (cav-1) is linked to the development of interstitial lung disease, the scarring of lung tissue that causes disability and death in people with scleroderma.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2012/scleroderma_lung_disease.asp

New research has brought scientists a step closer to understanding the genetic mechanisms underlying ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory form of arthritis that predominantly affects the spine and pelvis.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2012/genetic_as.asp

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 the NIAMS’ interest in funding specific areas of research. For more information on NIAMS grants and contracts, visit the NIAMS website 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

Rheumatic Diseases Research Core Centers (P30), RFA-AR-12-002. Issued: November 17, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: February 1, 2012; application receipt date: March 1, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-12-002.html

Shared Instrumentation Grant Program (S10), PAR-12-017. Issued: November 17, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: March 21, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-017.html

Application of Genomic Advances to Wound Repair (R01), RFA-NR-12-002. Issued: November 18, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 23, 2011; application receipt date: January 23, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NR-12-002.html

Application of Genomic Advances to Wound Repair (R21), RFA-NR-12-003. Issued: November 18, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 23, 2011; application receipt date: January 23, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NR-12-003.html

Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Centers (P60), RFA-AR-13-001. Issued January 10, 2012;letters of intent receipt date: April 18, 2012; application receipt date: May 18, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-13-001.html

Requests for Applications (NIH Common Fund):

Economic Studies Ancillary to Completed or Ongoing Health Care Delivery and Financing Pilots, Demonstrations, and Other Experiments (R01), RFA-RM-11-023. Issued: October 7, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: January 8, 2012; application receipt date: February 8, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-023.html

Phased Economic Studies Ancillary to Planned Health Care Delivery and Financing Pilots, Demonstrations, and Other Experiments (R21/R33), RFA-RM-11-024. Issued: October 7, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: January 8, 2012; application receipt date: February 8, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-024.html

NIH Director’s Early Independence Awards (DP5), RFA-RM-11-007. Issued: November 10, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 30, 2011; application receipt date: January 30, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-007.html

Technology Development to Enable Large Scale Metabolomics Analyses (R01), RFA-RM-11-019. Issued: November 17, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 31, 2011; application receipt date: January 31, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-019.html

Integrated Microphysiological Systems for Drug Efficacy and Toxicity Testing in Human Health and Disease (UH2/UH3), RFA-RM-11-022. Issued: November 22, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 26, 2011; application receipt date: January 26, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-022.html

Studies to Evaluate Cellular Heterogeneity Using Transcriptional Profiling of Single Cells (U01), RFA-RM-11-013. Issued: November 23, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 23, 2011; application receipt date: January 23, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-013.html

Exceptionally Innovative Tools and Technologies for Single Cell Analysis (R21), RFA-RM-11-014. Issued: November 23, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 23, 2011; application receipt date: January 23, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-014.html

Accelerating the Integration and Translation of Technologies to Characterize Biological Processes at the Single Cell Level (R01), RFA-RM-11-015. Issued: November 23, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 23, 2011; application receipt date: January 23, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-015.html

Stem/Progenitor Cell-Derived Human Micro-organs and -tissues (U18), RFA-RM-12-001. Issued: November 23, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 26, 2011; application receipt date: January 26, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-001.html

Mentored Research Scientist Development Award in Metabolomics (K01), RFA-RM-11-017. Issued: November 30, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: January 31, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-017.html

Development of Courses or Workshops in Metabolomics (R25), RFA-RM-11-018. Issued: November 30, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: December 31, 2011; application receipt date: January 31, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-018.html

Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Resource Cores (RCMRC) (U24), RFA-RM-11-016. Issued: December 2, 2011; letters of intent receipt dates: January 13, 2012 and January 15, 2013; application receipt dates: February 15, 2012 and February 15, 2013.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-016.html

Metabolomics Data Repository and Coordinating Center (DRCC) (U01), RFA-RM-11-020. Issued: December 2, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: January 15, 2012; application receipt date: February 15, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-020.html

Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): H3Africa Biorepository Grants (UH2/UH3), RFA-RM-12-003. Issued: December 21, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: February 21, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-003.html

Human Health and Heredity in Africa (H3Africa): Research Grants (U01), RFA-RM-12-004. Issued: December 21, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: January 6, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-004.html

NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory - Coordinating Center (U54), RFA-RM-11-021. Issued: January 24, 2012; letters of intent receipt date: March 27, 2012; application receipt date: April 27, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-11-021.html

NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory - Pragmatic Clinical Trials Demonstration Projects (UH2/UH3), RFA-RM-12-002. Issued: January 24, 2012; letters of intent receipt date: April 2, 2012; application receipt date: May 2, 2012.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-002.html

Program Announcements:

Academic Research Enhancement Award (Parent R15), PA-12-006. Issued: November 2, 2011; letters of intent receipt dates: not applicable; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-12-006.html

Mechanisms Mediating Osteoarthritis in Aging (R21), PA-12-018. Issued: November 22, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-12-018.html

Mechanisms Mediating Osteoarthritis in Aging (R01), PA-12-019. Issued: November 22, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-12-019.html

NIAMS Small Grant Program for New Investigators (R03), PAR-12-045. Issued: November 30, 2011; letters of intent receipt dates: not applicable; application receipt dates: March 20, 2012; July 20, 2012; November 20, 2012; March 20, 2013; July 19, 2013; November 20, 2013; March 20, 2014; July 21, 2014; and November 20, 2014.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-045.html

Solicitation of Assays for High Throughput Screening (HTS) to Discover Chemical Probes (R01), PAR-12-058. Issued: December 13, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: 30 days prior to the anticipated application receipt date; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-058.html

Solicitation of Assays for High Throughput Screening (HTS) to Discover Chemical Probes (R21), PAR-12-059. Issued: December 13, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: 30 days prior to the anticipated application receipt date; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-059.html

Solicitation of Validated Hits for the Discovery of in vivo Chemical Probes (R01), PAR-12-060. Issued: December 13, 2011; letters of intent receipt date: 30 days prior to the anticipated application receipt date; application receipt dates: multiple dates, see announcement.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-060.html

Highlights From the Hill, DHHS and NIH . . .

Congressional Staff Meeting on Regenerative Medicine

On January 30, 2012, at the request of Elizabeth Jungman, Senior Health Policy Advisor for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), representatives from the NIH and the FDA discussed the state of the science and collaborative opportunities related to regenerative medicine research with Senate HELP staff. NIAMS intramural researcher and Director of the NIH Intramural Center for Regenerative Medicine, Mahendra S. Rao, M.D., Ph.D., and NIAMS legislative liaison, Branden Brough, Ph.D., attended.

Legislation: Small Business Program

On December 31, 2011, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012. Among the many provisions, the National Defense Authorization Act included the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (STTR) reauthorization provisions. The SBIR/STTR provisions will reauthorize the two programs for 6 years, and increase SBIR/STTR awards to $150,000 (from $100,000) for Phase I and $1 million (from $750,000) for Phase II awards. Provisions of particular interest include the gradual increase of the SBIR set-aside to 3.2 percent (from 2.5 percent) and the STTR set-aside to 0.45 percent (from 0.3 percent) over the 6 years; and the allowance for up to 25 percent of the SBIR set-aside to be awarded to businesses owned by venture capital companies, hedge funds, or private equity firms: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir.htm.

For More Information

For other related legislative highlights, please refer to the webpage of the NIH Office of Legislative and Policy Analysis: http://olpa.od.nih.gov/.

Budget Update

FY 2011

In FY 2011, the NIAMS funded 228 new and competing continuation applications for a success rate of 14.9 percent—a figure lower than last year’s rate of 21.4 percent. The overall NIH success rate is estimated to be 17.7 percent. Additional details about the distribution of the FY 2011 appropriation are provided on the NIAMS website at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Budget/11_budget_detail.asp.

FY 2012

On December 23, 2011, the President signed into law H.R. 2055, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74). This 9-bill Omnibus, which includes funding for Labor, HHS, Education, and for NIH, provides funding for the NIH in the amount of $31 billion, which is $299 million above last year’s level and $758 million below the President’s request. This measure also created the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (http://ncats.nih.gov) and abolished the National Center for Research Resources. The funding level for the NIAMS under the Omnibus is $536 million, which is essentially level with the FY 2011 budget. A funding plan has been developed for operations and is available on the NIAMS website at http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Budget/funding_plan_fy2012.asp.

FY 2013

The President’s budget proposal for FY 2013 will be released in mid-February.

NIAMS Faces . . .

The NIAMS Advisory Council welcomes four ad hoc members:

Michelle Hofhine R.N., Vice President of Marketing, Accredited Home Care Services, Woodland Hills, California, has extensive experience providing patient care, serving as a case manager and overseeing various departments in the health care field. She manages marketing representatives throughout Southern California, supervises the Internal Central Intake Department, and is also responsible for business development, including home telehealth for monitoring high-risk patient populations. Ms. Hofhine’s community outreach includes a pilot study to decrease re-hospitalization of home health clients. Ms. Hofhine is a parent of a child with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease.

Katherine Mathews, M.D., Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa, has had a longstanding interest in the muscular dystrophies and a commitment to working toward finding improved treatment through facilitating better understanding of pathogenesis. She has become increasingly involved in collaborative clinical research efforts, many of which are laying a groundwork for clinical trials. Dr. Mathews’ research career began with using genetic linkage, then a putative mouse model, to identify the gene causing facioscapulohumeral dystrophy. Her current academic efforts have been focused on improving the quality of care for patients with neuromuscular disease. She provides treatment for the majority of the pediatric neuromuscular patients and many of the adult muscular dystrophy patients in the state of Iowa.

Elizabeth Smith, Patient Advocate for juvenile arthritis, Burke, Virginia, is also a kindergarten and pre-school teacher. She is the mother of six children and became a juvenile arthritis parent in 1994 when her two-year-old daughter was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Ms. Smith has been involved with numerous activities as a parent, and has volunteered for the Arthritis Foundation at a local and national level. In 1996, she formed the first support group for juvenile arthritis parents and became a valuable resource for families of children with newly diagnosed juvenile arthritis. In 2003, she joined the Arthritis Foundation Board of Directors for the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Xiao-Jing Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Colorado, Denver, is also the Director of the Head, Neck, and Squamous Cell Carcinomas Research Program at UCD. She has created invaluable resources for evaluating the mechanisms and efficacy of existing clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of head and neck cancer (HNC), the sixth most common cancer type worldwide. Dr. Wang's laboratory developed the first genetically engineered mouse model that mimics human HNC at both genetic and clinical levels. She published a breakthrough paper that identified a single gene deletion as the cause of 80 percent of mouse HNC tumors. This research is likely to lead to a targeted treatment for the disease in humans.

Mary Beth Kester, M.S., has joined the NIAMS Office of Science Policy and Planning as a senior advisor and project manager for the office, and will facilitate a number of strategic planning, program evaluation, and legislative liaison activities. Ms. Kester comes to the NIAMS from the NIBIB Office of Science Policy and Public Liaison, where she served as the Planning and Evaluation Officer and the Legislative Officer. Before joining the NIBIB in 2003, Ms. Kester served as a Health Science Policy Analyst in the Office of Scientific Program and Policy Analysis at the NIDDK. She began her NIH career in 1993, as a Biologist in the Genetics and Endocrinology Section of the Metabolic Diseases Branch in NIDDK, where she was part of a trans-NIH team led by Drs. Francis Collins and Allen Spiegel that identified the gene for multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1. Ms. Kester earned a B.S. degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. degree in Toxicology from the University of Maryland.

After 40 years of service to the Federal Government, 17 of which have been as the Chief of the NIAMS’ Financial Management Branch, Robyn Strachan retired in early December 2011. We have been able to retain Robyn part time as a Senior Advisor. We are delighted that her expertise and historical memory will be available to us for a while longer.

After 12 years of service to the NIAMS as the Director of the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Janet S. Austin, Ph.D., has retired. During her tenure, Dr. Austin brought tremendous vision and energy to her leadership role, greatly enhancing the productivity and visibility of the office.

Kudos . . .

The U.S. Bone and Joint Initiative honored NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., on October 12, 2011, presenting him with a plaque in appreciation for his support and leadership over the past 10 years in advancing the mission of the Bone and Joint Decade.

Kudos to NIAMS Scientific Director John J. O’Shea, M.D., one of the organizers of a three-day symposium, “The Jak-STAT Pathway: 20 Years from Discovery to Drugs.” The meeting convened an international team of industry, academia and government scientists who focused on the transla¬tional advances that have arisen from the basic discoveries of the Jak-STAT pathway.

NIAMS Communications Update. . .

Multicultural Outreach

National Multicultural Outreach Initiative

The National Multicultural Outreach Initiative has developed tailored health planners for four multicultural communities: 1) African Americans, 2) Hispanics/Latinos, 3) Asians and Pacific Islanders, and 4) American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The purpose of the health planners is to raise awareness in four multicultural communities about the NIAMS and NIAMS resources to help patients with diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. The 12-month health planners contain tips about self-care and disease management, and include references to NIAMS and NIH resources as appropriate to the topic. The NIAMS will field test two health planners in four pilot sites in collaboration with the Indian Health Service, the Office of Minority Health, and the NIAMS Coalition prior to a national distribution effort. http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Mission_and_Purpose/Community_Outreach/Multicultural_Outreach/NMOI_present102811.pdf

Outreach to American Indians and Alaska Natives

The trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Health Communications and Information Work Group sponsored a workshop for HHS employees on November 16, 2011, in commemoration of American Indian/Alaska Native National Heritage Month. Titled “Reaching Out to Urban Indians: Best Practices in Communications and Partnerships,” the workshop helped increase awareness about the history and cultural identity of urban Indians, their health status, and best practices for health communications in this population. The NIAMS continues to lead the Trans-NIH AI/AN Work Group, composed of representatives from 19 NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The Work Group’s main purpose is to coordinate the NIH’s efforts in developing and disseminating health information to AI/AN communities. http://www.niams.nih.gov/About_Us/Mission_and_Purpose/Community_Outreach/Multicultural_Outreach/AIAN_WG/default.asp

Public Information — Social Media

Twitter: Since the launch of the NIAMS Twitter pilot project in January 2011, the reach of NIAMS Twitter messages has grown from 37 followers to over 1,000. Tweets direct followers to NIAMS announcements, press releases, Spotlight on Research stories, and health information resources on the NIAMS website. The NIAMS posts an average of four to five tweets per week. Tweets brought over 22,000 hits to the NIAMS website in 2011. http://twitter.com/NIH_NIAMS

YouTube: The NIAMS Multimedia page features 13 videos on a wide variety of topics within the NIAMS mission. These videos are also posted on the NIH YouTube website. http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Multimedia/default.asp http://www.youtube.com/NIHOD

Public Liaison

The NIAMS Coalition 2011 Outreach and Education Meeting: Creating Connections for Science, was held on October 11, 2011, at the Bethesda Marriott Hotel. The NIAMS Coalition is an independent group of more than 70 professional and voluntary organizations concerned with the programs of the NIAMS. Organized by the NIAMS, more than 50 individuals representing 40 different Coalition organizations attended the meeting. Attendees were able to expand their knowledge of the inner workings of the NIH and the NIAMS, participate in networking opportunities and share best practices in collaborating with the Institute. http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Meetings_and_Events/Coalition/2011/default.asp

Media Highlights

Joan McGowan, Ph.D., Director of the NIAMS Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases, appeared in a New York Times story on bone mineral density testing intervals in older women. The article was triggered by a publication in the New England Journal of Medicine from the NIH-supported Study of Osteoporotic Fractures research team.

The work of NIAMS Scientific Director John J. O’Shea, M.D., was reported on in the January issue of Nature Biotechnology. The article, “Incyte comes of age with JAK inhibitor approval,” focused on the recent approval of the JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis and related disorders.

NIAMS grantee and former Advisory Council member, Joshua J. Jacobs, M.D., appeared in multiple media stories, including Reuters Health and ABC/WLS-TV, Chicago, following the launch of a paper in Science on metal-on-metal hip implants. The work was funded by an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Grand Opportunity grant.

NIAMS Deputy Scientific Director Juan Rivera, M.Sc., Ph.D., was featured in a story on chronic allergic dermatitis for DermatologistBlog.com. Dr. Rivera discussed his recent discovery regarding the unexpected role of interleukin-2 in the course of the disease.

Update on Equal Employment Opportunity . . .

The 2012 NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research is accepting applications via the NIH website at http://www.training.nih.gov/programs/SIP. The NIAMS has already begun receiving applications for these positions. For additional information concerning research training opportunities within the NIAMS Intramural Research Program (IRP), please visit http://www.niams.nih.gov/Research/Ongoing_Research/Branch_Lab/Career_Development_Outreach/training_opportunities_students.asp.

In November 2011, Stephen Butler, Program Assistant for the Career Development and Outreach Branch (CDOB), and staff members from the NIH Office of Human Resources, were invited to Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville, MD, to present information on the NIH and the NIH summer internship application process to students, parents, and faculty. The first presentation was well- received, and the Assistant Principal of Wootton High School invited Mr. Butler for a second presentation on January 5, 2012.

Mario E. Cerritelli, Ph.D., Chief of the CDOB, continues to provide leadership to the NIH Community College Summer Enrichment Program (CCSEP), now in its third year. The goal of CCSEP is to increase the number of community college students who transfer to four-year colleges and universities and consider careers in the biomedical or health care fields.

The NIAMS continues its leadership role in the NIH Warrior Transition Program by participating in career fairs at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD. The Warrior Transition Program is designed to provide wounded service members the opportunity to transition back into the civilian workforce through a part-time training program prior to seeking full-time permanent employment.

As part of the NIAMS’ partnership with the SEED School of Washington, D.C., the CDOB has invited students from the school to come to NIH for a tour and a discussion of training opportunities. They will visit a NIAMS lab and participate in a scientific experiment during their scheduled visit at the end of January.

The NIAMS CDOB is organizing activities with the Police Athletic League (PAL) of Prince George’s County, Maryland, to work with “at risk” children, ages 11-16. The purpose of the partnership is to introduce students to the basic elements of research and to broaden their knowledge of medicine and science. The program will also give them opportunities to interact with research scientists as role models.

Since the last NIAMS Advisory Council, the NIAMS CDOB participated in the following career events:

  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) annual conference (October 2011)
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) annual conference (November 2011)
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) (November 2011)

Upcoming Events . . .

Look for the NIAMS exhibit at the following events between now and the June 2012 issue:

  • Orthopaedic Research Society Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, February 4-7, 2012
  • Dermatology Nurses Association Annual Conference, Denver, CO, February 16-19, 2012
  • American Academy of Dermatology Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, March 16-20, 2012
  • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Annual Conference, Washington, DC, March 28-31, 2012
  • Joint Conference of the American Society on Aging and the National Council on Aging, Washington, DC, March 28-April 1, 2012
  • American College of Physicians Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 19-21, 2012
  • American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, April 23-26, 2012
  • American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 26-29, 2012
  • USA Science and Engineering Festival, Washington, DC, April 27-29, 2012
  • Society of Investigative Dermatology Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC, May 9-12, 2012
  • National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, May 19-22, 2012
  • American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Conference, Toronto, ON, May 26-31, 2012
  • American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, CA, May 29-June 2, 2012

For information on arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, including copies of NIAMS publications, 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:

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