News & Events

Shorttakes

September 2010 (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 . . .

NIAMS is pleased to announce the launch of a new Web site for the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ˜ National Resource Center. Established in 1994—by NIAMS and six other federal partners—the Center provides patients, health professionals, and the public with an important link to resources and information on metabolic bone diseases.

As underscored in the Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis, the public misperception that osteoporosis and associated fragility fractures are only a problem for older white women may delay prevention—and even treatment—in men and minority women who are not believed to be at risk for the disease. To that end, the new Web site features navigation tools that help locate information by audience type, language, reading level and disease, resulting in easy access to bone health information by underserved and at-risk individuals.

Materials on the site fill important gaps in information, such as the lack of knowledge among men about osteoporosis. The site also features information on Paget’s disease of bone and osteogenesis imperfecta. Additional materials on other rare bone diseases are planned for the coming year.

Members of various multicultural communities, including Hispanics and Latinos, African Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, and American Indians and Alaska Natives, will find resources specific to their needs. Bone health information is available in English, Spanish, and Chinese languages.

I hope that you will take a moment to visit the new NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center Web site at www.bones.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 and Announcements . . .

NIAMS researchers have found susceptibility to Behçet’s disease, a painful, inflammatory condition, to be associated with genes involved in the body’s immune response.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2010/07_12.asp

Scientists have discovered that rare variants of a gene that encodes the enzyme sialic acid acetylesterase (SIAE) are associated with several autoimmune diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis and Type 1 diabetes.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2010/siae_variant.asp

Researchers funded by NIAMS have identified an increase in the rate of complicated surgical procedures for lower back pain in the elderly.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2010/low_back_surgery.asp

The NIH awarded the first new grants under the Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (BioMed-ISS) initiative, a collaborative effort between NIH and NASA.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Press_Releases/2010/09_01.asp

New research, supported in part by NIAMS, shows that the antiarrhythmic drug mexiletine appears to be safe and effective in reducing myotonia, a prominent symptom of myotonic dystrophy type 1.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2010/myotonic_dystrophy.asp

Researchers have uncovered variations in at least 13 genes associated with vitiligo, a disorder in which destruction of pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes, results in irregular white patches of skin and hair. The findings provide new clues to understanding vitiligo and provides clues into another disease—malignant melanoma, which occurs when melanocytes grow unchecked.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2010/vitiligo_melanoma.asp

With the help of a summer supplement award funded by ARRA last year, Clarke Gasper, B.S., a new college graduate, worked in the lab of Sanford Bernstein, Ph.D., at San Diego State University, where he helped Bernstein’s team develop a new DNA molecule and obtain new information about UNC-45, a protein essential for the proper structure and functioning of the molecular motor myosin.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Recovery/Chronicles/chronicle_UNC-45Chaperone.asp

ARRA funds have contributed to research on how skin epithelial cells communicate with each other and with the molecules in the extracellular matrix below them.

Full story: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Recovery/Chronicles/chronicle_NWU_green.asp

A summary report of the Meeting on Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis (PTOA) is available on the NIAMS Web site.

See: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Meetings_and_Events/Reports/2010/ptoa.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 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

Epigenomics of Human Health and Disease (R01), RFA-ES-10-002. Issued: July 7, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: August 29, 2010; application receipt date: September 29, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-ES-10-002.html

Effects of the Social Environment on Health: Measurement, Methods and Mechanisms (R01), RFA-DA-11-003. Issued: August 3, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: December 6, 2010; application receipt date: January 6, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-11-003.html

Sleep and Social Environment: Basic Biopsychosocial Processes (R01), RFA-HD-11-101. Issued August 5, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 8, 2010; application receipt date: October 8, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-11-101.html

Sleep and Social Environment: Basic Biopsychosocial Processes (R21), RFA-HD-11-102. Issued August 5, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 8, 2010; application receipt date: October 8, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HD-11-102.html

Basic Research on Self-Regulation (R21), RFA-AG-11-010. Issued: August 6, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: December 6, 2010; application receipt date: January 6, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AG-11-010.html

Psychosocial Stress and Behavior: Integration of Behavioral and Physiological Processes (R01), RFA-HL-11-033. Issued: August 17, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 14, 2010; application receipt date: October 14, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-11-033.html

Development of Comprehensive and Conceptually-based Measures of Psychosocial Stress (R21), RFA-HL-11-034. Issued: August 17, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 14, 2010; application receipt date: October 14, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-11-034.html

Basic Mechanisms Influencing Behavioral Maintenance (R01), RFA-HL-11-035. Issued: August 17, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 14, 2010; application receipt date: October 14, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-11-035.html

Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13), RFA-CA-10-017. Issued: August 27, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: November 14, 2010; application receipt date: December 14, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-CA-10-017.html

Ancillary Studies to Large Ongoing Clinical Projects (R01), RFA-AR-11-012. Issued: September 1, 2010; letters of intent receipt dates: Nov 3, 2010; March 1, 2011; application receipt dates: December 3, 2010; April 1, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-11-012.html

Ancillary Studies to Large Ongoing Clinical Projects (R21), RFA-AR-11-013. Issued: September 1, 2010; letters of intent receipt dates: November 3, 2010; March 1, 2011; application receipt dates: December 3, 2010; April 1, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AR-11-013.html

NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-term Interdisciplinary Training Program for New and Early-Stage Investigators (R25), RFA-NR-11-002. Issued: September 14, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: December 6, 2010; application receipt date: January 6, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-NR-11-002.html

Requests for Applications (NIH Common Fund/Roadmap):

2011 NIH Directors Pioneer Award Program (DP1), RFA-RM-10-008. Issued: July 9, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: September 13, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-008.html

2011 NIH Directors New Innovator Award Program (DP2), RFA-RM-10-009. Issued: July 12, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt date: September 20, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-009.html

NIH Common Fund Transformative Research Projects Program (R01), RFA-RM-10-010. Issued: August 4, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 27, 2010; application receipt date: October 27, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-010.html

Computational Tool Development and Integrative Data Analysis for LINCS (U01), RFA-RM-10-005. Issued: August 6, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: January 22, 2011; application receipt date: February 22, 2011.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-005.html

Economics of Prevention (R21), RFA-RM-10-015. Issued: August 13, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 28, 2010; application receipt date: October 26, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-015.html

Science of Structure, Organization and Practice Design in the Efficient Delivery of Effective Healthcare (R21), RFA-RM-10-016. Issued: August 13, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 26, 2010; application receipt date: October 26, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-016.html

Knockout Mouse Phenotyping (U54), RFA-RM-10-011. Issued: September 10, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 15, 2010; application receipt date: November 10, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-011.html

Knockout Mouse Phenotyping Project Database (U54), RFA-RM-10-012. Issued: September 10, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 15, 2010; application receipt date: November 10, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-012.html

Knockout Mouse Production and Cryopreservation (U42), RFA-RM-10-013. Issued: September 10, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: September 15, 2010; application receipt date: November 10, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-10-013.html

Program Announcements:

Advancing Novel Science in Women’s Health Research (ANSWHR) (R21), PAS-10-226. Issued: July 1, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: not applicable; application receipt dates: October 16, 2010, October 16, 2011, October 16, 2012 for new applications; November 16, 2010, November 16, 2011, November 16, 2012 for resubmission applications.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAS-10-226.html

Neurological Sciences Academic Development Award (K12), PAR-10-229. Issued: July 16, 2010; letters of intent receipt dates: not applicable; application receipt dates: October 12, 2010, October 12, 2011 for new applications and November 12, 2010, November 12, 2011 for resubmission and renewal applications.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-10-229.html

Robotics Technology Development and Deployment [RTD2] (R43), PAR-10-279. Issued: September 14, 2010; letters of intent receipt date: November 20, 2010; application receipt date: December 20, 2010.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-10-279.html

Pilot and Feasibility Clinical Research Grants in Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R21), PAR-10-282. Issued: September 16, 2010; letters of intent receipt dates: not applicable
application receipt dates: Nov 18, 2010, March 1, 2011, July 1, 2011; November 1, 2011, March 1, 2012, July 2, 2012; November 1, 2012, March 1, 2013, July 1, 2013.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-10-282.html

Highlights From the Hill, DHHS and NIH . . .

Policy Issues

Stem Cell Research Policy

On August 23, 2010, a U.S. District Court issued a preliminary injunction stopping federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, in response to President Barack Obama’s 2009 Executive Order that lifted the previous Administration’s limitations. On September 9, 2010, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted a request from the U.S. Department of Justice for a temporary stay to block the injunction. Oral arguments pertaining to the temporary stay are scheduled to begin the week of September 27.

As a result of the Court’s injunction, the NIH suspended funding and funding decisions for research using human embryonic stem cells (hESC). However, grants that were awarded prior to the injunction were not affected. Following the temporary stay, restrictions on hESC research were lifted. A hearing on embryonic stem cell research was held on September 16. More information on the hearing can be found in the sections below. The NIH Stem Cell Information Web site is: http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp.

Recent Hearings

Hearing on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

On September 16, 2010, NIH Director, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., testified in front of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Senator Tom Harkin [D-IA], Chairman) at a hearing entitled, "The Promise of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research." The discussion focused on the scientific and treatment opportunities unique to embryonic stem cell research. Video of the hearing and written testimony can be found on the Committee’s Web site: http://appropriations.senate.gov.

Hearing on Pending Public Health Legislation

On September 15, 2010, NIH Principal Deputy Director, Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health (Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. [D-NJ], Chairman) at a legislative hearing entitled, "Pending Public Health Legislation." The discussion focused on 22 bills, including the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2009 (H.R. 1210) and the Scleroderma Research and Awareness Act (H.R. 2408). On September 16, the Subcommittee held a mark up that included H.R. 2408. H.R. 1210 was marked up and reported by the full Committee on September 23, 2010. H.R. 2408 was also reported at that time. More information on these bills can be found at the two Web sites listed below.

Video of the hearing and written testimony can be found on the Subcommittee’s Web site:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2118:subcommittee-hearing-on-pending-public-health-legislation&catid=132:subcommittee-on-health&Itemid=72

Video of the mark up session can be found on the Subcommittee’s Web site:
http://energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2121:health-subcommittee-markup&catid=137:subcommittee-on-health&Itemid=77

Hearing on Pediatric Rare Diseases

On July 21, 2010, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Director Alan Guttmacher, M.D., testified in front of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) (Senator Tom Harkin [D-IA], Chairman) at a hearing entitled, "Treating Rare and Neglected Pediatric Diseases: Promoting the Development of New Treatments and Cures." The discussion focused on the need to create incentives to promote research and therapeutic development, with epidermolysis bullosa being used as one example. Video of the hearing and written testimony can be found on the Committee’s Web site: http://help.senate.gov/hearings/hearing/?id=d132692d-5056-9502-5da9-23c77808a20f

Pending Legislation

Arthritis

On February 26, 2009, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1210, the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2009. The bill would encourage the NIH to expand and intensify 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. The bill was marked up and reported by the Committee on September 23, 2010.

Scleroderma

On July 30, 2009, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced H.R. 2408, the Scleroderma Research and Awareness Act. The bill would encourage the NIH to expand, intensify, and coordinate scleroderma research activities. Additionally, the CDC would be encouraged to carry out a public awareness campaign on scleroderma. H.R. 2408 was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and marked up on September 16, 2010. The bill was reported by the Committee on September 23, 2010.

Gulf Coast Oil Spill Health Monitoring and Research

On July 30, 2010, Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced H.R. 6017, the Gulf Coast Health Monitoring and Research Program Act of 2010. The bill would require the Secretary of HHS, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Commerce and the Administrator of EPA, to establish a short-term and long-term comprehensive health screening, monitoring, and research program for oil spill workers and vulnerable residents, and on food safety affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, the program would be required to include research on the exposure of workers and vulnerable residents to oil, dispersants, and other chemicals and physical hazards during the clean-up effort. H.R. 6017 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. No further action has occurred.

Small Business Programs

Congress has passed a series of bills that temporarily extended the programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 that authorizes Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs. The current bill, signed into law on July 30, provides an extension to September 30, 2010.

As of September 24, 2010, several bills involving SBIR/STTR programs were at various stages of the legislative process. The primary issue of disagreement involves the increase of the SBIR set-aside from 2.5 to 3.5 percent of the extramural budget, and the increase of the STTR set-aside from 0.3 to 0.6 percent. While most of the proposed legislation would increase the maximum award levels, there is still debate over the level of allowable venture capital involvement. Bills of note include H.R. 2965 and S. 1233, as well as the Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 2647, which was amended to include SBIR/STTR issues.

Stem Cell Research Legislation

On March 10, 2010, Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced H.R. 4808, the Stem Cell Research Advancement Act of 2010. Similar to the bill passed by the 110th Congress, H.R. 4808 would authorize HHS to conduct and support human embryonic stem cell research, as long as certain ethical criteria are met. HHS, in consultation with the NIH Director, would be required to maintain guidelines governing such research and review those guidelines at least every 3 years, updating them as warranted scientifically. The bill also includes a ban on human reproductive cloning. This bill would put into law the stem cell policy that was created through the Executive Order on March 9, 2009. H.R. 4808 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

For More Information

For other related legislative highlights including those involving arthritis, autoimmunity, osteoporosis, pain, and psoriasis, please refer to the Web page of the NIH’s Office of Legislative and Policy Analysis: http://olpa.od.nih.gov/.

Budget Update

FY 2011

On July 15, 2010, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies marked up the FY 2011 appropriations bill. On July 29, 2010, the full Senate Appropriations Committee marked up the companion appropriations bill. Included in each measure was funding for NIH at the level of the FY 2011 President’s budget request, $32 billion, an increase of $1 billion over the FY 2010 level. In addition, both bills included $50 million to create a new Cures Acceleration Network (CAN). A breakdown of the House allocation will be available following the full Committee mark up, which has not yet been scheduled. The amount proposed by the Senate for NIAMS is $554.846 million, which represents an increase of approximately $15.76 million or 2.98 percent over FY 2010.

Once the House and Senate pass their respective appropriations bills, a Conference Committee, made up of members of both houses of Congress, will work to reconcile the differences between the two bills. If a final bill is not passed and signed by the beginning of FY 2011 which begins October 1, it is likely that a continuing resolution will be enacted.

NIAMS Faces . . .

Five members of the National Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Advisory Council are leaving the council after three years of service: George A. Beach, Betty A. Diamond, M.D., Kathleen J. Green, Ph.D., Clifford J. Rosen, M.D., and James N. Weinstein, D.O., M.S. The Institute thanks them for their many contributions, and wishes them well in future endeavors.

Daniel L. Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Director, NIAMS Intramural Research Program (IRP) has been selected to be the Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). Dan has been with NIAMS since 1985 when he joined the Institute as a medical staff fellow in rheumatology. Throughout his career, he has combined basic research with clinical research, which he will continue at NHGRI. We congratulate him and wish him well. Richard M. Siegel, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Immunoregulation Section of the Autoimmunity Branch, IRP, and Acting Director of the Autoimmunity Branch, IRP, has accepted the position of Acting Clinical Director, IRP.

Robert H. Carter, M.D., NIAMS’ Deputy Director, is the new Deputy Ethics Counselor (DEC) for NIAMS. Dr. Carter now has full responsibility for all ethics matters within the Institute. We are grateful to Paul H. Plotz, M.D., Chief, Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, for his diligent and dedicated service as the NIAMS DEC from 2007 to 2010.

NIAMS welcomes Elizabeth Elliott, M.S., who joined the NIAMS Office of the Director as the NIAMS Ethics Coordinator in August. Liz started her NIH career in 1991 as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist at the Clinical Center. In 2000, she became an NIH Management Intern. At the conclusion of the 2-year program, she joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke as a Management Analyst and later moved to National Institute of General Medical Sciences as a Management Analyst. Liz earned her master’s degree in business technologies from Marymount University, Arlington, VA, and has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine science from Incarnate Word College, San Antonio, TX.

Wilma Peterman Cross, M.S., Deputy Director of the NIAMS Office of Science Policy and Planning, is working part-time on detail with the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP). ODP is part of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives within OD. Wilma is supplementing the existing expertise within ODP by providing strategic guidance on numerous activities including Healthy People 2020, the Prevention Research Coordinating Committee, and enhancements to the ODP Web site. Additionally, she is helping with the implementation of key prevention-related provisions of the Health Care Reform Act.

Barbara Footer, a Program Analyst with the Division of Skin and Rheumatic Diseases, was selected as Laura Moen’s new specialist in the Division of Extramural Research Activities (DERA). We welcome Barbara’s expertise as it is applied to many activities that affect all Extramural Programs.

Five people from NIAMS were recognized for outstanding achievements at the annual NIH Director’s Award Ceremony on July 15, 2010.

Melvin Broadus was part of a group recognized for outstanding contributions to the goal of reducing the needs for multiple individual contracts at the NIH;

Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., was recognized for innovative research that has had a powerful impact on research on cancer and immunity;

Sharon Glass was recognized for exceptional initiative and perseverance in developing and leading the NIAMS Management Policies, Programs, and Initiatives Branch;

Anita Linde, M.P.P., was recognized for exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a mentor;

John O’Shea, M.D., was part of a group recognized for spearheading stem cell research at the NIH—defining the direction and initiating an intramural iPS cell initiative at NIH along with hESC and adult stem cells.

Four Clinical Fellows were recognized as Henry Metzger Laboratory Scholars for outstanding work for the last three years as Clinical Fellows. They are: Eric P. Hanson, Peter W. Kim, Michael J. Ombrello, and Yun-Jeong Song. They will be remaining at NIAMS as Metzger scholars, working in lab-based research. Three Clinical Fellows were recognized as Lawrence Shulman Clinical Scholars for outstanding work for the last three years as Clinical Fellows. They are: Sarfaraz Hasni, Cailin C. Henderson, and Grant H. Louie. They will be remaining at NIAMS as Shulman scholars, working in clinic-based research.

NIAMS Communications Update. . .

Multicultural Outreach

National Multicultural Outreach Initiative

The National Multicultural Outreach Initiative gained momentum after convening a strategic planning meeting of its Leadership Group and four minority work groups in June. The minority work groups represent African Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and American Indians/Alaska Natives/Native Hawaiians. The Multicultural Initiative is an outreach program to create and maintain a sustainable network of NIAMS partners to help address disparities in access to culturally and linguistically appropriate health messages and materials on diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin for racial, ethnic, and underserved populations.

More than 50 participants consisting of representatives from the NIAMS Coalition, NIAMS Advisory Council, health professional organizations, community-based organizations, Federal and local health agencies, and NIH staff gathered for one and one-half days to make recommendations on developing and disseminating research-based, culturally relevant health messages and materials for communities of color. The program also established an evaluation group to develop a plan to monitor the program’s progress and assess its effectiveness.

Outreach to American Indians and Alaska Natives

For the past two years, the trans-NIH American Indian and Alaska Native Health (AI/AN) Communications and Information Work Group has partnered with the Indian Health Service to disseminate health information packets to Community Health Representatives (CHR). CHRs are a group of 1,700 tribal employees who live and work in AI/AN communities nationwide and who serve as health educators, patient liaisons, and health information gatekeepers in their communities. Each quarter, an NIH Institute or Center (IC) sponsors the mailing. To date, more than 6,500 packets have been sent to CHRs on such health topics as drug abuse, diabetes, eye health, bone health, stroke, physical activity, sudden infant death syndrome, and the National Library of Medicine’s American Indian Health and Alaska Native Health information portals. In July 2010, an article featuring NCI’s sponsorship of cancer treatment and prevention materials for CHRs appeared in Indian Country Today, a multimedia publisher of news and information for America’s indigenous people. In August 2010, NIAMS gave a presentation to CHRs at its national education conference in Phoenix, Arizona. NIAMS continues to lead the Trans-NIH AI/AN, composed of representatives from 15 NIH ICs and three offices in the NIH Director’s Office. The Work Group’s main purpose is to coordinate NIH’s efforts in developing and disseminating health information to AI/AN communities.

Public Information

NIAMS Multimedia Page

The NIAMS Office of Communications and Public Liaison has launched a new Web resource—the NIAMS Multimedia page (http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Multimedia/default.asp). This new landing page provides a centralized place on the NIAMS Web site where visitors can access videos, images, and audio publications. It brings together two existing resources: the NIAMS Image Gallery—an online searchable database of NIAMS photos and illustrations; and NIAMS audio publications in both English and Spanish. It also adds videos currently showing on the NIAMS electronic hall display. In an effort to maximize the reach of the existing videos, a NIAMS playlist has been established on the NIH YouTube channel. This will stream directly into the NIAMS Web site. The videos can then be viewed by visitors to both the NIAMS Web site and the NIH YouTube channel. In the future, we expect to further expand this area of the Web site by adding more videos, audio publications, and images.

Media Highlights

In 2009, NIAMS OCPL coordinated with the North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS) to distribute a series of stories that would be sent to more than 10,000 newspapers with a combined total circulation of more than 225 million. A large portion of the NAPS distribution goes to weekly and community newspapers. In August 2010, NIAMS released the second article in the series "Bone up on Bone Health," which featured resources from NIAMS about bone health in both English and Spanish. This release has generated over 112 news articles to-date in newspapers across the U.S.

Staff scientist Nina Raben, M.D., Ph.D., of the NIAMS Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch, conducted the Acid Maltase Deficiency Association’s (AMDA) first-ever Webinar on August 13, 2010. The Webinar series was designed to facilitate the exchange of information between the Pompe patient community and professionals who have expertise in the field. The program—"Autophagy and Its Role in Pompe Disease"—can be viewed on the AMDA Web site at the following link: http://www.amda-pompe.org/index.php/main/webinar/autophagy_and_its_role_in_pompe_disease.

Joan McGowan, Ph.D., Director of the NIAMS Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases, was featured in the Fall issue of Women and Cancer magazine. Dr. McGowan’s interview focused on bone health strategies and osteoporosis prevention.

Update on Equal Employment Opportunity . . .

On August 5, 2010, the NIAMS Career Development and Outreach Branch (CDOB) held a farewell social, honoring the 2010 summer interns. This summer, in addition to the educational activities, the interns enjoyed a trip to the White House and a tour of the Library of Congress. Sixteen students from the diverse group prepared and presented posters at the NIH Summer Poster Day. The summer internship program provides a unique opportunity for talented students to come to NIAMS for training and mentoring, as well as encouragement to work in the field of biomedical research—in particular, in the disease areas of NIAMS. The 2010 summer interns are featured on the NIAMS Web site at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/News_and_Events/Spotlight_on_Research/2010/2010_summer_interns.asp.

NIAMS hosted two interns from the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) this summer. One student returned to the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, and the other student worked in the Intramural Research Program. The WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private-sector employers with highly motivated post-secondary students with disabilities who are eager to gain experience in the workplace through summer employment.

NIAMS staff members participated in the 2010 Annual Summer NIH National Minority Youth Initiative in Biomedical Research. Mario Cerritelli, Ph.D., the Chief of the NIAMS CDOB, gave presentations to the student groups on how to get the most out of a research experience. The Native American, African American, and Hispanic students in the program participated in activities that focused on health and career information and included a tour of NIAMS’ intramural facilities.

Through the CDOB, NIAMS maintained its leadership role with the NIH Warriors Transition Program, an initiative designed to provide wounded service members the opportunity to transition back into the civilian workforce. The CDOB continues to attract individuals interested in training. During August and September, NIAMS staff attended two career fairs at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The NIAMS CDOB is partnering with Schools for Educational Evolution and Development (SEED), in particular, The SEED School of Washington DC. The school is a tuition-free, lottery selection-based boarding school that provides an academically rigorous college preparatory curriculum for middle and high school students from underserved inner-city areas. Current plans include a fall visit to the school and the promotion of NIH internship applications, which open in November. We hope that the NIAMS-SEED partnership will inspire some of these bright and committed students to become interested in medicine and research.

Mario Cerritelli, Ph.D., co-directed activities for NIH’s Community College Summer Enrichment Program. The purpose of this program is to increase the number of community college students who participate in the NIH Summer Internship Program. A component of this program is a Community College Day at NIH to be held on October 1, 2010. The long-term goal is to increase the number of community college students who transfer to four-year colleges and universities and consider careers in the biomedical sciences.

Students from NIAMS’ adopt-a-school, Wheaton High School’s Academy of Biosciences and Health Professions, attended the celebration of NIH’s National Hispanic Heritage Month Observance on September 21, 2010. The featured speaker was Eloy Rodriguez, Ph.D., a James A. Perkins Endowed Professor of Ethnobotanical Medicine and Pharmacognosy from Cornell University. Dr. Rodriguez presented "The Origins of American Medicine: The Great Encounter of Indigenous, African, and European Cultures." NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., gave the opening remarks, welcoming the Wheaton High School students in attendance and recognizing NIAMS’ partnership with the school.

Upcoming Events . . .

Look for the NIAMS exhibit at the following events between now and the January 2011 issue:

  • Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS), Anaheim, CA, September 30-October 3, 2010
  • U.S.A. Science and Engineering Festival, Washington, DC, October 23-24, 2010
  • American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR), October 15-19, 2010
  • American College of Rheumatology/Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP), Atlanta, GA, November 6-11, 2010
  • American Public Health Association (APHA), Denver, CO, November 6-11, 2010
  • Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), Charlotte, NC, November 11-13, 2010
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), Albuquerque, NM, November 11-13, 2010

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

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: https://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: https://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