NIAMS Update April 2009

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
April 16, 2009
The NIAMS Update is a monthly digest published for those interested in the latest scientific news and resources on diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and skin. We encourage further dissemination of this resource.
Contact Information

Office of Communications and Public Liaison

Janet S. Austin, Ph.D.

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

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


cover of Could I Have Lupus? Real Women. Real Stories. Real Hope. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and Ad Council Launch National Lupus Awareness Campaign
Eighty percent of young women in the United States say they have little or no knowledge of lupus, according to a national online survey released by the Ad Council. In an effort to raise awareness of lupus among women who are at greatest risk for the disease, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health is joining the Ad Council to launch a national multimedia public service advertising (PSA) campaign to address the disease.

The campaign is designed to heighten awareness and create a sense of urgency about lupus. With the help of women who are actually living with lupus, the Office on Women's Health is sending a message to women who are suffering from lupus symptoms-that they can find support, hope, and-most of all-answers. They just have to start by asking the right question: "Could I have lupus?" Learn more about the National Lupus Awareness Campaign.

Students and Science Educators To Get Boost from NIH ARRA Initiative
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for administrative supplements to existing NIH grants and $21 million over 2 years has been allocated for educational opportunities in NIH-funded laboratories for students and science educators.

NIH Announces ARRA Funding Opportunities: $1 Billion Available for Extramural Core Facilities and Other Construction, Renovation, or Repair Awards
NIH announced some of the new funding opportunities made possible through ARRA. One billion dollars of the $10.4 billion provided to NIH under ARRA has been allocated for Federal awards to institutions seeking to construct, renovate, or repair biomedical or behavioral research facilities. The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a part of NIH, will administer these categories of grants.

Biomedical Researchers Invited to Design Experiments for the International Space Station
NIH and the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) are partnering to conduct biomedical experiments that astronauts could perform on the International Space Station. In a notice to scientists at universities, medical centers, and companies across the United States, NIH announced its willingness to fund highly meritorious biomedical experiments that could utilize the unique environment in space and produce breakthroughs to improve human health on Earth.

NIAMS Scientists Discover a New Source of Progenitor Cells in Traumatized Tissue
NIAMS scientists have discovered that tissue removed from traumatic wounds, traditionally considered medical waste, can be a source of progenitor cells. These cells feature many of the same properties as adult stem cells, particularly in that they have the capacity to differentiate into a specific type of cell. Researchers are currently studying ways to use progenitor cells to improve healing at the site of an injury, and traumatized tissue may provide an alternative source of cells for these therapies. The findings were recently published in two research reports in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and the Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

A Key to Understanding Lymphoma
Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer and the third most common childhood cancer in the United States. Although there are many types of lymphoma, they all originate in the white blood cells (lymphocytes) that are part of the immune system. These cells are meant to protect the body against infection, but sometimes they become diseased themselves. The exact cause of this cancer is unknown, but now researchers funded by NIAMS have made a scientific advance that could lead to new therapies.

Scientists Discover Interactions of Different Immune Cell Populations in Lupus
Research supported by NIAMS offers new insight into the cellular mechanisms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, a disabling and sometimes life-threatening disease that affects as many as 322,000 Americans, mostly women. The new finding brings scientists one step closer to understanding the cellular events that lead to lupus, a disease which has not been clearly defined. They say the results of this work will help explain why B cells are so promising and will add support to the need for further development of B-cell-focused treatments for the disease.

Researchers Develop DNA "Patch" for Canine Form of Muscular Dystrophy: Finding Lays the Foundation for Human Testing
Using a novel genetic technology that covers up genetic errors, researchers funded in part by NIH have developed a successful treatment for dogs with the canine version of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a paralyzing, and ultimately fatal, muscle disease.

The Rocket Boys of NIH-New Children's Book Released
The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) has announced a new children's book that tells the trials and triumphs of NIH's youngest researchers: The Rocket Boys of NIH: How NIH Gives Health and Hope to Kids and the World. The book is written at a reading level suitable for fourth or fifth graders and can be enjoyed by older readers.

NIH Research Matters: Vitamin C May Reduce Risk of Gout
A new study has linked higher vitamin C intake with a lower risk of gout. Vitamin C supplements, the results imply, may help to prevent gout.

NIH Research Matters: Thwarting Fungal Defenses
Researchers have devised a way to stymie fungi's ability to become resistant to antifungal drugs. The advance paves the way for future therapies to treat fungal infections, a leading cause of death for people with weakened immune systems.

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

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

Other Federal News
Higher Education and Income Levels Are Associated with Increased Willingness To Pay for a Psoriasis Cure
Psoriasis is a chronic, incurable skin disease. It can affect patients' quality of life with symptoms that range from red, scaly patches on the skin to swollen, stiff joints when it is accompanied by arthritis. A new study from Harvard Medical School finds that 90 percent of patients report that their psoriasis causes physical discomfort with pain, itching, burning, or stinging. These patients also indicate a willingness to pay from $500 to $5,000 for a cure for these symptoms. This study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Lower Socioeconomic Status Results in Poor Physical and Mental Health Outcomes for Patients with Lupus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women. Patients with SLE have twice the risk of dying compared to the general population. Socioeconomic status (SES) of patients-as well as their neighborhoods-can impact SLE outcomes. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found that patients with SLE who also are in low SES have worse physical functioning and more depressive symptoms. The study was supported in part by AHRQ.

NIH’s Office of Research on Women's Health and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) are convening the second in a series of public hearings and scientific workshops to update the Women's Health Research Agenda at NIH for the coming decade.

May 27 to 29, 2009
Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF
1675 Owens Street
San Francisco, CA 94158

Save the Date: NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held June 2, 2009, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus.

AAOS/ORS 2008 Research Symposium Proceedings Published
The proceedings of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS)/Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) 2008 Research Symposium, "Advanced Imaging and Computer-Assisted Surgery of the Knee and Hip," were published in February 2009 as a supplement to the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS). The symposium was partly funded by NIAMS.

NIAMS Advisory Council September 2008 Meeting Minutes Are Available
The 66th meeting of the NIAMS Advisory Council was held on September 23, 2008, at the NIH Campus. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Stephen I. Katz, NIAMS Director.

The following new fact sheets are now available on the NIAMS Web site. They are part of our easy-to-read “Fast Facts” series of publications for the public.

Fast Facts about Juvenile Arthritis
Fast Facts about Bursitis and Tendinitis

Revised Publication:

The Many Shades of Lupus
Lupus has many shades. It can affect people of different races, ethnicities, and ages, both men and women. It can look like different diseases. It's different for every person who has it. The people you live with and work with may have trouble understanding that you're sick. Lupus doesn't have a clear set of signs that people can see. You may know that something's wrong, even though it may take a while to be diagnosed. The good news is that you can get help and fight lupus. Learning about it is the first step. Ask questions. Talk to your doctor, family, and friends. People who look for answers are more likely to find them. This booklet can help you get started.

Funding Announcements
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Recovery Act Limited Competition for NIH Grants: Research and Research Infrastructure Grand Opportunities (RC2)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: April 27, 2009
Application Receipt Date: May 27, 2009

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Supporting New Faculty Recruitment to Enhance Research Resources through Biomedical Research Core Centers (P30)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: April 29, 2009
Application Receipt Date: May 29, 2009

NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

Novel Statistical Methods for Human Gene Expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL) Analysis (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 16, 2009
Application Receipt Date: September 16, 2009

Other Research Announcements

Replication, Fine-Mapping, and Sequencing: Follow-Up on Genome-Wide Association Studies for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: August 31, 2009; June 1, 2010; June 1, 2011
Application Receipt Dates: September 29, 2009; June 29, 2010; June 29, 2011

Biobehavioral Methods To Improve Outcomes Research (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not Applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Multiple dates, see announcement

Biobehavioral Methods To Improve Outcomes Research (R21)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not Applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Multiple dates, see announcement

Biomedical Research on the International Space Station (BioMed-ISS) (UH2/UH3)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: August 31, 2009, 2010, 2011
Application Receipt Dates: September 30, 2009, 2010, 2011

If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, the primary source for information about NIH funding opportunities. You can also request a weekly Table of Contents from the NIH Guide.