NIAMS Update March 2010

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
March 18, 2010
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

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

ARRA Helps NIAMS Grantee Evaluate Remedy for Knee Pain
Dateline: Akron, Ohio
John Elias, PhD
John Elias, Ph.D.
A common surgical procedure for relieving pain in the patellofemoral joint (behind the kneecap) is being evaluated for effectiveness, courtesy of funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The pain is commonly attributed to overloading the joint’s cartilage, the tough, elastic material that helps absorb shock and allows the joint to move smoothly. One solution has been to surgically realign the attachment of the kneecap’s tendon on the tibia, or shin bone, in an effort to unload areas of damaged cartilage.
ARRA Invests in Psoriasis Treatment Network
Dateline: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE
Joel M. Gelfand, M.D., M.S.C.E.
Thanks to ARRA funding, NIAMS grantees should soon be able to better understand how well therapies work for psoriasis, a chronic skin disease of scaling and inflammation. The disorder affects greater than 3 percent of the U.S. population, or more than 5 million adults. In addition to the serious impact psoriasis has on quality of life, more severe presentations of psoriasis are associated with an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders and mortality.
ARRA to Help First-Time Grantee Unravel Muscle Cell Development Mechanisms
Dateline: Seattle, Washington
Lisa Maves, PhD
Lisa Maves, Ph.D.
With her first grant funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Lisa Maves, Ph.D., of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, is on a mission: to tease out the mechanisms that turn muscle precursor cells into skeletal muscle fibers, which allow humans to run, play instruments and create great artwork. Dr. Maves, who as a staff scientist must obtain her own funding, credits the financial assistance of ARRA with not only allowing her work to move forward, but with “saving” her career.

Panel Asks Dairy Avoiders: Are You Getting Enough? Relationship between lactose intolerance and health is subject of a rigorous independent assessment
Lactose intolerance is a real and important clinical syndrome, but quantifying its public health burden is challenging. An NIH Consensus Development panel was convened to assess the available evidence on lactose intolerance and health across the age spectrum and across racial and ethnic groups.

NIH and FDA Announce Collaborative Initiative to Fast-track Innovations to the Public; Partnership Combines Strengths to Speed New Treatments to Patients
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NIH unveiled an initiative designed to accelerate the process from scientific breakthrough to the availability of new, innovative medical therapies for patients. The initiative involves two interrelated scientific disciplines: translational science, the shaping of basic scientific discoveries into treatments; and regulatory science, the development and use of new tools, standards and approaches to more efficiently develop products and to more effectively evaluate product safety, efficacy and quality. Both disciplines are needed to turn biomedical discoveries into products that benefit people.

Meetings and Events
NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series (WALS) offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are Continuing Medical Education-certified lectures, open to the public and available live via Webcast.

Upcoming lectures:

March 24, 2010
Dr. Maria Grazia Roncarolo
“Role of Regulatory T Cells in Tolerance: Implication in Human Diseases”

March 31, 2010
Dr. David Altshuler
“Genomic Variation and the Inherited Basis of Common Disease”

April 7, 2010
Dr. Judy Cho
“Genetics after Genome-wide Association Studies: Inflammatory Bowel Disease”

April 14, 2010
Dr. Catherine Costello
“Proteins as Chameleons: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

April 21, 2010
Dr. Ronald Breaker
“Ancient RNA Relics and Modern Drug Discovery”

NIAMS Spanish-Language Health Publications Now Available in Audio Format
As part of the Institute’s continuous efforts to expand access to reliable science-based health information, NIAMS now offers a number of its Esenciales Spanish-language fact sheets in MP3 audio format. NIAMS collaborated with the American Foundation for the Blind to produce high-quality files that can be downloaded from the NIAMS Web site. Visitors can download and listen to recordings on a variety of NIAMS health topics, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and osteoarthritis.

NIH Research Matters
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.

Mouse Skin Cells Changed Directly into Nerve Cells
A trio of genes added to mouse skin cells can transform them directly into functioning nerve cells, a new study reports. With further research, this basic technique may lead to treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders.

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.

Funding Announcements

NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

Science of Behavior Change: Finding Mechanisms of Change in the Laboratory and the Field (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: March 29, 2010
Application Receipt Date: April 26, 2010

Large Scale Production of Perturbagen-Induced Cellular Signatures (U54)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: April 1, 2010
Application Receipt Date: April 27, 2010

Advancing Regulatory Science through Novel Research and Science-Based Technologies (U01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: March 27, 2010
Application Receipt Date: April 27, 2010

Production of Human Proteins To Be Used for Generating Affinity Reagents (U01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: March 26, 2010
Application Receipt Date: April 26, 2010

Notice of Intent to Establish a New NIH Common Fund Program: Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS)

If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see the NIH Guide for 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.