NIAMS Update November 2010

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
November 23, 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

NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program
NIH Director’s Early Independence Award Program

NEW NIH Funding Opportunity: The NIH Director's Early Independence Award Program
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund is establishing the NIH Director's Early Independence Award to provide a mechanism for exceptional, early career scientists to omit traditional post-doctoral training and move into independent academic positions at U.S. institutions directly upon completion of their graduate degrees (Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent). The NIH expects to issue 10 awards through this program in fall 2011.

Early Independence Awards are targeted to exceptional junior investigators with the intellect, scientific creativity, drive and maturity to flourish independently without the need for traditional post-doctoral training. Early Independence Award projects will receive up to $250,000 in direct costs each year for up to five years.

The deadline for submitting Early Independence Award applications is January 21, 2011. Letters of Intent are due December 21, 2010.

See the instructions in the Request for Applications RFA-RM-10-19 and a recent correction to the eligibility window. Find additional information, including Frequently Asked Questions.

Dr. Raphaela  Goldbach-Mansky (left) of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program, Office of the  Clinical Director, Translational Autoinflammatory Disease Section and Nicole  Plass, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.A., LCDR, U.S. Public Health Service visit with a  patient.
Dr. Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky (left) of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program, Office of the Clinical Director, Translational Autoinflammatory Disease Section and Nicole Plass, R.N., B.S.N., M.P.A., LCDR, U.S. Public Health Service visit with a patient.

The NIAMS Recruiting Clinical Director
The NIAMS Intramural Research Program is seeking a physician-scientist to serve as Clinical Director. This individual will direct the NIAMS Program in Translational Research, which includes training and clinical care branches as well as multiple investigative laboratories and branches. Investigators in the Clinical Program conduct studies in natural history and treatment as well as basic investigations into the etiology and/or pathophysiology of disease. The candidate should have the ability to manage this diverse clinical research enterprise and to provide the leadership to maintain the outstanding track record of the NIAMS Clinical Program. The ideal candidate for this position is an M.D. or M.D., Ph.D. who is board-certified or board-eligible in Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, or Allergy/Immunology. Potential areas of concentration would include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, vasculitis, scleroderma, myositis, osteoarthritis or other inflammatory/rheumatic diseases. The candidate should have experience in conducting clinical or translational research and in immunology, cell biology, genetics or other areas of research relevant to rheumatic or autoimmune disease. The candidate will also be provided generous independent resources to develop his/her own clinical or translational research program as a tenured investigator within the NIAMS.

Cell-Signaling Link between Muscle Inflammation and Regeneration Identified
An international team of scientists from Italy's Dulbecco Telethon Institute, California's Sanford–Burnham Institute and the NIAMS has identified and described, for the first time, a cell-signaling pathway in mice that directs adult muscle stem cells to repair damaged muscle tissue. Their findings, which appear in the October issue of Cell Stem Cell, could advance research into therapeutic targets for muscle atrophy, like that seen in the muscular dystrophies and advanced aging.

NIH Scientists Discover Secrets of Helper T Cells Involved in Autoimmunity
Scientists at the NIH have redefined the roles of several cytokines involved in the generation of immune cells implicated in severe autoimmune diseases. The study in mice showed that development of Th17 immune cells can occur without the presence of transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta, a mediator thought to be required for Th17 cell development. The study demonstrates that the interaction of three inflammatory cytokines (proteins that influence the behavior of cells)—interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-1-beta and IL-23—is responsible for the creation of Th17 cells that are more active in promoting autoimmunity than Th17 cells generated with IL-6, IL-1-beta and TGF-beta. These findings reemphasize the separate roles of IL-23 and TGF-beta in immunity and autoimmunity, and open up possibilities for the development of new therapies. The study appears in the current issue of the journal Nature.

The NIH Introduces Images, a Database of Images in Biomedical Literature
More than 2.5 million images and figures from medical and life sciences journals are now available through Images, a new resource for finding images in biomedical literature. The database was developed and will be maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of the NIH's National Library of Medicine.

NIH Recovery Act Grants to Foster Scientific Workforce Diversity
The NIH has awarded six grants totaling approximately $12 million over three years through a new initiative aimed at fostering a diverse scientific workforce. The initiative, called the NIH Director's ARRA Funded Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce, is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and administered by the NIH's National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The NIH Releases "The Rocket Boys of NIH Cartoon" for Children
A new children's cartoon tells the inspiring and true story of how two kids were launched into a scientific adventure in 1957 after receiving a "grant" from the NIH to build a rocket ship. "The Rocket Boys of NIH Cartoon" is now available to broadcasters in English and Spanish and to webmasters and the public on YouTube


Pain and Musculoskeletal Disorders: Translating Scientific Advances into Practice
December 14 to 15, 2010
Natcher Auditorium
NIH Campus, Building 45
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Registration Information
Onsite registration will also be available.

Save the Date: An Update on the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)
January 11, 2011, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Eastern Time
NIH Campus, Building 31, Room 6C6
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
For additional information on PROMIS, see Clinical Outcomes Assessment.

Save the Date: The NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held February 1, 2011, in Building 31, 6th floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus.

The NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series
The 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:

December 1, 2010
Dr. Carol Greider
"Telomeres and Telomerase in Cancer and Age Related Disease"

December 8, 2010
Dr. George Church
"Personal Genomes, Environments & Traits (GET): Technology for Aging, Alcohol, Allergy, Arthritis, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Developmental, Dental, Metabolic, Mental, Neurological and Sensory Health and Diversity"

December 15, 2010
Dr. Jean Bennett
"Seeing is Believing: A Gene Therapy Success"


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

The Origins of Autoimmunity-Causing T Cells
Researchers discovered a new pathway for the development of Th17 cells, a type of helper T cell involved in autoimmunity. The finding reveals potential new targets for treating autoimmune diseases.

NIH Public Bulletin
Read about the latest public events, activities and health information resources from the 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 the NIH's medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH's own scientists or by our grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.

Feeling Out of Joint: The Aches of Arthritis
Many people start to feel pain and stiffness in their joints as they get older, often when they're 45 to 50. It's called arthritis, and it's one of the most common diseases nationwide. You may think it's a disease of old age, but arthritis can affect young adults and even children. In recent years, scientists have made rapid progress in understanding the many causes of arthritis. They've also made significant strides in developing effective new treatments for many forms of the disease.

New Publication

Salud para los huesos de por vida/Bone Health for Life (Bilingual)
This booklet contains general information about bone health. It describes what osteoporosis is, who's at risk of getting it and ways to know if you have it. The booklet also discusses ways to make your bones healthier and contains information about how to join a research study.

Understanding Autoimmune Diseases
This online publication contains general information about autoimmune diseases. It describes what autoimmune diseases are, different types of autoimmune diseases and possible treatment options. It also provides key words essential for understanding autoimmune diseases.

Funding Announcements
NIH Roadmap Initiative Announcements

Other Research Announcements

Deepwater Horizon Disaster Research Consortia: Health Impacts and Community Resiliency (U19)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: December 21, 2010
Application Receipt Date: January 21, 2011

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.