NIAMS Update February 2011

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
February 17, 2011
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 Kids Pages
image of children and teens The NIAMS Kids Pages
Childhood and the teen years are a prime time to learn habits that can help kids keep their bones, joints, muscles and skin healthy for years to come. The new NIAMS Kids Pages feature four fact sheets targeted to middle-school-age children (11 to 13 years old) on the importance of healthy bones, joints, muscles and skin. The pages include pop-up definitions of terms, an interactive quiz at the end of each fact sheet to reinforce the message and links to other resources.

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Thomas Link, M.D. Thomas Link, M.D.
Advanced Imaging Reveals Secrets of Increased Fracture Risk in Diabetes
Thomas Link, M.D., needn’t have worried that he might have to close down an imaging system critical to his work on fragility fractures in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has "reinvigorated" his osteoporosis imaging program, allowing him and his team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, to better understand why individuals with T2DM have these fractures, despite the absence of low bone mineral density. The answer, he said, may be found in bone structure and composition features that his imaging facility identified.

Steven Teitelbaum, M.D., (center rear) with members of his lab Steven Teitelbaum, M.D., (center rear) with members of his lab.
ARRA-Funded Researchers Link Autophagy Genes to Osteoporotic Bone Loss
Steven Teitelbaum, M.D., a recipient of ARRA grant funding, has long been an investigator of osteoporosis, a major disease in which bones become weak and subject to fracture. Now, in his laboratory at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, the ARRA support has resulted in his team’s discovery of new and potentially important targets for drug therapy to reduce or prevent bone loss.

Cells’ Energy Factories Linked to Damaging Inflammation
Scientists have discovered that molecules called reactive oxygen species produced by the energy factories, or mitochondria, in cells may play a role in a rare inherited disorder in which uncontrolled inflammation damages the body’s tissues. Their research in human and mouse cells suggests that blocking these molecules could reduce inflammation in Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) receptor-associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS) and possibly other inflammatory diseases.

Genetic Discovery Improves Understanding of FSH Muscular Dystrophy Cause
A new study supported in part by the NIAMS has found that two separate genetic arrangements—both on chromosome 4—are needed to start the disease process in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy. The finding brings scientists a step closer to understanding the cause of FSHD, knowledge that would allow researchers to begin designing strategies that could eventually lead to treatments.

Scientists Identify New Genetic Region Associated with Scleroderma
New research supported in part by the NIAMS has identified a new genetic link to systemic sclerosis (also known as systemic scleroderma) and has confirmed three previously discovered links to the disease, which can cause thickening of the skin, narrowing of blood vessels and scarring of internal organs.

Genetic Findings in Alopecia Areata Have Implications for Multiple Autoimmune Diseases
Scientists supported by the NIAMS and the National Cancer Institute have identified genetic variations associated with the development of alopecia areata, a disease in which the body's immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing patchy, widespread or total hair loss.

Cdc42 Protein Is a Potential Drug Target for Osteoporosis Researchers
Scientists supported by the NIAMS have described, for the first time, in a recent issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, how a cell-signaling protein called Cdc42 plays an important role in the formation and activity of bone-breakdown cells called osteoclasts. Their study in mice demonstrated that deactivating Cdc42 in these cells increases bone mass, making it a potential therapeutic target for osteoporosis researchers.

NIAMS Extramural Researcher Earns PECASE Award
Edward A. Botchwey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia, has been selected by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to be among eighteen National Institutes of Health (NIH) grantees and two intramural scientists to receive the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). It is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Meetings and Events
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 lecture:

March 30, 2011
Dr. Steven Carr
"Quantitative Biology and Biomarker Discovery without Immunoassays"

February Shorttakes
NIAMS Shorttakes is a compilation of news from the Institute that is published three times a year in conjunction with NIAMS Advisory Council meetings. 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.

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

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.

Funding Announcements
PHS 2011-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44])
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: Standard dates apply

PHS 2011-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42])
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: Standard dates apply

Notice of Change in Agency Contact for PAR-10-137, Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R21)

Notice of Change in Agency Contact for PAR-10-136, Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R01)

NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications

Advanced Notice of Change in Policy on the Submission of Letters of Reference for Kirschstein-NRSA Fellowship (F) and Career Development (K) Applications

Non-Competing Grant Awards under the Current Continuing Resolution

2011 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Scottsdale, Arizona: Registration Open

NIA Requests Information on Anticipated Needs for the Mutant Mouse Aging Colony

Notice of Update for New Biomedical Frontiers at the Interface of the Life and Physical Sciences (R01)

Notice of Informational Web Seminar for RFA-ES-10-009: Research Consortium for 2-Year Bisphenol A Toxicity Study (U01)

NHLBI Announces Participation in PA-10-056, “Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (Parent K01)”

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.