NIAMS Update July 2011

NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Update - An online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleague
July 21, 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

Photo: NIAMS Community Health Center (CHC)

The NIAMS Community Health Center Moves to New Location
The NIAMS Community Health Center (CHC) has moved to a new location in Silver Spring, Maryland, after 10 years of serving patients in Unity Health Care's Upper Cardozo Health Center in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of the District of Columbia. The lease ended in May 2011 due to planned renovations to the Unity building. The new CHC is located in the Cardinal McCarrick Center of the Spanish Catholic Center of Catholic Charities in Silver Spring, Maryland. It is accessible to public transportation and free parking is also available. There is no change in patient care at the new CHC—it will continue to operate three days a week and allow patients to access the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus for services not available at the CHC, as part of the NIAMS Natural History of Rheumatic Disease in Minority Communities study.

NIAMS ARRA Chronicles

Photo: Jane Steinemann Jane Steinemann

Multicenter Psoriasis Study Offers Benefits to Skin Research, Future Doctor
“This experience has given me invaluable research, clinical and patient exposure that has uniquely prepared me to pursue a career as a physician.” Aspiring medical student Jane Steinemann is speaking of her role as research coordinator for a University of Pennsylvania-based project that examines the comparative effectiveness of treatments for psoriasis, a chronic skin disease characterized by scaling and inflammation. The study—and her central part in it—have been made possible by a grant funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), from the NIAMS.

Photo: Dr. Maozhou Yang, Dr. Liang Zhang, Dr. Gary Gibson (From left) Dr. Maozhou Yang, Dr. Liang Zhang and Dr. Gary Gibson

Hunt for MicroRNA Biomarkers of Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis Underway
Researchers at the Henry Ford Health System based in Detroit, Michigan, are searching for biomarkers for the kind of osteoarthritis that develops from a joint injury (post-traumatic osteoarthritis, or PTOA). Project leader Gary Gibson, Ph.D., and his colleagues are looking to find and validate microRNAs (miRNAs)—small noncoding nucleic acids—as biomarkers whose presence could yield information critical to clinical guidelines and treatment strategies for PTOA. The team—supported financially by the ARRA through the NIAMS—is investigating a family of newly discovered miRNAs in blood serum. Serum microRNAs have been shown to serve as biomarkers for other diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Photo: The  Honorable Daniel A. Mica (l) and Dr. Stephen I. Katz The Honorable Daniel A. Mica (left) and Dr. Stephen I. Katz

NIAMS' Katz Recognized by the National Osteoporosis Foundation
NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., was honored with the Paul G. Rogers Leadership Award by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) for his efforts in health research policy and scientific progress for public health. Dr. Katz was presented the award on May 10, 2011, by NOF Chairman, the Honorable Daniel A. Mica.

The NIH Expands Reach of National Clinical and Translational Research
The NIH announced that it will provide $200 million over five years to five health research centers to speed scientific discoveries into treatments for patients. The grants were awarded as part of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, which is led by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources.


NIAMS April 2011 Scientific Retreat Summary and Slides
The NIAMS held its annual Scientific Planning Retreat on April 4 and 5, 2011. The discussion focused on strategies for assessing the contribution of NIAMS-supported research to the world of science in particular areas; in other words, portfolio analysis. Specific topics that were addressed included scleroderma; skin innate immunity; tissue engineering and regenerative medicine; translational medicine in muscle diseases; and bone physiology. Attendees also explored common pathways leading to high-impact discoveries. The sessions were designed to help position the Institute to analyze what it has done thus far, in terms of NIAMS-supported research; consider methods for identifying needs, gaps and opportunities; and improve our understanding of ongoing studies and emerging areas of research.

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.

  Study Undermines XMRV Connection to Human Disease
The retrovirus previously tied to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome is unlikely to be responsible for either, according to new research. The virus appears to have arisen in the laboratory. The association with human disease was probably due to contamination of samples.

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
NIAMS Announcements

Small Business Innovation Research on Rare Musculoskeletal, Rheumatic and Skin Diseases (R43)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: September 12, 2011
Application Receipt Date: October 11, 2011

Notice of Intent to Publish a Request for Applications for Rheumatic Diseases Research Core Centers (P30)

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.