The musculoskeletal system is comprised of the skeleton, which provides mechanical support and determines shape; the muscles, which power movement; and connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments, which hold the other components together. The cartilage surfaces of joints and the intervertebral discs of the spine allow for movement and flexibility.

The Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases supports research aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system and its component tissues. Key public health problems addressed by this research include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, back and neck pain, and muscular dystrophy. Research is conducted at every level, from fundamental biology to clinical intervention.

Click here for a formatted brochure on the DMD [PDF - 3.2MB]

Research areas supported through the Division of Musculoskeletal Diseases include:

Division Director

Portrait of Joan McGowan.

Joan A. McGowan, Ph.D.

6701 Democracy Boulevard
Building: Democracy 1, Room: 800
Bethesda MD 20892-4872

Funding Opportunities

NIAMS Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine Resource-based Centers (P30 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

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The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) requests applications for the NIAMS Resource-based Centers Program (P30) for research areas within its mission in musculoskeletal biology and medicine. The Resource-based Centers will provide critical research infrastructure, shared facilities, services, and/or resources to groups of investigators conducting research on musculoskeletal biology and medicine, enabling them to conduct their independently-funded individual and/or collaborative research projects more efficiently and/or more effectively, with the broad overall goal of accelerating, enriching, and enhancing the effectiveness of ongoing basic, translational, and clinical research and promoting new research within the NIAMS mission.

Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Specialized Research Centers (MRSRCs) (P50)

RFA-AR-18-001 | Release: | Exp:

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to publicize a competition for Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Specialized Research Centers (MDSRCs). These Centers promote collaborative basic, translational and clinical research and provide important resources that can be used by the national muscular dystrophy research communities. The Centers also provide an outstanding environment for the training of new scientists electing to pursue careers conducting research in high priority areas of muscular dystrophy. Center investigators are expected to participate in important community outreach efforts to increase awareness and convey the importance and implications of their research activities to the patient and advocacy communities.

Research news

Last Reviewed: 03/05/2017