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

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

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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.

Multidisciplinary Studies of HIV/AIDS and Aging (R21)

PAR-17-320 | Release: | Exp:

This FOA encourages exploratory/developmental research applications at the intersection of HIV and aging by addressing two overarching objectives: 1) to improve understanding of biological, clinical, and socio-behavioral aspects of aging through the lens of HIV infection and its treatment; and 2) to improve approaches for testing, prevention, and treatment of HIV infection, and management of HIV-related comorbidities, co-infections, and complications in different populations and cultural settings by applying our current understanding of aging science. Applications appropriate to this FOA should be consistent with the scientific priorities outlined by the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR) as described in NOT-OD-15-137.

Research news

Last Reviewed: 03/05/2017