August 15, 2013

Spotlight

Letter from Dr. Stephen I. Katz:  The Effects of Sequestration on the NIH

 Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues:

In follow-up to last month’s letter about grant applications that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) receives and the peer review process through which they are evaluated, I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the NIAMS’ budget. Ultimately, the Institute’s budget dictates the number of outstanding grants that we can fund. Like the rest of the NIH, the NIAMS is operating under the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-6), as well as the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-25 [PDF - 190 KB]). The mandatory budget cuts required by the Budget Control Act (which you may have heard referred to as “sequestration”) are having a real impact on the NIAMS, on investigators across the nation whose work relies on federal funds, and on patients and their families who are eagerly awaiting the next advances that will improve their lives.

Read more.

Image: Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

News

vitiligo-prone Pmel-1 mice Modified Protein Improves Vitiligo Symptoms in Mice

Altering a key protein involved in the development of vitiligo may protect against—or even reverse—the pigmentation loss associated with the skin disorder in mice, according to recent research funded by the NIAMS, and published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Image: Vitiligo-prone mice. 

Credit Andrew Zloza, M.D., Ph.D., Rush University


Muscle Stem Cells Can Be Turned Into Energy-Burning Brown Fat Cells in Mice

Adult muscle stem cells in mice can be turned into brown fat—an energy-burning type of fat—by altering the presence of one gene regulator, according to research funded in part by the NIAMS, and published in the journal Cell Metabolism. The finding could have implications for treating obesity and the health risks associated with it, such as arthritis, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and other disorders.


PMED-1

Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Teams Win NIH Competition: Winners Awarded for Diagnostics, Therapeutics and Technologies for Underserved Populations

Three teams were announced as winners in the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams challenge, a biomedical engineering design competition for teams of undergraduate students. The three categories addressed the critical needs in biomedical technology, focusing on devices for diagnostics, therapeutics and technology that can aid underserved populations and individuals with disabilities.

Image: The P-MED system uses microfluidic technology to automatically analyze samples.

NIH Director’s Blog

acute pain

How Does Acute Pain Become Chronic?

Chronic pain is a major medical problem, affecting as many as 100 million Americans, robbing them of a full sense of well-being, disrupting their ability to work and earn a living, and causing untold suffering for the patient and family. This condition costs the country an estimated $560–$635 billion annually—a staggering economic burden. Worst of all, chronic pain is often resistant to treatment. The NIH launched the Grand Challenge on Chronic Pain to investigate how acute pain evolves into a chronic condition and what biological factors contribute to this transition.


exRNA enveloped in a fatty bubble exRNA: Helping Cells Get Their Message Out

Scientists recently discovered a new group of molecules called extracellular RNA (exRNA) that appears to travel between cells to help them communicate. Now, NIH is encouraging researchers to explore the potential of these newly discovered messengers.

Image: exRNA enveloped in a fatty bubble transmits messages between cells.
Credit: NIH Common Fund


Blood vessels

Reprogramming Adult Cells to Produce Blood Vessels

Individuals with heart disease, diabetes, and non-healing ulcers (which can lead to amputation) could all benefit greatly from new blood vessels to replace those that are diseased, damaged or blocked. But engineering new blood vessels hasn't yet been possible. Although we've learned how to reprogram human skin cells or white blood cells into so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells—which have the potential to develop into different cell types—we haven't really had the right recipe to nudge those cells down a path toward blood vessel development.

Image: New network of blood vessels (green) grown from reprogrammed adult human cells (blue: connective tissue, red: red blood cells)
Credit: Reproduced from R. Samuel et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:12774-9.


Protein helix

Proteins Park Free in this Helix 

What you see in this picture is a structure called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)—a protein-producing factory that is present in every single cell in your body. The little nubs on the surface of this membranous structure are ribosomes—they produce the proteins that are then modified in the ER.

Image: Protein-making factories in cells resemble a helical parking garage.

Credit: Cell, Terasaki et al.

Other Federal News

National Bone Mineral Density Data Released

The report, "Total Body Bone Area, Bone Mineral Content, and Bone Mineral Density for Individuals Aged 8 Years and Over: United States, 1999–2006," has been released. The report is based on a review of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States.


CDC Provides Estimate of Americans Diagnosed With Lyme Disease Each Year

Preliminary estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000. The preliminary estimates were presented in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases.


New AHRQ Director Named

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Richard Kronick, Ph.D., will become the next Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) upon Dr. Carolyn Clancy's departure.


Dr. Steven Pollack (left) and Research Engineer James Coburn (right)

FDA Goes 3-D

A hospital in Michigan implants a 3-D printed medical device into a 3-month-old boy with a rare bronchial condition and saves a young life. A man has 75 percent of his skull replaced with a 3-D printed implant. 3-D printing—the process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model—is making headlines these days, and the technology, once considered the wave of the future, is rapidly becoming part of the present.

Image: Dr. Steven Pollack (left) and Research Engineer James Coburn (right) with a 3-D printer. Dr. Pollack holds a 3D-printed RoboHand, a prosthetic for children with amnionic banding syndrome.

NEW PUBLICATIONS 

New Updates to the NIH Data Book

The NIH Data Book on RePORT.NIH.gov should be your first stop when looking for longitudinal and historical data on budget, funding rates and other facts about NIH funding. The NIH Data Book also contains national biomedical workforce data such as statistics on graduate students and postdocs in the biomedical, behavioral, social and clinical sciences using data from the NSF-NIH Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering.


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.

New Vasculitis Therapy as Effective as Standard Care

Patients with severe vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels, get the same benefits from just four doses of the drug rituximab over one month as from the standard daily therapy for 18 months, a new study reports.


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 its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.

supplements

Should You Take Dietary Supplements? A Look at Vitamins, Minerals, Botanicals and More

When you reach for that bottle of vitamin C or fish oil pills, you might wonder how well they'll work and if they're safe. The first thing to ask yourself is whether you need them in the first place. More than half of all Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily or on occasion. Supplements are available without a prescription and usually come in pill, powder or liquid form. Common supplements include vitamins, minerals and herbal products, also known as botanicals.

MEETINGS

Public Workshop: Synergizing Efforts in Standards Development for Cellular Therapies and Regenerative Medicine Products

October 7, 2013
FDA White Oak Campus
The Great Room, Building 31
10903 New Hampshire Avenue
Silver Spring, MD 20903

The purpose of the public workshop is to bring together a broad range of stakeholders to discuss current and future standards development activities involving cellular therapies and regenerative medicine products.
The workshop will be available for online viewing via webcast.


NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

The NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series 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, open to the public and available live via webcast.

Upcoming Lecture:

October 3, 2013 (Thursday) 
Special Director's Lecture
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., Kyoto University and Gladstone Institutes
“Recent progress in iPS cell research towards regenerative medicine”
Dr. Yamanaka won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed into pluripotent cells.


NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet

The NIH hosts a number of science seminars and events that are available online through real-time streaming video. You can watch an event at your convenience as an on-demand video or a downloadable podcast. Most events are available to all; a few are broadcast for the NIH or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are marked as such. See additional details on events.


The NIAMS Exhibit

NIAMS Exhibit Schedule

The NIAMS exhibit is traveling to several events. See the schedule of health fairs and exhibits.

Image: The NIAMS Exhibit

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENTS

NIAMS Announcements

Request for Information (RFI) on the Action Plan for the Muscular Dystrophies
(NOT-NS-14-039)
To submit comments or for additional information see: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/funding/RFI-MuscularDystrophies.htm

Rare Diseases Clinical Research Consortia (RDCRC) for Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (U54)
(RFA-TR-13-002)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 7, 2013 
Application Receipt Date: November 7, 2013  

Behavioral and Social Science Research on Understanding and Reducing Health Disparities (R01)
(PA-13-292)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Notice of Change in Application Due Date for PAR-12-236 “Identification and Analysis of Causal Variants: Follow-Up on Genome-Wide Association Studies for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R01)”
(NOT-AR-13-022)

Notice of Change in Application Due Date for PAR-12-230 “Identification and Analysis of Causal Variants: Follow-Up on Genome-Wide Association Studies for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R21)”
(NOT-AR-13-023)

Research Project Grant (Parent R01) 
(PA-13-302)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable 
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21) 
(PA-13-303)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: Standard dates apply

NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements

2014 NIH Pioneer Award Program (DP1)
(RFA-RM-13-006)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: October 18, 2013, October 10, 2014, and October 9, 2015

NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory - Demonstration Projects for Pragmatic Clinical Trials Focusing on Multiple Chronic Conditions (UH2/UH3)
(RFA-RM-13-012)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 2, 2013 
Application Receipt Date: December 2, 2013

Technical Assistance Videocast for RFA-RM-13-012 “NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory - Demonstration Projects for Pragmatic Clinical Trials Focusing on Multiple Chronic Conditions (UH2/UH3)”
(NOT-RM-13-024)

2014 NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
(RFA-RM-13-007)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: October 25, 2013, October 17, 2014, and October 16, 2015

NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5)
(RFA-RM-13-009)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: December 31, 2013 
Application Receipt Date: January 31, 2014

Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS): Perturbation-Induced Data and Signature Generation Centers (U54)
(RFA-RM-13-013)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 19, 2013
Application Receipt Date: December 19, 2013

DNA Sequencing Core for an Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U01)
(RFA-RM-13-018)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 19, 2013 
Application Receipt Date: November 19, 2013

Announcement of Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Open Public Meetings in Johannesburg, South Africa: H3Africa Grantees Presentations and H3Africa Genome Analysis Session
(NOT-RM-13-023)

Other Funding Announcements

NIH-NSF Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases Program: A Joint Program for Multidisciplinary Research 
(NOT-TW-13-010)

Limited Competition: International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (U19) 
(RFA-TW-13-001)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 20, 2013 
Application Receipt Dates: November 20, 2013

Notice of Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-014 “Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K01)”
(NOT-OD-13-089)

Now Available: PHS 398 Application Forms and Instructions for Application Due Dates on or after September 25, 2013 and Updated Application Guides for Electronic Application Forms 
(NOT-OD-13-091)

Modifications to NIH’s Planned and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Forms
(NOT-OD-13-092)

NIH Encourages Institutions to Develop Individual Development Plans for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Researchers 
(NOT-OD-13-093)

Notice of Participation of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) in RFA-HG-13-009 “Centers of Excellence for Big Data Computing in the Biomedical Sciences (U54)”
(NOT-OD-13-094)

Implementation of the Revised International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals 
(NOT-OD-13-096)

Public Comments on Implementation of the Updated AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition 
(NOT-OD-13-090)

Grant and Contract Submission Requirements Regarding the AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition
(NOT-OD-13-098)

Extension of eRA Commons User IDs to Individuals in Graduate and Undergraduate Student Project Roles with Measurable Effort on an NIH Annual Progress Report (PHS2590 & RPPR) 
(NOT-OD-13-097)

Notice of NIH Guidance on Acknowledgement and Use of HeLa Cell Whole Genome Sequence Data
(NOT-OD-13-099)

Notice to Terminate Funding Opportunity Announcement PAR-11-115: “Limited Competition: Specific pathogen free macaque colonies (U24)”
(NOT-OD-13-100)

Tenure Track Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-013 “Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K08)”
(NOT-OD-13-101)

Tenure Track Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-016 “Pathway to Independence Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K99/R00)”
(NOT-OD-13-102)

Tenure Track Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-015 “Transition Career Development Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K22)”
(NOT-OD-13-103)

Tenure Track Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-014 “Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K01)”
(NOT-OD-13-104)

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.
Last Reviewed: 08/15/2013