Since 2010, NIAMS' current Long-Range Plan has been informing the Institute's priority setting process and enabling the Institute to adapt to the rapidly changing landscapes in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Originally intended to be a 5-year planning document, it is slated to expire at the end of the next fiscal year (FY). We have begun framing the process by which we will be updating this important document, and I'd like to share our next steps with you.
Image: Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 is traveling to several events. See the schedule of health fairs and exhibits.
Image: The NIAMS Exhibit
Request for Information (RFI) on the Action Plan for the Muscular Dystrophies
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)
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)
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)”
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)”
NIH Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (Parent R21)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: Standard dates apply
NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements
2014 NIH Pioneer Award Program (DP1)
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)
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)”
2014 NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
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)
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)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 19, 2013
Application Receipt Date: December 19, 2013
DNA Sequencing Core for an Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U01)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 19, 2013
Application Receipt Date: November 19, 2013
Other Funding Announcements
Limited Competition: International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (U19)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: October 20, 2013
Application Receipt Dates: November 20, 2013
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)”
Tenure Track Eligibility Clarification for RFA-OD-13-015 “Transition Career Development Award in Tobacco Control Regulatory Research (K22)”