April 21, 2016
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Guest Director's Letter: At NIH, Minority Health Is Everyone's Concern, Every Day

Portrait of Elise Perez.

Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., is Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He oversees the Institute’s $281 million budget to conduct and support research, training and information dissemination programs to improve minority health and reduce health disparities.

Dear Colleagues:

April is National Minority Health Month, an observance that is my life's work and the foundation of our work at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). The mission of the NIMHD is to lead scientific research that will improve minority health, reduce health disparities and promote health equity.

Read more.

Image: Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.


Dr. Stephen Katz.

Dr. Stephen Katz on the New NIH Action Plan for Lupus Research

NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., discusses the new NIH Action Plan for Lupus Research in an interview with the Lupus Foundation of America. The plan provides a blueprint for research on lupus and describes the opportunities for investigators and for training.

NIH Medline Plus magazine cover.

NIH MedlinePlus Salud Special Issue: La osteoartritis y los hispanos Cómo reducir las desigualdades en la salud/Osteoarthritis and Hispanics: Reducing Health Disparities

This bilingual issue [PDF – 972 KB] includes NIAMS health information about osteoarthritis, as well as a message from NIAMS Director, Dr. Stephen I. Katz. It also includes information about managing joint pain, exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.

Immune system cells.

New Ways To Image the Immune System

Ronald Germain, M.D., Ph.D., a lab chief in the Intramural Program at the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), leads a team that has developed cutting-edge imaging techniques to investigate the intricate movements and positioning of immune cells.

Image: An intact mouse lymph node shows high endothelial venules and capillaries (in yellow) and B cells in primary follicles (in cyan). Photo credit: W. Li, NIAID.

Scientists Discover Non-Opioid Pain Pathway in the Brain

Results from a new study, funded in part by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), demonstrate that mindfulness meditation works on a different pain pathway in the brain than opioid pain relievers.

Study Finds Mindfulness Meditation Offers Relief for Low-Back Pain

Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy may prove more effective than usual treatment in alleviating chronic low-back pain, according to a new study funded by the NCCIH.

NIAMS Launches Flickr Image Gallery

The NIAMS has launched an online gallery on the image sharing platform Flickr. The gallery showcases images and abstracts from researchers working in the NIAMS intramural labs, scientific images from the intramural and extramural research programs, NIAMS clinical research and images from NIAMS publications. The abstracts and related information are searchable.

NIH Director’s Blog

Dr. Hao Wu.

Creative Minds: Complex Solutions to Inflammation

For nearly 20 years, Hao Wu has studied innate immunity, our body’s first line of defense against infection. One of her research specialties is the challenging technique of X-ray crystallography, which she uses to capture the atomic structure of key molecules that drive an inflammatory response.

Photo credit: Hao Wu, Ph.D., Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Molecular Answers Found for a Mysterious Rare Immune Disorder

When most of us come down with a bacterial infection, we generally bounce back with appropriate treatment in a matter of days. But that’s often not the case for people who suffer from common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Now, NIH-funded researchers have pinpointed the genetic mutation responsible for an inherited subtype of CVID characterized by the loss of immune cells essential to the normal production of antibodies.

Other Federal News

National Pain Strategy Outlines Actions for Improving Pain Care in America

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a National Pain Strategy, outlining the federal government’s first coordinated plan for reducing the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans.

Issue cover.

CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

As part of the urgent response to the epidemic of overdose deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative and end-of-life care. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016 [PDF – 609 KB] will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients.

FDA Providing $2 Million in New Grants for Natural History Studies in Rare Diseases

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the availability of $2 million in research grants to fund natural history studies in rare diseases. The aim is to collect data on how specific rare diseases progress in individuals over time, so that knowledge can inform and support product development and approval.

FDA Approves New Drug for Psoriasis

The FDA recently approved Taltz (ixekizumab) to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patches of skin redness and flaking. It is an autoimmune disorder that occurs more commonly in patients with a family history of the disease, and most often begins in people between the ages of 15 and 35.

New Publications and Products

PET scan.

Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: PET Scan of a Patient With Active Vasculitis

This video shows a 3D view of a patient with active giant cell arteritis, a form of vasculitis. It uses a technology called 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography (PET). Vasculitis is a group of diseases involving inflammation in the blood vessels. In the movie, inflammation is seen throughout the aorta and its primary branches (green = mild inflammation, red = severe inflammation). The video is courtesy of Mark A. Ahlman, M.D., and Peter Grayson, M.D., of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program, and is in the public domain.

Dr. Mariana Kaplan.

Video: NIAMS Researcher Discusses the Role of Mitochondria in NET Formation and Autoimmune Disease

Watch Dr. Mariana Kaplan, Chief of the NIAMS Intramural Program’s Systemic Autoimmunity Branch, discuss the role of mitochondria in NETosis, and how these recent findings may lead to better treatments for people with lupus and other autoimmune diseases.

Mark Your Calendar for National Health Observances in May

The NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative webpage highlights upcoming national health observances and related NIAMS resources. The NIAMS is featuring these six health observances that will occur in May:

AHRQ Reports: Noninvasive Treatments for Low-Back Pain and Diagnosis of Gout

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Effective Health Care Program announced the availability of the following Review 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.

A couple walking.

The Benefits of Walking

Thinking about adding more physical activity to your day? Walking can be a great way to get more active.


Rehabilitation Research at NIH: Moving the Field Forward

May 25–26, 2016
NIH Campus, Natcher Conference Center (Building 45)
Cost: Free
View draft agenda [PDF – 185 KB]
Registration is available here.

NIH Pain Consortium Symposium

May 31–June 1, 2016
NIH Campus, Natcher Conference Center (Building 45)
Cost: Free

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:

May 18, 2016
Allan Basbaum, Ph.D., University California, San Francisco
Cell Transplants To Treat the ‘Disease’ of Chronic Pain

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. An event can be watched 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 HHS and are marked as such. See additional details on events.

Funding Announcements

NIAMS Announcements

Notice Announcing NIAMS-Specific Policies Related to New Salary and Research Cost Allowances for K08 and K23 Career Development Awards


Notice of Change in Expiration Date for PA-16-097 "Accelerating Research on Intervertebral Disc (R01)"


Notice of Change in Expiration Date for PA-16-096 "Accelerating Research on Intervertebral Disc (R21)"


Update to NIAMS Policy Regarding Submission of Clinical Trials Applications


Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT): Optimization of Therapeutic Lead Compounds (U01)

Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application Receipt/Submission Dates: September 13, 2016; September 12, 2017; September 11, 2018

Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT): Identification of Therapeutic Lead Compounds (U01)

Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: 30 days prior to the application due date
Application Receipt Dates: September 13, 2016; September 12, 2017; September 11, 2018

Notice of Correction of Application Open Date in PAR-16-094 "Improvement of Animal Models for Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Medicine (R21)"


NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements

NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: August 12, 2016
Application Receipt Date: September 12, 2016

Other Funding Announcements

NIH’s Implementation of the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) Requirements


Notice of Correction of AIDS Application Due Date in PAR-16-093 "Improvement of Animal Models for Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Medicine (R01)"


Notice of Correction of AIDS Application Due Date in PAR-16-094 "Improvement of Animal Models for Stem Cell-Based Regenerative Medicine (R21)"


Requirement for the Appropriate Signatures on NIH Forms and Official Documentation


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: 04/21/2016