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Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc.

From the Director: Ending Structural Racism in Biomedical Research Starts Now

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., recently declared that NIH stands against structural racism in biomedical research. Adding action to words, he announced a new NIH initiative called UNITE and unveiled a website on Ending Structural Racism. I strongly support these efforts and join Dr. Collins in what is unquestionably a long overdue condemnation of racial inequity in biomedical science.



Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Funding Plan (Updated April 22, 2021)

The NIAMS is operating under the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The NIAMS FY 2021 Enacted Level is $634,292,000.

COVID-19 Updates

Get the latest public health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the latest research information from the NIH. Additional news and resources include:

Ending Structural Racism

NIH Stands Against Structural Racism in Biomedical Research

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced the launch of UNITE, a new NIH initiative aimed at bringing an end to structural racism and racial inequalities in biomedical research




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NIH Director’s Blog: Could CRISPR Gene-Editing Technology Be an Answer to Chronic Pain?

Recently published research on mice demonstrated that a modified version of the CRISPR system can be used to “turn off” a gene in critical neurons—thereby blocking the transmission of pain signals.

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NIH MedlinePlus Magazine: How to Manage Low Back Pain Before It Gets Worse

Jonathan Lurie, M.D., a physician-researcher who conducts NIAMS-supported research, offers some suggestions for people with low back pain on how they can manage it before it gets worse.



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Engineered Cartilage Produces Anti-Inflammatory Drug

In a study funded in part by the NIAMS, scientists engineered cartilage cells to produce an anti-inflammatory drug when placed under stress. The drug blocked the destructive effects of inflammation. These results demonstrate the ability to engineer living tissue to produce its own therapeutic drugs.


NIAMS Special Awards Announcement

The NIAMS’ John O’Shea, M.D., was awarded the 2021 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine.

FDA News


Accelerating Medicines Partnership: Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) (RFA-AR-21-015 and RFA-AR-21-016)

Centers for Multiple Chronic Diseases Associated With Health Disparities: Prevention, Treatment, and Management (P50 Clinical Trial Required) (RFA-MD-21-007)

NIMHD Multiple Chronic Disease Disparities Research Coordinating Center (RCC) (U24 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-MD-21-008)

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Research to Address Vaccine Hesitancy, Uptake, and Implementation Among Populations That Experience Health Disparities (NOT-MD-21-008)

This NOSI highlights the need for research strategies and interventions to address vaccine hesitancy, uptake, and implementation among populations who experience health disparities in the United States.

Stay Updated About Funding Announcements

If you would like information about grants and funding opportunities, subscribe to funding-dedicated email newsletters, including periodic NIAMS Funding Alerts and a monthly NIAMS Funding News email, and follow our new Twitter account (@NIAMSFunding) focused on funding opportunities. Also check out 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. In addition, the NIAMS website provides comprehensive information on NIAMS-related grants and processes.


Mouse Imagery

Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Mouse Hair Follicles and Regulatory T Cells

This is a microscopic image of mouse hair follicles, stained green. Regulatory T cells (red dots) are located next to the follicles. Researchers have discovered that these T cells, part of the immune system, trigger stem cells in the skin to promote hair growth. Defects in regulatory T cells may be involved in hair loss, such as that which occurs in alopecia areata.

Photo credit: Michael Rosenblum, M.D., Ph.D., University of California San Francisco

NIAMS Forum for Clinical Mentored K Awardees—December 2020

The Forum featured research presentations by the investigators in the third or fourth year of their K award. The scientists briefly outlined their research projects and progress. Read a summary of the event here.

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NIH News in Health: Patchy Skin, Vitiligo Explained

In this feature story about vitiligo, NIAMS-supported researcher John E. Harris, M.D., Ph.D., comments on symptoms, quality of life, current treatments, and why “targeted therapies” may hold more promise than drugs that suppress the immune system.




May NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting (Virtual Meeting)

The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held May 18, 2021. This meeting will be available for viewing via the NIH videocasting service.

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Healing the Opioid Crisis With Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE): Clinical Efficacy and Neurophysiological Mechanisms

May 4, 2021
12 to 1 p.m. ET
Event will be videocast.

Fifth Annual Vivian Pinn Symposium—NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health

 May 11‒12, 2021
10 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET each day
Event will be videocast.

2021 NIH Pain Consortium: Pain and Pandemics—Challenges and Opportunities in the Current Social and Healthcare Climate

May 24‒25, 2021
Final details about this meeting are pending.
Registration is required.

Cooperative Pain Education and Self-Management (COPES): A Technology-Assisted Intervention for Pain

June 8, 2021
12 to 1 p.m. ET
Event will be videocast.

NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lectures:

May 5, 2021
2 to 3 p.m. ET
NIH Director’s Lecture
Hugh Herr, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
On the Design of Bionic Limbs: The Science of Tissue-Synthetic Interface

May 19, 2021
3 to 4 p.m. ET
NIH Director’s Lecture
Eric Topol, M.D., Scripps Research Institute
The AI Path to Deeper and More Accurate Medicine

June 9, 2021
3 to 4 p.m. ET
G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D., NIAMS
Casting the Net Wide: The Role of Neutrophils in Chronic Diseases

The NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series offers weekly lectures every Wednesday. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research weekly on a variety of topics. The lectures are continuing medical education certified, open to the public and available live via webcast.

For additional online science seminars and events hosted by the NIH, view the NIH Videocast Future Events and the NIH calendar.