The NIAMS Update is produced and distributed by the NIAMS Science Communications and Outreach Branch. It is an online resource for the NIAMS Coalition, Council, and Colleagues.


Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Plan

The NIAMS is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution.

COVID-19 Updates

Get the latest public health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the latest funding opportunities and research news from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additional news and resources include:

Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.

NIH Acting Director Tabak Takes Helm During Transition

Lawrence Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., assumed the role of the NIH’s acting director on December 20, 2021, to lead during this time of transition. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, J.D., named Tabak to the role on December 9, as Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., prepared to step down.


Michael Ombrello, M.D.

Genetic Sequencing Solves Drug Reaction Mystery: Immune System Genes Linked to Severe Side Effects in Patients With Rare Disease

The results of a collaboration between the NIAMS’ Michael Ombrello, M.D., Intramural Research Program (IRP) investigator and chief of the Translational Genetics and Genomics Unit, and Vivian E. Saper, M.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, could lead to a new precision medicine approach that individualizes therapy for Still’s disease based on patients’ DNA.


Keisuke (Chris) Nagao, M.D., Ph.D.

Researchers Identify Cellular Pathway That Regulates Inflammatory Hair Loss

In a study exploring the relationship between hair and hair follicles and the skin’s immune system, scientists discovered a signaling pathway that, when disrupted, leads to inflammatory destruction of hair follicles—and hair loss. The research team, led by Keisuke (Chris) Nagao, M.D., Ph.D., head of NIAMS’ Cutaneous Leukocyte Biology Section, involved intramural researchers at the NIAMS and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).


Family light gradient with microbes on bodies

NIH Researchers Find Thousands of New Microorganisms Living on Human Skin

Investigators at the NIAMS, the NHGRI, and the European Bioinformatics Institute identified nearly 200 new bacteria and thousands of viruses residing on skin, far more than previously known. NIAMS authors were Heidi H. Kong, M.D., M.H.Sc., and Monica Taylor, R.N., B.S.N., of the Cutaneous Microbiome and Inflammation Laboratory.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Drug May Help Treat Rare Neurodegenerative Disorder

In a mouse model, NIH scientists, including Fatemeh Navid, Ph.D., of the NIAMS Pediatric Translational Research Branch, have repurposed riluzole, a drug currently approved to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as a potential treatment for Niemann-Pick disease type C1 (NPC1).

Joao Monteiro, M.D., Ph.D.

Nature Medicine Editor Advises How to Counter Misinformation

At the recent virtual retreat of the NIAMS IRP, Joao Monteiro, M.D., Ph.D., editor of Nature Medicine, presented the keynote talk, “Papers, Preprints, & Pandemics,” where he described how his journal adapted to the altered landscape of science communication. He then called upon scientists to help counter the spread of false information and explained how to do so.


Health Care worker giving a shot to another health care worker

NIAMS Staffers Look Back on Pandemic Volunteer Efforts

Read the personal reflections of five NIAMS staff members who volunteered at the NIH and in the surrounding community during the initial year of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Gary Peck, M.D.

From the Annals of NIH History: Where Did All the Acne Go?

In the 1970s, Gary Peck, M.D., a senior investigator in the NIH’s Dermatology Branch (then in the National Cancer Institute, now in the NIAMS), discovered that the drug isotretinoin was an effective treatment for severe acne. His work on the vitamin A derivative retinoid led to the development of isotretinoin.


FDA Approves Novel Treatment to Control Pain in Cats With Osteoarthritis, First Monoclonal Antibody Drug for Use in Any Animal Species

The FDA approved Solensia (frunevetmab injection), the first treatment for the control of pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats and the first monoclonal antibody new animal drug approved by the FDA for use in any animal species.

NIAMS Coalition 2021 Outreach and Education Meeting: Creating Connections for Science

The NIAMS held its eighth biennial Coalition Outreach and Education Meeting: Creating Connections for Science on October 27, 2021, as a virtual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The NIAMS Coalition is an independent group of more than 90 professional and voluntary organizations interested in the mission and research areas of the NIAMS. Seventy-five representatives from 44 Coalition organizations logged on for the meeting.

Read the meeting summary.

Funding Opportunities

NIH HEAL Initiative®: Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain Consortium (RE-JOIN) (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-AR-22-009)

Application due date: April 11, 2022; Earliest submission date: March 11, 2022

Notice of Special Interest: Promoting Research on COVID-19 and Rheumatic, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases (NOT-AR-22-012)

Multiple due dates through January 7, 2023

Notice of NIAMS’ Participation in PA-18-935 “Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement ‒ Clinical Trial Optional)” (NOT-AR-21-028)

Limited Competition: Promoting a Basic Understanding of Chemical Threats to Skin (R34 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (PAS-21-245)

Next application due date: June 16, 2022

NIH HEAL Initiative: Planning Studies for Initial Analgesic Development [Small Molecules and Biologics] (R61 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-21-029)

Multiple due dates; next application due date: June 9, 2022

NIH HEAL Initiative: National K12 Clinical Pain Career Development Program (K12 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-22-045)

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 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.


Extracellular Matrix

Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Extracellular Matrix

This image of the skin-muscle interface in a developing mouse limb was a winner in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s 2020 BioArt competition. Skin tissue (bright red and yellow) is located near the top of the image; blood vessels (paler red, orange, and yellow) are in the middle and branching downward; and muscle (green, blue, and purple) makes up the bottom layer.

Photo credit: Sarah Lipp, Purdue University, and Sarah Calve, University of Colorado, Boulder


Two women at a Pharmacy

NIH ODS: Updated Calcium Fact Sheets

The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) has updated its Calcium Fact Sheets for consumers (English) and (Spanish) and for health professionals (English) and (Spanish).



February NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting Available on Videocast

A video recording of the February 1, 2022, NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting is available. The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on June 7, 2022.

NIAMS Advisory Council

Rare Disease Day Logo

Rare Disease Day at NIH 2022

February 28, 2022
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET

This year’s event will feature panel discussions, rare diseases stories, virtual exhibitors, and scientific posters. A new event appis available with enhanced engagement features and easier ways for connecting with others.

Registration is required.
View the agenda.


FDA Recording image

Recording Available: Patient Engagement & Regenerative Medicine—An FDA CBER Workshop for Patient Advocates

The recording from the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) patient engagement workshop held on May 6, 2021, is available. Information on the workshop content can be found here.


NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lectures:

April 6, 2022
3 to 4 p.m. ET
Anna Huttenlocher, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin–Madison

Imaging Inflammation Resolution and Wound Repair

NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet

Look for past videocasts, including:

YouTube Video Link thumbnail

A Virtual Farewell Tribute to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins

This video is also available on YouTube.


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