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.


Deputy Director’s Letter: Piecing Together the Autoimmune Disease Puzzle

Robert H. Carter, M.D.

In her December 2021 letter, NIAMS Director Lindsey Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc., discussed the launch of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM) program. This new initiative builds upon the progress of the prior AMP RA/SLE project, which greatly advanced our understanding of the mechanisms that drive disease in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).



Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Funding Plan

NIAMS is operating under the FY 2022 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The interim funding plan for research and training grants represents the most current information as of the date cited on this web page; however, many factors occurring throughout the fiscal year can affect the operating policies; thus, they are subject to change. For clarification, it is always best to check with an appropriate Institute official.

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:

NIH Director’s Blog: Unraveling the Role of the Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease

NIH Director’s Blog: Unraveling the Role of the Skin Microbiome in Health and Disease

As guest author, NIAMS Director Dr. Lindsey Criswell highlights the research of Heidi Kong, M.D., M.H.Sc., Head of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program’s (IRP) Cutaneous Microbiome and Inflammation Section of the Dermatology Branch, and Richard Gallo, M.D., a NIAMS grantee. Their research is rapidly advancing our understanding of the role of the skin microbiome―and suggesting potential therapeutic opportunities.


A New View of How Muscles Move

Brian Glancy, Ph.D

Brian Glancy, Ph.D., is an Earl Stadtman Investigator with a dual appointment between NIAMS and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at NIH. While examining mouse muscle using high-powered microscopes, he discovered “branching” in the structure and function of myofibrils, the parts of skeletal muscle cells that are key to muscle contraction. His groundbreaking discoveries are expected to change how textbooks depict myofibril structure and function.


New Web Application to Study Cellular Responses to Glucocorticoids

Luis Franco, M.D.

A new web tool that will allow scientists to study how different human cell types will respond to glucocorticoids (a powerful class of steroid drugs) was developed by Luis Franco, M.D.’s Functional Immunogenomics Lab in NIAMS IRP and by scientists with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).


What Our Proteins Can Tell Us About Autoimmune Diseases

Adeline Chin

Adeline Chin, a postbaccalaureate research fellow in the Juvenile Myositis Pathogenesis and Therapeutics Unit in NIAMS IRP, describes the team’s research progress in understanding juvenile dermatomyositis and identifying better and safer treatments with fewer side effects.


How Skin Cells Help Fight Acne

How Skin Cells Help Fight Acne

NIAMS-supported investigators found that a type of skin cell called a dermal fibroblast can make an antimicrobial compound in response to infection by acne-causing bacteria. The results suggest approaches that could lead to better treatment options for acne.


FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) Continues to Make Rare Diseases a Priority With Drug Approvals and Programming to Speed Therapeutic Development

This article outlines activities of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) CDER with respect to supporting rare disease drug development.


Limited Competition: Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity at Minority Serving Institutions (U01 Clinical Trial Optional) (Reissue of RFA-RM-21-022)

Application due date: May 23, 2022

Immune Drivers of Autoimmune Disease (IDAD) (U01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-AI-22-012)

Application due date: July 1, 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)

Expiration date: October 25, 2022

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)

Next application due date: June 9, 2022

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.


Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Staphylococcus Epidermidis Bacteria

NIAID researchers discovered how a bacterium that lives on the skin, called S. epidermidis

NIAID researchers discovered how a bacterium that lives on the skin, called S. epidermidis, (shown in green) helps protect the skin from water loss and damage. The research may lead to probiotic treatments to promote skin health during aging or may help treat some skin diseases. The research team is hoping next to test the approach in clinical trials in people.

Photo credit: NIAID


Updated NIAMS Resources Available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese

Four pictures, first one lady pushing a wheel barrel, second lady smiling at camera, third couple jogging, fourth construction worker working with hands

Living With Arthritis, Living With Back Pain (new), and Living With Lupus are now available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. Designed for patients and their families, these resources all can be viewed in full color.


Nutritional Approaches for Musculoskeletal Pain and Inflammation

Nutritional Approaches for Musculoskeletal Pain and Inflammation

NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) provides evidence-based information on clinical guidelines, scientific literature, and information for patients for a number of supplements that people consider using for musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, including willow bark, omega-3 fatty acids, devil’s claw, ginger, thunder god vine, turmeric, and bromelain.


NIH STEM Teaching Resources

The free K‒12 STEM education materials on this site are provided by NIH Institutes and Centers and NIH grantees, including Science Education Partnership Award recipients.


June NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting (Virtual Meeting)

The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on June 7, 2022. The meeting will be available for viewing via the NIH videocasting service. A video recording of the previous NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting on February 1, 2022, is available.

June NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting (Virtual Meeting)

At the Crossroads of the Microbiome, Metabolism, & Glycoscience

April 29, 2022
9a.m. to 5p.m. ET
Location: Videocast
Registration is required.
View the agenda.

NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lecture:

May 11, 2022
3 to 4 p.m. ET
John Kuriyan, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Mechanisms of Activation of the EGF Receptor

NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet

Look for past videocasts, including:

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