Collaboration and Innovation: Looking Back and Ahead on NIAMS’ 35th Anniversary
As I settle into my new role as director of the NIAMS, I have the honor of leading the Institute on its 35th anniversary. We have reached many important milestones since our founding in 1986 and I feel tremendous excitement about what we can accomplish in the next 35 years. I am part of a generation of researchers who have never known a time without the NIAMS during their scientific careers.
Image: Lindsey A. Criswell, M.D., M.P.H., D.Sc.
Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Funding Plan (Updated June 4, 2021)
The NIAMS is operating under the FY 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. The NIAMS FY 2021 Enacted Level is $634,292,000.
Get the latest public health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the latest funding opportunities and research news from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additional news and resources include:
- NIH Plans Research on "Long COVID"
- Human Antibodies Target Many Parts of Coronavirus Spike Protein (NIH Director’s Blog)
- Nanoparticle Vaccine Against Various Coronaviruses (NIH Research Matters)
- Largest CDC COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Study in Health Workers Shows mRNA Vaccines 94% Effective (CDC)
- NIH Clinical Trial Evaluating Mixed COVID-19 Vaccine Schedules Begins (NIH News Release)
- NIH Researchers Identify Potential New Antiviral Drug for COVID-19 (NIH News Release)
- We Can Do This—COVID-19 public education tools to increase vaccine confidence while reinforcing basic prevention measures (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
NIH Names Dr. Marie A. Bernard as Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., has selected Marie A. Bernard, M.D., as the NIH’s next Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity. She will lead the NIH’s effort to promote diversity, inclusiveness, and equity throughout the biomedical research enterprise. “Dr. Bernard is an accomplished physician-scientist and has championed diversity and inclusion efforts over her entire career,” said Dr. Collins.
Enzyme Therapy Helps Rebuild Teeth
NIAMS Senior Investigator Martha J. Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D., led a team of NIH Intramural researchers in a mouse study demonstrating a new strategy to rebuild part of the tooth known as cementum, a tissue around the roots of teeth. The treatment involves tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP), a naturally occurring enzyme, that helps to build cementum.
NIAMS Creates Diversity Supplement Scholars Program
The NIAMS participates in a range of programs to promote diversity in the biomedical, behavioral, and clinical research workforce. One of these programs is the Diversity Supplement Program. The program funds the research training of individuals from underrepresented populations by enabling them to work in the labs of NIAMS-funded scientists across the country. The NIAMS aims to foster the scientific careers of the diversity scholars even after the end of the supplement period (typically 1 or 2 years). To do so, the Institute developed a way to bring together each group of diversity scholars and their mentors into annual cohorts to facilitate ongoing networking, mutual support, collaborations, and sharing of resources on career-related topics. The first cohort, established in 2020, includes 30 scholars. To see photos and read research summaries from many of these scholars, see the Scholars’ Profiles.
Postbac Poster Day Showcases Young Scientific Talent
Emma Hope, a postbaccalaureate student featured in this article, discusses her training with NIAMS Senior Investigator Maria Morasso, Ph.D. Having won an NIH Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award, Hope is conducting research on wound healing and is appreciating the collaborative spirit of scientific research.
Accelerating Medicines Partnership: Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP AIM) (RFA-AR-21-015) and (RFA-AR-21-016)
- AMP AIM: Disease Teams for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Psoriatic Spectrum Diseases, and Sjögren’s Syndrome (UC2 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-AR-21-015)
Applications accepted from June 15 to July 15, 2021
- AMP AIM: Technology and Analytic Cores and Research Management Unit (UC2 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-AR-21-016)
Applications accepted from June 15 to July 15, 2021
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. Application due date: January 8, 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 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.
Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Fusing Fibroblast Cells
Immature muscle cells fuse together during development to form long muscle fibers with many nuclei. To identify factors involved in the fusion process, scientists studied fibroblasts—cells that don’t normally fuse. As shown in the microscopic image, adding a gene that makes a protein named myomerger to fibroblasts causes them to fuse together in flower-like clumps of fluorescently stained cell nuclei. The protein works in tandem with another protein, called myomaker, to cause fusion. By gaining a better understanding of the processes involved in muscle development and regeneration, the research may help lead to new therapies for muscle disorders.
Photo credit: Malgorzata Quinn, Ph.D., and Douglas Millay, Ph.D., Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Heart Institute
NIH News in Health: Childhood Arthritis
In this feature story about juvenile arthritis, NIAMS Investigator Michael J. Ombrello, M.D., comments on symptoms, diagnosis, current treatments, quality of life, and the importance of physical activities to keep joints their healthiest.
NIH News in Health: Living With Scoliosis
This article briefly describes scoliosis and touches on symptoms, possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment.
New NIH RePORTER
Did you know about recent improvements like “Quick Search” in NIH’s Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools Expenditures and Results (RePORTER) database? Did you know it’s available to all public users at ExPORTER? The Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools provide access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research. Learn even more using the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) pages: RePORTER FAQs and ExPORTER FAQs.
May NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting Available on Videocast
A video recording of the May 18, 2021, NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting is available. The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on August 31, 2021.
NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet
Look for past videocasts, including:
- NIH HEAL Initiative Investigator Meeting—May 2021
- 2021 NIH Pain Consortium—May 2021
- COVID-19 Update From Anthony Fauci, M.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases—June 2021
- Casting the Net Wide: The Role of Neutrophils in Chronic Diseases, Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D., NIAMS—June 2021
- Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee—June 2021
For additional online science seminars and events hosted by the NIH, view the NIH Videocast Upcoming Events and the NIH calendar.