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 through December 3, 2021. An interim funding plan is under development and will be posted as soon as it is available.

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:

Francis Collins

Francis Collins to Step Down as Director of the National Institutes of Health

On October 5, 2021, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., announced his decision to end his tenure as the director of the NIH by the end of the year. Dr. Collins is the longest serving presidentially appointed NIH director, having served three U.S. presidents over more than 12 years.

NIH, FDA, and 15 Private Organizations Join Forces to Increase Effective Gene Therapies for Rare Diseases

The NIH, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 10 pharmaceutical companies, and five nonprofit organizations have partnered to accelerate development of gene therapies for the 30 million Americans who suffer from a rare disease. The NIAMS is among the NIH Institutes supporting this new effort.

Autoimmune Response Found in Many With COVID-19

Autoimmune Response Found in Many With COVID-19

In a small study partly funded by the NIAMS, about half of the people hospitalized with COVID-19 had antibodies in their blood that could mistakenly attack the body’s own proteins and tissues. More work is needed to see if these autoantibodies contribute to the symptoms of “long COVID,” or have other effects later in life.

Mariana Kaplan

Casting the NET Wide: How Neutrophils Shape Chronic Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases

Catch up on the research of the NIAMS’ Deputy Scientific Director and Chief of the Systemic Autoimmunity Branch Mariana Kaplan, M.D., which involves lupus and neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. Read the print summary or watch the lecture.

Parents’ Smoking During Childhood Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis Later in Life

Parents’ Smoking During Childhood Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis Later in Life

Girls whose parents smoked cigarettes were 75 percent more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis as adults, according to a study funded by the NIAMS, other NIH Institutes, and the Rheumatology Research Foundation.

Drugs Treat Spinal Disc Degeneration in Mice

Drugs Treat Spinal Disc Degeneration in Mice

A study in mice showed reduced age-related disc degeneration using an experimental drug combination targeting aging cells. The NIAMS and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) supported this research.

Engineering a Better Way to Deliver Therapeutic Genes to Muscles

NIH Director’s Blog: Engineering a Better Way to Deliver Therapeutic Genes to Muscles

Researchers have developed a promising approach to deliver therapeutic genes and gene editing tools to muscle more efficiently, thus requiring lower doses.

New, Highly Innovative NIH Research Awards to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity

New, Highly Innovative NIH Research Awards to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity

Eleven grants were recently awarded to support the work of exceptionally creative researchers across the United States through the NIH Common Fund’s Transformative Research to Address Health Disparities and Advance Health Equity initiative.

HHS Launches New Campaign to Improve Diversity in Lupus Clinical Trials

HHS Launches New Campaign to Improve Diversity in Lupus Clinical Trials

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health and the FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity have launched the Let’s Take Charge! campaign, an initiative to make lupus research more inclusive and diverse.

Funding Opportunities

Administrative Supplements to Promote Diversity in Research and Development Small Businesses - SBIR/STTR (Admin Supp Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (PA-21-345)

Supplements to Advance Research (STAR) From Projects to Programs (Admin Supp - Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (NOT-AR-22-003)

The STAR Program will provide investigators an opportunity to be innovative and explore high-risk ideas within the NIAMS mission to facilitate the transition from a project to program. Eligible investigators will have successfully renewed their first NIAMS-supported R01 awarded with Early Stage Investigator status, and they also must not have held more than two R01-equivalent grants. Application due date: November 4, 2021

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

Application due date: January 8, 2022

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

Next application due date: February 16, 2022

Helping to End Addiction Long-term® (HEAL) Initiative: Planning Studies for Initial Analgesic Development [Small Molecules and Biologics] (R61 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-NS-21-029)

Multiple due dates

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.


Skin-Muscle Interface

NIH Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Protein Reacting to Anti-Cancer Drug

A ring of Hela tubulin induced by the binding of Cryptophycin 52, a potent anti-cancer drug. The tubulin is rendered as a hydrophobicity surface (blue, hydrophilic; orange, hydrophobic) with Cryptophycin 52 colored magenta. The chemical structure of Cryptophycin 52 is shown in the center.

Photo credit: Elif Eren, Ph.D., and Norman Watts, Ph.D., NIAMS Protein Expression Laboratory

Mind and Body Practices for Fibromyalgia

NCCIH Clinical Digest: Mind and Body Practices for Fibromyalgia

This issue from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) summarizes the science of several mind and body approaches often included in the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.


Special November 18 NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting (Virtual Meeting)

A Special NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on November 18, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET. The meeting will be available for viewing via the NIH videocasting service. The agenda is posted here.

August NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting thumbnail

Scientific Roundtable on Inflammation Resolution: Emerging Opportunities for the NIAMS Mission

November 16–17, 2021
12 to 4 p.m. ET
Event is virtual.

FDA Virtual Public Workshop—Orthopedic Cartilage Repair Products

November 12, 2021
8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
Event is videocast. (URL will be sent with registration confirmation.)
Registration deadline: November 10, 2021, by 4 p.m. ET

NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lectures:

November 3, 2021
3 to 4 p.m. ET
Susan Parkhurst, Ph.D., Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Wound Repair: Dealing With Life’s Little Traumas

December 1, 2021
3 to 4 p.m. ET
Luda Diatchenko, M.D., Ph.D., McGill University
Reconstruction of the Pathophysiology of Chronic Pain From Genome-wide Studies

December 15, 2021
3 to 4 p.m. ET
William E. Paul Lecture
John O'Shea, M.D., NIAMS
Cytokine Signaling: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

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