Letter From the Director: NIAMS Is Listening—Help Shape the Institute’s Next Strategic Plan

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

Every 5 years, NIAMS revisits and updates its strategic plan, a document designed to guide us in our decision making about the research the Institute will support. This is an important opportunity for individuals and organizations to provide input on NIAMS’ priorities and direction moving forward. Public input is vital to this plan, both to articulate bold scientific aspirations and to identify research advances that could have the most impact. More details on the strategic planning process and how to submit your comments can be found in our Request for Information. The deadline for submission is November 30, 2022. 

Read the full Director’s Letter


Late Breaking: Letter From the Director—New RE-JOIN Consortium Awards Seek to Understand Pain Signals in Joints to Reduce Pain, Limit Deterioration, and Restore Healthy Joints


new pilot program

New Pilot Program Will Mentor Leaders and Advance Women’s Health

NIAMS and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH) are partnering to launch a pilot program to support and train research scholars by helping them acquire and hone team science leadership and mentoring skills. The Team Science Leadership Scholars Program will be funded by ORWH and embedded within the Accelerating Medicines Partnership® Autoimmune and Immune-Mediated Diseases (AMP® AIM) program, which NIAMS and ORWH both support.

Maria I. Morasso, Ph.D.

Overzealous Immune Cells Hamper Healing: Study Points to Treatment Targets for Impaired Healing Due to Diabetes

In collaboration with researchers from the University of Miami, Maria Morasso, Ph.D., Chief of the NIAMS Laboratory of Skin Biology, led an intramural research team in identifying additional factors that influence how wounds like diabetic foot ulcers might heal.

Andrew Mammen, M.D., Ph.D.

Recently Tenured: Andrew Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the NIAMS Muscle Disease Unit

Andrew Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., is Chief of the Muscle Disease Section in NIAMS’ Intramural Research Program. His main research focus is myositis, a rare family of autoimmune diseases in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy muscle tissue, causing inflammation, weakness, fatigue, and pain in skeletal muscles. The research includes clinical research, immunology, and muscle biology.

Each summer, labs across NIH welcome college students and recent grads eager to jumpstart their biomedical research careers. The junior scientists dive into lab work and conduct innovative experiments designed to fill knowledge gaps in their chosen area of study. For NIAMS trainees, the Institute’s annual Intramural Research Program Scientific Retreat offers important professional development opportunities.

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 the web page.

NIH Directors Blog

NIH Director’s Blog: NIH Collaboration Seeks to Help Understand U.S. Burden of Health Disparities

As guest author, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, highlights study results that analyzed the first comprehensive U.S. county-level life expectancy estimates. The study identified specific significant gaps that persist among racial and ethnic populations across the nation.


How Sound Reduces Pain in Mice: Newly Identified Brain Circuits May Point to More Effective Pain Therapies

An international team of scientists led by researchers at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified the mechanism by which sound can reduce pain in mice: it lowers the activity of neurons in the brain’s auditory cortex. The findings may help to inform safer ways to treat pain, potentially including NIAMS mission areas such as back pain.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Dupixent (dupilumab) injection for the treatment of adults with a chronic inflammatory condition known as prurigo nodularis (PN). This is the first FDA-approved treatment for PN. Dupixent has already been approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis, asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyposis, and eosinophilic esophagitis.

The NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) is seeking nominations for its 2023 Early-Stage Investigator Lecture. The award is given annually to early-career scientists who have made significant research contributions in disease prevention but who have not yet successfully competed for an R01 or R01-equivalent NIH research grant. Nominations are due November 4, 2022.


NIH Loan Repayment Program Funding Opportunity Announcements

Application due date period for FY 2023 awards: September 1 to November 17, 2022. Additional information is available.

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Navigating Pediatric to Adult Health Care: Lost in Transition  (NOT-HD-21-027)

NIAMS Funding Opportunity Announcements for this NOSI include PA-20-185  and PA-20-195.
Applications now being accepted.

NIAMS Clinical Trial Planning Grant (R34) – Clinical Trial Not Allowed (PAR-22-205)

Application due date: November 1, 2022; see announcement for subsequent due dates.

HEAL Initiative: Prevention and Management of Chronic Pain in Rural Populations (UG3/UH3, Clinical Trials Required) (RFA-NR-23-001)

Application Due Date: November 21, 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

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, 2023

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, 2023

HEAL Initiative: Translational Development of Diagnostic and Therapeutic Devices (R18 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) (RFA-EB-22-002)

Application Due Date: June 13, 2023

HEAL Initiative: Interdisciplinary Team Science to Uncover the Mechanisms of Pain Relief by Medical Devices (RM1 Clinical Trial Optional) (RFA-NS-23-003)

Application Due Date: June 13, 2023

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: Abnormal Cartilage in Mouse Model of Rare Bone Disease 


In normal mouse bone (left), the borders between cartilage tissue (brown) and the tissue covering it are smooth. In genetically altered mice (right), cartilage tissue along the border forms many abnormal cell clusters, or “islands.” These islands are thought to be the “seeds” of future bone tumors (osteochondromas). They are formed by overactive bone morphogenic protein signaling. The tumors are common in the genetic bone condition known as multiple hereditary exostoses. Understanding the genetics and signaling pathways behind this condition may help researchers work toward effective treatments.

Photo credit: Toshihiro Inubushi, Ph.D., Human Genetics Program, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute



September NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting Available on Videocast 

Watch a video recording of the September 14, 2022, NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting. The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held virtually on January 31, 2023.


NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

Upcoming Lecture:

November 2, 2022
2 to 3 p.m. ET
Steven Holland, M.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Astute Clinician Lecture
Anticytokine Autoantibodies: Causes, Concomitants and Complications of Infectious Diseases

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 (new) NIH calendar.