July 26, 2012


Letter From Dr. Stephen I. Katz: NIAMS Embraces Social Media Tools

 Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues,

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have become enormously popular in the past few years. Some sources estimate that Facebook will reach 1 billion users by this August. That’s one-seventh of the world’s population! Twitter users post over 300 million messages, or “tweets,” per day. To leverage the power of these new tools, the NIAMS has begun incorporating them into our information dissemination efforts. In January 2011, we launched our Twitter account with the user name “@NIH_NIAMS”. In March of this year, we launched our Facebook page (NIH.NIAMS), reaching up to 500 people weekly with updates coordinated with those we post on Twitter. This gives us the opportunity to interact with the rapidly growing Facebook audience, adding to our exposure in the social media world.

Image: Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.


Impact of NIH Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world. This research has had a major positive impact on nearly all of our lives by improving human health, fueling the U.S. economy and creating jobs in our communities.

Not only is NIH-funded research yielding many benefits right now, it will have a long-term impact on the future of our nation’s health, economy and communities. See how NIH research will influence our knowledge for decades to come.

New NIH Rheumatology Training Program Website

The NIH Rheumatology Training Program website contains information about:

  • The agency’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education certified fellowship program in rheumatology
  • Advanced training in the Scholars in Translational Research program
  • Profiles of the program’s internationally renowned faculty in rheumatology, immunology and musculoskeletal research
  • Information on the cutting-edge clinical studies that are carried out at the NIH

New NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine Website

The NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine is a community resource that works to provide the infrastructure to support and accelerate the clinical translation of stem cell-based technologies, and to develop widely available resources to be used as standards in stem cell research.

Genome-Wide Scan Reveals Mutation Associated With Melanoma

A team of international researchers supported by the NIAMS, the National Cancer Institute and other funding organizations discovered a rare mutation in the microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) gene. The mutation was of interest because MITF regulates the function of melanocytes, the pigment-producing skin cells that, when they divide and grow uncontrollably, develop into melanoma. Also, MITF activity is known to be amplified in some types of melanoma.

Scientists Find Many Genetic Variations Play a Role in Common Diseases

Scientists have long known that genetic variations play a role in the development of many common medical conditions. What they haven’t known is whether a small number of variants have a large effect on their development, or whether a large number have a small effect. New research supported by the NIAMS and reported in Nature Genetics suggests that the cause of four common diseases—rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, coronary artery disease and type 2 diabetes—is multiple variants with small effects.

NIH Study Finds HIV-Positive Young Men at Risk of Low Bone Mass: Researchers Recommend Monitoring, Exercise, Vitamin D To Prevent Future Fracture Risk

Young men being treated for HIV are more likely to experience low bone mass than are other men their age, according to results from a research network supported by the NIH. The findings indicate that physicians who care for these patients should monitor them regularly for signs of bone thinning, which could foretell a risk for fractures. The young men in the study did not have HIV at birth and had been diagnosed with HIV an average of two years before the study.

Five More Pharmaceutical Companies Join NIH Initiative To Speed Therapeutic Discovery: Nearly 60 Compounds From Industry Collaborators Now Publicly Available

Five additional pharmaceutical companies have joined an NIH-led effort to help scientists research promising new treatments for patients. Funding and molecular compound information is available now for the initial phase of the recently unveiled Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules program. This NIH–industry collaboration will match researchers with 58 compounds to test ideas for new therapeutic uses. Since the program’s launch in May 2012, the total number of compounds the companies are making available has more than doubled.

NIH Common Fund Announces New Programs

New programs exploring novel approaches to cell-to-cell communication and understanding undiagnosed diseases, which represent challenges or scientific opportunities for a wide array of health research, are the latest priorities for the NIH Common Fund. The funding was announced by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., after he received broad community input and recommendations from NIH Institute and Center directors. The Common Fund targets strategic investments that have the potential for rapid and significant impact. The programs are scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2013.

Basic Science Students Introduced to Their Role in Clinical and Translational Research: NIH Piloting Training Program To Encourage Careers and Partnerships

Doctoral students in the basic biomedical sciences have a new resource for an introduction to clinical and translational research in a pilot program at the NIH Clinical Center that aims to increase the pool of potential researchers and collaborators.

Young Patients Benefit From Collaboration Between NIH and Children’s National Medical Center

A new agreement to collaborate on clinical research studies involving young children will encourage greater insight into early origin and development of disease and discovery of new treatments for rare disorders. The Translational Research in Pediatrics Program is a joint effort from the NIH and the NIH Clinical Center, both in Bethesda, Maryland, and Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Researchers Chronicle the Triumphs and Tribulations of NIH Founder

In the annals of medicine, Joseph J. Kinyoun, M.D., is a key figure, but one whose name many people have never heard. In 1887, as a physician in the Marine-Hospital Service—the precursor to today's U.S. Public Health Service—Dr. Kinyoun founded the Hygienic Laboratory on Staten Island, New York, to diagnose cholera, plague, smallpox and other diseases that posed significant threats to public health at the time.

In this one-man, one-room laboratory, Dr. Kinyoun laid the foundation for what today are 27 Institutes and Centers of the NIH. However, few people recognize Dr. Kinyoun's legendary contributions or the hardships he endured as a result of his work. In a review published in the current issue of the journal mBio, two NIH researchers aim to change that.


Save the Date: Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities

Integrating Science, Policy and Practice
Building a Healthier Society
October 31–November 3, 2012
Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center
National Harbor, Maryland


NIH Research Matters

NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.

The Healthy Human Microbiome

Researchers have mapped the normal bacteria that live in and on the healthy human body. The accomplishment sets the stage for better understanding how bacterial communities affect human health and disease.

NIH Public Bulletin

Read about the latest public events, activities and health information resources from the NIH in the latest issue of the NIH Public Bulletin.

NIH News in Health

Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by the NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH’s own scientists or by its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.

Massage Therapy: What You Knead To Know

Many people associate massage with vacations or spas and consider them something of a luxury. But research is beginning to suggest this ancient form of hands-on healing may be more than an indulgence—it may help improve your health.

Funding Announcements

NIAMS Announcements

NIAMS Building Interdisciplinary Research Team (BIRT) Revision Awards (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: October 15, 2012; June 15, 2013; June 15, 2014
Application Receipt Dates: November 15, 2012; July 15, 2013; July 15, 2014

NIAMS Clinical Trial Outcomes Instrument Development Grant Program (U01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: October 9, 2012
Application Receipt Date: November 9, 2012

Functions of Skeletal Muscle Beyond Contraction (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Functions of Skeletal Muscle Beyond Contraction (R21)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements

Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa): Ethical, Legal and Societal Issues (ELSI) Research Program (U01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: September 29, 2012
Application Receipt Date: October 29, 2012

NIH Director's Transformative Research Awards (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 21, 2012
Application Receipt Date: September 21, 2012

Request for Information (RFI): Identifying Organizations With the Appropriate Expertise To Maintain the Molecular Imaging and Contrast Agent Database (MICAD)

Other Research Announcements

Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Awards (U54)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: December 10, 2012
Application Receipt Date: January 8, 2013

Developing and Improving Institutional Animal Resources (G20)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: August 7, 2012

Research Resource for Human Organs and Tissues (U42)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Date: October 23, 2012

U.S.–India Bilateral Collaborative Research Partnerships (CRP) on the Prevention of HIV/AIDS and Comorbidities (R21)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: August 4, 2012
Application Receipt Date: September 4, 2012

Advancing Exceptional Research on HIV/AIDS (R01)
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: November 17, 2012
Application Receipt Date: December 17, 2012

NIH Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings (Parent R13/U13)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Research on Children in Military Families: The Impact of Parental Military Deployment and Reintegration on Child and Family Functioning (R13)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Development and Testing of Novel Interventions To Improve HIV Prevention, Care and Program Implementation (R34)
Letters of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Notice of Impending Change in Peer Review Criteria and Submission Requirements for NIH Applications Involving Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Clarification to the Interim Agency Policy, NIH Research Involving Chimpanzees

Addendum: Administrative Supplements to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements, and Research Supplements To Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research

NIH Announces Changes to the eRA Commons Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Module To Accommodate Additional Reporting Requirements Required by the 2011 Revised FCOI Regulation

Notice of LIMITED COMPETITION—REQUEST FOR A RENEWAL APPLICATION: National Swine Resource and Research Center

Opportunity To Submit Proposals for the Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases (TRND) Program

If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see 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.
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