December 20, 2016


Letter from Dr. Stephen I. Katz: The Next Step in Studying How Movement Becomes Medicine

 Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you about the new National Institutes of Health (NIH) Common Fund program to discover how physical activity helps people live longer and be healthier. Earlier this month, NIH formed the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) by issuing 19 awards to basic, translational and clinical researchers around the country.

Over the next six years, MoTrPAC investigators will map the molecules involved in human physical activity. Decades of research have demonstrated that conversations occur among organs during and after exercise. Our new goal is to record the changes and movement of these molecules, which provide the “voice” in that conversation, and interpret their “language.”

Read more.

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


NIH Awards Aim to Understand Molecular Changes During Physical Activity

Collins Motrpac

The NIH Common Fund announced the first awards for the Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans Program, which will allow researchers to develop a comprehensive map of the molecular changes that occur in response to physical activity. Nineteen grants will support researchers to collect samples from people of different races, ethnic groups, sex, ages and fitness levels.

Image: Dr. Francis Collins speaks about the Physical Activity program.

Regenerative Medicine: New Clue From Fish About Healing Spinal Cord Injuries

Tissue Zebrafish Spinal Cord

Certain organisms have remarkable abilities to achieve self-healing, and a fascinating example is the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a species of tropical freshwater fish that’s an increasingly popular model organism for biological research.

Image: Tissue section of zebrafish spinal cord regenerating after injury. Glial cells (red) cross the gap between the severed ends first. Neuronal cells (green) soon follow. Cell nuclei are stained blue and purple. Photo credit: Mayssa Mokalled, Ph.D., and Kenneth Poss, Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, NC.

North Carolinians Volunteer for Knee Pain Study

Strength Training

The NIAMS-supported clinical trial “Strength Training for Arthritis Trial (START)” is spotlighted in the fall issue of the NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. START researchers are exploring the effects of strength training in reducing knee pain from osteoarthritis.

Image: Ishman Woodard volunteers for START in Winston-Salem, NC. Daniel Hamm and Jovita Newman monitor his progress. Photo credit: Wake Forest University.

Vasculitis: A Rare-but-Serious Family of Diseases

Dr.Peter Grayson and Dr. Mark Ahlman

Vasculitis is a condition that involves inflammation in the blood vessels. It occurs when the immune system attacks the blood vessels. It can result in poor blood flow to the body’s organs and tissues. Vasculitis can happen due to infection, reaction to a medicine, or another disease or condition.

Image: Dr. Peter Grayson (l), principal investigator of the NIH’s Vasculitis Translational Research Program, reviews diagnostic images with Dr. Mark Ahlman at the NIH Clinical Center. Photo credit: Ernie Branson.

Coping With Vasculitis and Contributing to Research

Ida Hakkarinen

Ida Hakkarinen, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has a form of vasculitis called granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). She shares her experience with GPA before and after a diagnosis, as well as her decision to join a vasculitis clinical trial at the NIH.

Image: Meteorologist Ida Hakkarinen, shown with an Image satellite being prepared for launch, has a form of vasculitis. She takes part in NIH-supported clinical research. Photo credit: Dusty Volkel/Lockheed Martin.

NCATS To Fund Next Phase of Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Program

Mature cardiac cells

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) announced a new funding opportunity for the next phase of the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. Other NIH Institutes, including the NIAMS, contribute funding, expertise and resources to the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program and the Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and Efficacy Testing initiative.

Image: This image shows mature cardiac cells properly aligned and functional on the heart chip. Photo credit: Columbia University Photo/Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Ph.D.

The What and How of Data Sharing: Stakeholder Feedback Requested

Sharing biomedical research and health-related data plays a key role in advancing knowledge of human health and well-being. The NIH is seeking stakeholder feedback on considerations pertaining to what types of data should be shared, the costs and benefits of sharing different types of data, and standards for citation of data and software. The NIH requests feedback on these strategies via this Request for Information until December 29, 2016.


Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: B Cells Contribute to Bone Loss in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Joint tissue

Joint tissue from patients with rheumatoid arthritis contains high numbers of B cells (white), the antibody-producing cells of the immune system. These cells produce high levels of the signaling molecule RANKL (green), which stimulate osteoclasts (red), causing bone to break down. Researchers aim to identify the specific B cell subsets and molecular pathways involved in the cells’ harmful effects so that they can find ways to target them selectively.

Image: This image is courtesy of Jennifer Anolik, M.D., Ph.D., University of Rochester.

Dr. Francis Collins’ Space Chat With Astronaut Kate Rubins on the International Space Station

Francis Collins with Kate Rubins

Listen to the live Space Chat between NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins (l) and Astronaut Kate Rubins, Ph.D., on the International Space Station to hear questions, answers and discussion about the opportunities and challenges of performing research in space.

NIAMS’ Dr. Grayson, “Focus on Takayasu’s Arteritis” Webinar

Peter Grayson

Peter Grayson, M.D., head of the Vasculitis Translational Research Program at the NIAMS, presented information on Takayasu’s Arteritis as part of the Vasculitis Foundation's Road Map to Wellness Educational Webinars.


AHRQ's "Effective Health Care Program" Includes Information on Low Back Pain

Low back pain

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has two new publications to help clinicians, patients and their families make informed decisions about treating low back pain.

NIH SeniorHealth Knee Replacement Information

Physical therapy

Learn about knee replacement in the NIAMS-developed Knee Replacement module @NIHSeniorHealth. Find out who needs a knee replacement and medicines and alternatives to consider. Then watch a video about physical therapy exercises that follow a knee replacement, and learn what to expect in recovery.

My Family Health Portrait Tool (From the Surgeon General)

A family picture

My Family Health Portrait is a Web-based tool designed to help you organize family history information that you can print and share with your health care provider. Available in EnglishSpanish, Portuguese and Italian.



National Prevention Council Report: Healthy Aging in Action

Healthy Aging Action

Prepared by the National Prevention Council, this report [PDF – 4.7 MB] identifies specific actions for healthy aging, including improvements in health and well-being for later life. It highlights federal and nonfederal programs that advance the four Strategic Directions of the National Prevention Strategy for the older adult population: Healthy and Safe Community Environments, Clinical and Community Preventive Services, Empowered People and Elimination of Health Disparities.

Clinical Trials, a Healthier Future for All

People in different ages

Did you know that most anyone can get involved with clinical research? No matter if you’re healthy, sick, young or old, you may be able to help scientists find treatments or cures. Find out more about clinical trials, also known as clinical research or clinical studies.



NIH Clinical Research and You Has New Infographic

Clinical Trials Infographic

The infographic “Why do researchers do different kinds of clinical studies?” [PDF – 318 KB] explains why researchers might use them and highlights each type’s strengths and weaknesses. The guide can be used to help describe the results of a study or the design of a trial to a potential participant.

We invite you to subscribe to the Multicultural Outreach News quarterly e-newsletter, which has information and resources for multicultural communities on diseases and conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin. NIAMS has also launched the Honoring Health: Resources for American Indians and Alaska Natives e-newsletter, which is distributed three times per year and highlights a different health topic for each issue, along with helpful resources for community members and health professionals.


January NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting

The NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held January 25, 2017, in Building 31, 6th Floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus. A meeting agenda will be posted as soon as it is available. The Council meeting will be available for live viewing via the NIH videocasting service as well.

NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting

Funding Announcements

If you would like information about funding opportunities, please view 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.

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