December 13, 2018


Letter From Dr. Stephen I. Katz: The NIH Back Pain Research Consortium (BACPAC), a Component of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term℠) Initiative

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to introduce the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Back Pain Research Consortium (BACPAC), a new patient-centric translational research program that will support studies to dissect the components and mechanisms of chronic low back pain and integrate this information to identify, prioritize and test new therapies targeted to specific mechanisms. NIH BACPAC is part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative.

Read more.

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


Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Funding Plan

The NIAMS is operating under the FY 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act. The interim funding plan for research and training grants represents the most current information as of October 24, 2018.

NIAMS Is Recruiting a New Clinical Director

The NIAMS Intramural Research Program is seeking a physician-scientist to serve as Clinical Director. The ideal candidate for this position is an M.D. or M.D.Ph.D. who is board-certified or board-eligible in either Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Dermatology, Neurology, Orthopaedics, Bone Biology, Allergy/Immunology or any other specialty relevant to the NIAMS mission.

The ad, which will be open through February 10, 2019, provides more details.

Dr. Henry Metzger, First Scientific Director of NIAMS Intramural Research, Passes Away

Henry Metzger, M.D., who served for 10 years as the first scientific director of Intramural Research at NIAMS, passed away at the age of 88 on November 20, 2018 in Hanover, New Hampshire. Dr. Metzger came to the NIH in 1959 as a research associate. He spent two years as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at the University of California, San Diego, and then returned to the NIH for the remainder of his distinguished career, retiring in 2002.

2018 NIH Director’s Awards for High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program Announced

The NIH, via the NIH Common Fund, has awarded 89 grants that will provide funding to extraordinarily creative scientists proposing highly innovative research to address major challenges in biomedical science. The grants are part of the NIH High-Risk, High-Reward Research Program, which supports ideas with potential for great impact in biomedical research from across the broad scope of the NIH. Among the awardees are NIAMS grantees Kevin King, M.D., Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (New Innovator Award) and Aimee Payne, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Transformative Research Award).

Human Skeletal Stem Cell Identified

Researchers supported in part by the NIAMS have discovered a self-renewing skeletal stem cell in humans that had been previously identified in mice. The results, which appeared in Cell, could lead to methods for restoring bone, cartilage and supportive tissues for organs.

Image: Human skeletal stem cells grown in the lab

Photo credit: Chan and Longaker, et al.

Video: Historias Personales: Viviendo con Artritis Reumatoide—(Delia) Personal Stories: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis (Spanish)

In her native language of Spanish, Delia talks about living with rheumatoid arthritis and participating in a NIAMS study at the NIH Clinical Center. English subtitles are available.

Video credit: Greg Lavine, NIAMS

Putting Bone Metastasis in the Spotlight

In this NIH Director’s Blog post, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., features a new system that hopefully will provide a better understanding of what goes on when cancer cells invade bone.

Image: Nuclei (green) and cytoplasm (red) of human prostate cancer cells growing inside a bioengineered construct of mouse bone (blue-green) that’s been placed in a mouse

Photo credit: MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston


Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Multi-Nucleated Muscle Cells Grown in Culture

This image shows mouse muscle cells viewed under a microscope. The cells have fused together to form myotubes that have many nuclei (stained blue). The cells are from mouse skeletal muscle stem cells treated with a harmless virus that caused them to glow green. The green color remained when the stem cells fused into myotubes. Some myotubes are stained red for a protein involved in muscle contraction (myosin heavy chain), a characteristic of mature muscle fibers.
Photo credit: Kevin A. Murach, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

We invite you to subscribe to the NIAMS Community Outreach Bulletin, which is an online digest designed to inform community advocates and health professionals about resources for diverse audiences on conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin and ways to stay healthy. The NIAMS also publishes 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.


September NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting Available on Videocast

A video recording of the September 5 NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting is available. The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held February 5, 2019.

NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

The NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are Continuing Medical Education-certified, open to the public and available live via webcast.

Upcoming Lectures:

January 16, 2019
Alondra Nelson, Ph.D., M.Phil., Columbia University
The Social Life of DNA
January 23, 2019
Astute Clinician Lecture
Jeffrey A. Hubbell, Ph.D., University of Chicago Institute for Molecular Engineering
Molecular Engineering of Immunotherapeutics: From Regulation in Autoimmunity to Immunity to Cancer

NIH Science Lectures and Events Available via Internet

The NIH hosts a number of science seminars and events that are available online through real-time streaming video (videocast). The NIH calendar notes these videocast events with a video icon .

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