July 26, 2018


Letter From Dr. Stephen I. Katz: Working With the NIH Community To Foster Interdisciplinary Research

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

Dear Colleagues,

Collaboration across disciplines can inspire scientists to consider problems from new perspectives and yield creative new approaches to solving them. To this end, the NIAMS engages partners across the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the researchers we fund, to encourage and support interdisciplinary research. In addition, we often hear from the community about the importance of opportunities to work with researchers in other fields. For example, during listening sessions for the evaluation of our Centers program, support for interdisciplinary team science emerged as a key strategy for spurring innovation.

Read more.

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


Wellstone Centers Program Evaluation

The NIH is assessing the Senator Paul D. Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Research Centers Program. The NIH is seeking written input through a Request for Information from the muscular dystrophy research, health care and patient communities, as well as any other interested parties.

Updated Estimates Suggest a Higher Number of U.S. Adults With Arthritis

a man massaging his hand

About 91 million U.S. adults may have some form of arthritis, according to a new statistical analysis of data from a self-reported national survey from 2015. This estimate is 68 percent higher than the previously reported estimate for arthritis—a term that includes multiple conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joints and other connective tissues.

Image: Researchers estimate that the number of U.S. adults who have arthritis may be much higher than previously determined.

Photo credit: Ken Tannenbaum/Shutterstock


Intensive Weight Loss Helps Knee Arthritis

a woman running

Intensive weight loss from diet and exercise was better than moderate weight loss for relieving symptoms of knee arthritis among obese or overweight older adults.

Image: The study found that intensive weight loss from diet and exercise can help relieve symptoms of knee arthritis.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


Arthritis Drug Found To Relieve Chronic Itch in Proof-of-Concept Study

Scientists supported in part by the NIAMS have found that two molecules involved in the inflammatory response also directly activate itch-sensing neurons and trigger the itch sensation. Blocking the molecules’ effects with a medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis provided relief in a group of patients experiencing chronic itch that had not responded to other treatments.

Researchers Identify Potential Biomarker for Serious Scleroderma Complication

Researchers have linked a small signaling molecule to pulmonary dysfunction in systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), according to a study funded in part by the NIAMS. The findings suggest that the molecule could help identify patients at greatest risk of developing pulmonary problems and represents a potential new therapeutic target for the disease.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Final Recommendation Statement: Screening for Osteoporosis To Prevent Fractures

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, posted a final recommendation statement on screening for osteoporosis to prevent fractures.

New Trans-NIH Consortium Aims To Advance Pediatric Research on a Global Level

The NIH has formed the Trans-NIH Pediatric Research Consortium to coordinate pediatric research programs across Institutes and Centers, explore gaps and opportunities in the pediatric research portfolio and set priorities.

Precision Diagnosis for Tick-Borne Diseases?

a bug on a leave

In this NIH Director’s Blog post, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., highlights the development of a new Tick-Borne Disease Serochip that can rapidly detect a person’s exposure to eight common tick-borne pathogens and identify whether they’ve been infected by one pathogen or several.

Image: Adult female Lone Star tick.

Photo credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

MRI Glove Enables Imaging of Moving Joints

A glove is being developed to enable MRI scans of a moving hand

Researchers supported by the NIH’s National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a glove-shaped magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) component that delivers clear images of bones, tendons and ligaments moving together.

Image: A glove is being developed to enable MRI scans of a moving hand, such as a hand grasping a peach.

Photo credit: Zhang et al., Nature Biomedical Engineering


Bacteria Therapy Tested for Common Skin Disease

Boy in black and blue shirt scratching his arm

In a small study, investigators at the NIH’s NIAID found that a treatment using bacteria normally found on healthy skin reduced the severity of atopic dermatitis.

Image: Atopic dermatitis, a type of eczema, can make skin dry and extremely itchy.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Search for a Cure

Dr. John O’Shea

The summer edition of NIH MedlinePlus magazine features a look back at 20 years of research progress in RA, current research and clinical trials, as well as four other stories on RA.

Image: NIAMS Scientific Director John O’Shea, M.D.

Photo credit: Dr. John O’Shea




Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Mouse Neurons

mouse neurons (purple) with their nuclei (blue) and primary cilia (green)

This image shows mouse neurons (purple) with their nuclei (blue) and primary cilia (green). An NIH-supported study, funded in part by the NIAMS, suggests that changes in sensory projections on brain cells (called primary cilia) may be a factor that leads to obesity.

Photo credit: Yi Wang, Vaisse Lab, University of California, San Francisco

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Data Science

The NIH released its first Strategic Plan for Data Science, a roadmap for modernizing the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem. Over the course of the next year, the NIH will begin implementing the strategy while continuing to seek community input.

NIH HEAL Initiative Research Plan

The NIH released a research plan for the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) initiative, an interdisciplinary program aimed at advancing addiction and pain research in the United States.

A Free Game App From NIH Aims To Help Transform Students Into Scientists

NIH Center for Scientific logo with 3 kids

Students ages 10 and up now have a fun way to experience the excitement of advancing science and health and exploring a research career. Parents, students, teachers and homeschoolers are encouraged to download the free app—called the NIH Scientist Launch GameTM—available in both iOS and Android formats.

Photo credit: NIH Center for Scientific Review


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

The NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held September 5, 2018, in Building 31, 6th Floor, C Wing, Conference Room 10, 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

The Growing Promise of Gene Therapy Approaches to Rare Diseases

August 20–21, 2018
Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
The event will be videocast.

Artificial Intelligence in Medical Imaging Workshop

August 23–24, 2018
Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
Registration is now closed; wait-list is available, and videocast is available.

Frontiers in Basic Immunology: 2018

September 27–28, 2018
Masur and Lipsett Auditoriums, Building 10, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Appropriate Use of Drug Therapies for Osteoporotic Fracture Prevention

October 30–31, 2018
Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
The event will be videocast.

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 video icon.

Funding Announcements

If you would like information about funding opportunities, please view the NIH Guide to 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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