February 27, 2020


Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Funding Plan

The NIAMS is operating under the FY 2020 Further Consolidated Appropriations Act. The interim funding plan for research and training grants represents the most current information as of January 24, 2020.

2021 NIAMS Congressional Justification Now Available

The Congressional Justification submitted by the NIAMS for FY 2021 complements the President’s budget request by explaining the Institute’s mission, highlighting recent research accomplishments and future initiatives and providing comparative budget data for the previous, current and upcoming fiscal years.

NIAMS Names Colbert, Lester to Leadership Posts

The NIAMS has selected Robert Colbert, M.D., Ph.D., as the Director of the NIAMS Clinical Research Program and Gayle Lester, Ph.D., as the Director of the Division of Extramural Research. Dr. Colbert assumed his role on February 16, while Dr. Lester will take her post starting March 1.

Researchers Find Cause of New Autoinflammatory Disease

Doctor speaking with a parent and child

Researchers funded in part by the NIAMS have discovered that mutations in a specific gene cause a previously unknown autoinflammatory disease, which they have named CRIA (cleavage-resistant RIPK1-induced autoinflammatory) syndrome. A biological drug called tocilizumab reduced the severity and frequency of symptoms in five out of seven patients treated, and scientists are working to develop more specific inhibitors targeting the gene’s effects.

How Stress Causes Gray Hair

Possible Mchanisms

In a study in mice, a research team supported in part by the NIAMS and other National Institutes of Health (NIH) components found that stress can cause hair to gray prematurely by affecting the stem cells that are responsible for regenerating hair pigment. The scientists determined that hyperactivation of sympathetic nerves plays a key role in the stress-induced graying.

Understanding Allergic Reactions to Skin Care Products

Two women having a conversation and reviewing medical charts

Researchers funded in part by the NIAMS have revealed new insight into how skin creams, cosmetics and fragrances may cause immune responses that lead to rashes in some people. The findings could help lead to new ways to prevent or treat allergic contact dermatitis.

Patients With Newly Diagnosed Musculoskeletal Pain Are Prescribed Opioids More Often Than Recommended

Patients experiencing a newly diagnosed chronic musculoskeletal pain condition were prescribed opioids during their first physician visit more often than physical therapy, counseling and other nonpharmacologic approaches, according to an analysis of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2007‒2015.

Finding Self-Confidence With Vitiligo

Tonja Johnson

At age 43, Tonja Johnson was diagnosed with vitiligo, a condition that causes some or all of the skin to lose color, leaving white patches. Her inspiring personal story tells how she journeyed from devastation to confidence and passion through advocacy and supporting others.

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine has related coverage:

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval to First Targeted Treatment for Rare Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Mutation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Vyondys 53 (golodirsen) injection to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients who have a confirmed mutation of the dystrophin gene that is amenable to exon 53 skipping.

Other FDA News:

Funding Opportunities

NIAMS Encourages Applications for Research at the Intersection of Opioid Use and Pain Management

NIH HEAL Initiative cover

The NIAMS has issued a Notice of Special Interest for research on pain management in the context of opioid use or opioid use disorder. Investigators with active grants in the area of chronic pain and/or addiction are encouraged to apply. Awardees will operate within the Back Pain Consortium (BACPAC) Research Program, a part of the NIH HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM) Initiative. The deadline for applications is March 13, 2020.


Notice of Special Interest: Promoting Research Opportunities on HIV/AIDS in NIAMS

Investigators interested in HIV/AIDS-associated comorbidities within the NIAMS mission are encouraged to apply to this announcement. Submission dates go through January 7, 2022.

Stay Updated About 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.


Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Parathyroid Hormone Plus Stem Cells Can Speed Bone Fracture Healing

Parathyroid Hormone Plus Stem Cells Can Speed Bone Fracture Healing

Stem cells combined with parathyroid hormone (PTH) accelerated fracture healing of the spine in a mouse model. In image A, the red arrow points to a stem cell targeting a spinal bone fracture. In image B, arrows point to bone loss in two spinal bone fractures. Image C shows complete healing of spinal bone fractures eight weeks after treatment with stem cells and PTH. Mice treated with either therapy alone, or untreated, showed minimal bone repair.

Photo credit: Dan Gazit, Ph.D., D.M.D., Director, Cedars-Sinai Skeletal Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy Program.

CDC’s STEADI Initiative: Tools and Educational Materials for Fall Prevention

What you can do to prevent falls

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiative, Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries (STEADI), provides materials—fact sheets, customizable brochures and more—for patients, families and professionals to help prevent falls and injuries.

NIH E-news in Spanish

Moble Spanish Newsletter

The NIH offers a monthly newsletter called “NIH Información de Salud.” The newsletter, available via subscription , includes health information in Spanish for you and your family.

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.


February NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting Available on Videocast

A video recording of the February 4 NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting is available. The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held June 9, 2020.

NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting

Rare Disease Day at NIH 2020

Rare disease day

February 28, 2020
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Natcher Conference Center (Building 45), NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
The event will be videocast.

NIAMS Subset Analysis in Clinical Studies Roundtable

March 11, 2020
8:30 a.m. Eastern Time
The event will be videocast.

Third Annual NIH‒American Association for Cancer Research Cancer, Autoimmunity, and Immunology Conference

March 23‒24, 2020
Masur Auditorium, (Building 10), NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
Register by Monday, March 16, 2020.
The event will be videocast.

NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

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

NIH Director Mariana J. Kaplan M.D Profile

Upcoming lecture:

April 29, 2020
G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Mariana J. Kaplan, M.D., Senior Investigator, Chief, Systemic Autoimmunity Branch, Deputy Scientific Director, NIAMS
Casting the Net Wide: The Role of Neutrophils in Chronic Diseases


Past Events Available on Video

Epidemiologic and Patient-Oriented Research Methods for Rheumatoid Arthritis Etiology and Outcomes

Jeffery A. Sparks M.D

Video webinar from the NIH Office of Disease Prevention, recorded January 16, 2020

Jeffrey A. Sparks, M.D., M.M.Sc., Harvard Medical School

Adventures in Autoinflammatory Genetics: From Genetically Complex Syndromes to Mendelian Diseases

Picture of Micheal Ombrello and Amanda Ombrello

Video from Clinical Center Grand Rounds of two lectures recorded January 22, 2020

Michael Ombrello, M.D., Head, Translational Genetics and Genomics Unit, NIAMS
“Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: One Name, Many Faces”

Amanda Ombrello, M.D., Associate Research Physician, Inflammatory Disease Section, National Human Genome Research Institute
“The Deficiency of Adenosine Deaminase 2: A Master of Mimicry”

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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