December 15, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) are very pleased with the many biomedical and behavioral research projects that have received support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). We are very excited about our research community's participation in these unprecedented opportunities that will catapult scientific fields forward, and we want to share the impact that ARRA support is having on biomedical research.

As you know, the central goal of NIH's and NIAMS' ARRA-associated programs is the rapid distribution of funds to stimulate the economy, create and preserve jobs, and advance biomedical research. Please tell us about jobs retained or created; enhancement of your research by allowing new efficiencies, new directions, or additional resources; or expansion of your scientific team through new personnel or collaborations. We want to hear your stories about impact that is immediate or long-term, large or small. We invite you to share your ARRA stories using a Web form available from our new Web page, NIAMS ARRA Chronicles.

The current sampling includes a report of a new collaboration, which has paired an exercise physiologist with a muscle research team at the University of California, San Diego, to study the role and mechanism of fat infiltration into degenerating muscle in muscular dystrophies. In addition, a high school biology teacher in Hershey, Pennsylvania, spent the summer of 2009 in an orthopaedics laboratory at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine. The experience expanded the research team's project on the bone-growing potential of human adult stem cells cultured on biomaterials, and provided the teacher with valuable information for his students and future classroom projects. We look forward to highlighting many more ARRA stories in the future, and welcome your feedback through the Web link noted above.

Once again, we are very grateful to President Obama and the U.S. Congress for this unprecedented opportunity. We recognize the additional reporting requirements for ARRA awards, but they are also an opportunity to demonstrate the responsibility that the NIH and the scientific community take in stewardship of taxpayer dollars. We welcome your questions and comments and, most importantly, your stories of ARRA accomplishments!

More information is available at the following Web sites:

Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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