September 26, 2013


Letter From Dr. Stephen I. Katz: The Importance of Clinical Research

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

Clinical studies are a vital component of bench-to-bedside biomedical research. The NIAMS invests significant resources in investigator-initiated clinical research focused on preventing disease, comparing treatments, identifying people who are likely to develop a condition or testing a treatment for a rare disease. This month’s letter highlights the importance of clinical research and the resources available to both researchers and potential study volunteers. 

Read more.

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

Martin Pelletier, Ph.D.

A Conversation with NIAMS Scientist Dr. Martin Pelletier

Martin Pelletier, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in the Autoimmunity Branch in the Intramural Research Program (IRP) at the NIAMS where he conducts research on the rare genetic disease called TNF Receptor-Associated Periodic Syndrome. Dr. Pelletier discusses his lifelong love of science, his international research experience and the importance of diversity in research. 

Image: Martin Pelletier, Ph.D.

Eva Yang

On the Road To Becoming a Physician Scientist

Eva Yang recently completed a three-year, post-baccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award internship in the NIAMS Pediatric Translational Research Branch under the mentorship of Drs. Gerlinde Layh-Schmitt and Robert Colbert. She recently began her M.D./Ph.D. training through the Medical Scientist Training Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. She hopes to integrate her interests in developmental biology and regenerative medicine as she pursues her career as a physician scientist. 

Image: Eva Yang

Rafael Casellas, Ph.D.

Scientists With TALEN(t)!

By manipulating the mouse genome, Rafael Casellas, Ph.D., head of the Laboratory of Genomics and Immunity in the IRP of the NIAMS, brings human gene therapy closer to reality. Treatment for X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), also known as “bubble boy” disease, uses viruses to insert intact copies of the IL2RG gene into defective cells containing a defective genetic mutation. But for some children with X-linked SCID, this strategy resolves their life-threatening disease while also causing leukemia. Read more.

Image: Rafael Casellas, Ph.D.


Explore Your Genes Exhibit

Genome Exhibit Opens at Smithsonian

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project, a 13 year endeavor led by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Dr. Francis Collins, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., launched an absolutely fantastic exhibit called “Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code.”

Image Credit: Sasan Azami-Soheily, National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH

NIH, PCORI Seek Applications for Falls Prevention Clinical Trial

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is seeking applications from researchers for a clinical trial to prevent serious injuries resulting from falls in older people. The request, part of an initiative by the new Falls Injuries Prevention Partnership between the NIA and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), represents a unique collaboration joining scientists with clinicians and patients in pursuit of an effective strategy. PCORI will commit up to $30 million to the effort, and the NIA will administer the project, including the application process and peer review.

Anyone interested in submitting a proposal is invited to consult the RFA regarding submission policies, instructions and requirements. Proposals are due on Nov. 13, 2013.

NIH Pain Consortium Announces Twitter Account

The NIH Pain Consortium, led by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, has launched a new Twitter account, @NIHPainResearch. The account will provide advocates, patients, researchers, healthcare providers and other interested parties with updated information on the NIH’s pain-related activities. Facebook Logo

HHS Is Now on Facebook

Facebook is the newest addition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) social media accounts, including Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr. You can also see what programs across HHS are doing on their social networks by browsing the HHS Social Hub.

STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries) Tool Kit for Health Care Providers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created the STEADI Tool Kit for health care providers who see older adults in their practice—especially individuals who are at risk of falling or who may have fallen in the past. The STEADI Tool Kit gives health care providers the information and tools they need to assess and address their older patients’ fall risk.

Materials From AHRQ Webinar on Falls Prevention Now Available

Materials from a recent Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) webinar focusing on the research and testing behind AHRQ’s Preventing Falls in Hospitals: A Toolkit for Improving Quality of Care are now available on the AHRQ website. Nearly 1 million patients fall in U.S. hospitals each year. The toolkit is a guide that can help hospitals develop, implement and sustain a falls prevention program. It offers hospital clinical staff 35 evidence-based tools for falls prevention. The information, which includes audio from the webinar, slides, and a written transcript, demonstrates how these evidence-based tools were pilot tested to ensure they were realistically implementable, easy to use and broadly applicable in the acute-care setting.

FDA Medwatch 20th Anniversary Logo

FDA Medwatch Celebrates 20 Years and Announces the Availability of New Consumer-Friendly Reporting Form and MedWatchLearn Tool

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its MedWatch program, which provides important safety information associated with FDA-regulated products, with a new form that will encourage more consumer participation. Under MedWatch, health care professionals and consumers submit reports to the FDA when they find a problem with a drug, medical device, biologic or other FDA-regulated products.

HHS Releases Blueprint To Advance Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care

The HHS released the enhanced National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards. The National CLAS Standards provide a blueprint to help organizations reduce disparities and improve health care quality, while serving our nation’s diverse communities.

Download the enhanced National CLAS Standards and the Blueprint.


Hispanic male working on a laptop

Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Check out these helpful resources about staying healthy and managing conditions of the bones, joints, muscles and skin.

Isabel’s Story: How She and Her Family Learned About Osteoporosis and Bone Health

This bilingual booklet uses the story of a woman named Isabel to present common warning signs and symptoms of osteoporosis, including height loss and broken bones. The booklet also discusses risk factors, ways to prevent falls, tips for getting enough calcium and steps to better bone health.

Do I Have Arthritis?

This bilingual booklet contains general information about arthritis. It describes what arthritis is, different forms of arthritis, and its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment. It also presents ways to help prevent further damage to the joints, organs and skin.

Ana’s Story: How She and Her Family Learned About Sports Injuries

This bilingual booklet discusses sports injuries in young people. It uses the story of a girl named Ana and her extended family at a family picnic. When Ana injures her knee playing soccer, she and her family learn about treating and preventing sports injuries.

Atopic Dermatitis (Eczema): Easy-to-Read Fast Facts

This fact sheet is for people who have atopic dermatitis (often called “eczema”), parents and caregivers of children with atopic dermatitis and others interested in learning more about the disease. The fact sheet describes the different symptoms of atopic dermatitis and how it is diagnosed. It provides a list of things that make atopic dermatitis worse and treatment suggestions. This publication is also available in Spanish.

Montage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

NIAMS Publications in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese

The NIAMS has translated some of its most popular fact sheets into Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. These fact sheets offer health information about many diseases affecting Asian Americans, including osteoporosis, arthritis, lupus and gout. You may access and download nearly 50 Asian-language publications from our new webpage. Several Chinese-language audio publications are also available. These fact sheets are perfect for distributing at clinics, community centers and health and cultural events. Get yours today!

Kids Pages banner

Updated NIAMS Kids Pages

Childhood and teen years are a prime time to learn habits that will help keep your bones, joints, muscles and skin healthy for years to come. The NIAMS Kids Pages feature four fact sheets targeted to middle-school-age children (11 to 13 years old).

NIH Launches Dietary Supplement Label Database: Searchable Collection Contains Product Information and Ingredients From Labels of Dietary Supplements Sold in the United States

Researchers, as well as health care providers and consumers, can now see the ingredients listed on the labels of about 17,000 dietary supplements by looking them up on a website. The Dietary Supplement Label Database is free of charge and hosted by the NIH.

NIH News in Health

Read practical health information in NIH News in Health, which is reviewed by the NIH’s medical experts and is based on research conducted either by the NIH’s own scientists or by its grantees at universities and medical schools around the country.

Couple hiking

Healthy Movements: Your Body’s Mechanics

Think about all the movements you do every day: walking, climbing stairs, typing, turning doorknobs and lifting. Your bones, joints and muscles all work together to make your body an amazingly movable machine. Like any machine, your body can suffer some wear and tear. It needs regular care and maintenance to keep moving with ease.

AHRQ Research and Other Activities Relevant to American Indians and Alaska Natives

American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) people have long experienced lower life expectancy and disproportionate disease burden when compared with other Americans. This program report provides a summary, by topic, of ongoing and recently completed AHRQ activities that specifically address the health of the AI/AN people.


Did you know that muscles can be strained by stretching them too much, as when you lift something that is too heavy? Learn how to prevent injuries. Read more.


The NIAMS Exhibit

The NIAMS exhibit will be traveling to several events in 2015. See the schedule of health fairs and exhibits.

The NIAMS can provide health information or staff to help make your community event or health fair successful. Please contact Sara Rosario Wilson by email,, for more information.

Image: the NIAMS Exhibit

Last Reviewed: 09/26/2013