May 8, 2014


Golnaz Vahedi

A Conversation with NIAMS Scientist Dr. Golnaz Vahedi

Golnaz Vahedi, Ph.D., an electrical engineer by training, joined the NIAMS in September 2009 as a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch of the Intramural Research Program. She conducts research in genomics and immunology in the lab of NIAMS Scientific Director, Dr. John O’Shea. She completed her undergraduate studies at Sharif University of Technology in her native country of Iran. She received her master’s degree from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and her doctorate from Texas A&M University, College Station, all in electrical engineering. In this interview, Dr. Vahedi discusses how she uses her unique expertise to decipher the regulatory elements of the genome and understand how gene alterations can contribute to human diseases. 


NIH, Industry and Nonprofits Join Forces To Speed Validation of Disease Targets

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), 10 biopharmaceutical companies and several nonprofit organizations launched an unprecedented partnership to transform the current model for identifying and validating the most promising biological targets of disease for new diagnostics and drug development.

Stakeholder Teleconference on NIH Workshop on Clinical Trial Enrollment

May 16, 2014 – 3 to 4:30 p.m. EDT

The NIH will hold a teleconference with interested stakeholders to gather perspectives on issues related to the enrollment and retention of research participants in NIH-funded clinical trials. Stakeholder input will be used to inform the planning of an NIH workshop that will focus on enrollment and retention of study participants in NIH-funded clinical trials that is scheduled to take place during summer 2014. Additional information about the teleconference, including a call-in number, will be available on this page, the morning of May 16.

NIH Announces Changes to Resubmission Policy

Dr. Sally Rockey’s Rock Talk discusses the new NIH policy on application resubmission.

John Ruffin

NIMHD Director Dr. John Ruffin Retires

After almost 24 years of public service, Dr. John Ruffin retired from federal government service and as Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Dr. Yvonne T. Maddox will serve as Acting Director of the NIMHD.

Health Disparities Seminar Series

The NIMHD sponsors the monthly NIH Health Disparities Seminar Series. The forum disseminates information on advances, gaps and current issues related to health disparities research. It features national and international health disparities research experts, including many funded by the NIMHD, the other NIH Institutes and Centers, and federal agency partners. Each seminar focuses on a specific theme.

FDA Patient Representative Program

You can participate in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) important decisions about the regulation of medical products in many ways. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t need to dedicate lots of time. Add your voice to FDA processes about important medical product development, review and policy questions.

FDA Speeds Innovation in Rare Disease Therapies

The FDA Office of Orphan Products Development launched web-based educational resources for patients and industry on rare disease topics. Topics include how to interact with the FDA.

The myhealthfinder Tool Tells You Which Screening Tests You May Need

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases before there are any symptoms. Screenings can help doctors find diseases early, when the diseases may be easier to treat. Getting a screening test is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Find out which preventive services you may need this year by using the myhealthfinder tool at and entering your basic information, like age and sex. You can also use the myhealthfinder tool to find out about services recommended for a loved one.

Hawaiian girl dancing

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Survey Outreach Tools Now Available

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a project aimed at improving health data collection for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders that will survey over 4,000 households nationwide. Data collection is underway and results will be published in summer 2014. Download tools to support outreach and awareness about the study, including posters, fact sheets and letters.

baseball player pitching

Physical Activity Brings Lasting Bone Benefits

A study of pro baseball players showed that some benefits of building bone during youth can last a lifetime. Continued physical activity can also help maintain bone strength.

Behavioral and Social Sciences Lectures

The Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee, and the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, regularly convene a series of guest lectures and symposia on selected topics in the behavioral and social sciences. These presentations by prominent behavioral and social scientists provide overviews of current research on topics of scientific and social interest. All seminars are open to the public.

Upcoming Lecture:
May 23, 2014, 2 to 4 p.m. EDT
“Culture, Research and Health Outcomes Panel”
Natcher Conference Center Balcony A, NIH Campus, Bethesda, Maryland

National Women’s Health Week—May 11–17, 2014

National Women’s Health Week, a nationwide initiative coordinated by the HHS Office on Women’s Health, encourages federal agencies, families, communities, businesses, health organizations and other groups to work together to promote women’s health awareness.


woman on laptop

Women can have particular needs for managing their health that affect the way that they will care for their bones, joints, muscles and skin. The following publications and resources provide women with tools for supporting that effort.

Handout on Health: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the body attacks its own healthy cells and tissues. We know that many more women than men have lupus, and it is two to three times more common in African American women than in Caucasian women and is also more common in women of Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent.

Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Bone Health

Both pregnancy and breastfeeding cause changes in, and place extra demands on, women’s bodies. Some of these may affect their bones. This publication offers tips to help with identifying the bone health needs of women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Fitness: Overtraining Risks

Are you exercising too much? Eating too little? Have your menstrual periods stopped or become irregular? If so, you may be putting yourself at high risk for several serious problems that could affect your health, your ability to remain active and your risk for injuries. This publication offers tips to help with identifying the skeletal risk of overtraining.

Other Resources

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.

graphical illustration of someone suffering from gout

Gripped by Gout: Avoiding the Ache and Agony

Sudden, painful swelling at the base of the big toe is often the first warning sign of gout. It can affect other joints as well. Without treatment, gout can lead to severe joint damage and make it hard for you to move. The good news is most types of gout are treatable, especially if caught early.

graphical illustration of patient consulting doctor

Stop the Spread of Superbugs: Help Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria

For nearly a century, bacteria-fighting drugs known as antibiotics have helped to control and destroy many of the harmful bacteria that can make us sick.

But in recent decades, antibiotics have been losing their punch against some types of bacteria. In fact, certain bacteria are now unbeatable with today’s medicines. Sadly, the way we’ve been using antibiotics is helping to create new drug-resistant “superbugs.”

cover of NIH MedlinePlus

NIH MedlinePlus Magazine

NIH MedlinePlus magazine presents reliable, up-to-date health information and the latest breakthroughs from NIH-supported research. A recent issue includes an article about falls and older adults that covers the following:

  • Preventing Falls
  • Great Help for Older Americans
  • How Can Older Adults Prevent Falls?

Native American

NIH Promotes Native Peoples’ Health

The NIH recently hosted the second seminar of the National Native American Heritage Speaker Series entitled, “Healing Our Community Through Narrative: The Power of Storytelling.” The presentations focused on the power of narratives and storytelling in promoting healthy behaviors and increasing awareness of diabetes in Native communities. The event is available via videocast.

New Lesson Plans Enrich “Native Voices”

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is offering new classroom activities and lesson plans. They are designed to enhance the experience of visiting the Native Voices Exhibition or interacting with the Native Voices website. These classroom activities and lesson plans for grades 6–12 familiarize students with the health and medicine of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians.


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: 05/08/2014