Training and career development are essential components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NIAMS missions. This month’s letter focuses on two trans-NIH efforts that will be preparing the next generation of biomedical and behavioral researchers for productive careers improving the health of the American public.
Image: Robert H. Carter, M.D., Acting Director
Help Science-Minded Students Prepare for College and STEM Careers: NIH Resource Will Help High School Students Get Ready for the Biomedical Workforce
JUMP-START College Planning, a free how-to manual for organizing a conference for science-minded high school students, has been released by the NIH Office of Science Education.
The primary goal of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director Biomedical Research Workforce Working Group was the creation of pathways through undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training that provide excellent preparation for biomedical research careers in a timely fashion, and that ensure future U.S. competitiveness and innovation in biomedical research.
Image: Dr. Sally J. Rockey
NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research
When the president submits his budget to Congress each year, the executive branch agencies provide a document called the Congressional Justification. The Congressional Justificationsubmitted by the NIAMS 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. Brief descriptions of the Institute’s Extramural and Intramural Research Programs are also included, along with overviews of key research support activities. Additionally, a series of Program Portraits are included that highlight accomplishments and future directions of selected activities funded by the Institute. To view the fiscal year 2014 NIAMS Congressional Justification, or to access archived documents from previous years, please visit the NIAMS website.
Enhancements to the NIAMS Image Gallery
The NIAMS continues to enhance the variety and number of images made available to the public. The photos and illustrations within this online searchable database can be used for educational, news media or research purposes, but should not be used for promoting commercial products or services.
NIH Director’s Blog
April 25 is a very special day. In 2003, Congress declared April 25 as DNA Day to mark the date that James Watson and Francis Crick published their seminal one-page paper in Nature describing the helical structure of DNA. That was 60 years ago. In that single page, they revealed how organisms elegantly store biological information and pass it from generation to generation; they discovered the molecular basis of evolution; and they effectively launched the era of modern biology.
Our joints are pretty amazing marvels of engineering, but they don’t last forever. As we age, or if we suffer certain injuries, the smooth, slippery white cartilage covering the ends of our bones begins to fray and degrade. This causes osteoarthritis (OA), or “wear-and-tear” arthritis. As the cartilage thins and disappears, the bones can even grow spurs that grate against each other, causing swelling and pain.
Image credit: Brendan Lee and Zhechao Ruan, Dept of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.
We all hope for health care in the genomic era to become as easy and personal as a smartphone app. And perhaps at some point it will be. At some medical centers, electronic health records already include a list of patients’ genetic variations that might trigger harmful drug reactions and send “pop-up” alerts to warn the physician or pharmacist. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a harbinger of things to come. Our big challenge is to translate all the new discoveries and data from the genome project into a format that physicians and other health care providers can use to improve health.
Source: National Human Genome Research Institute, NIH
Other Federal News
If you’re a lover of chocolate milk, but want to watch your weight, you might reach for the carton labeled “reduced calorie.” But dairy manufacturers would rather the carton simply say “chocolate milk.” In a petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), they say that labels such as “reduced calorie” or “no added sugar” are a turn-off to kids. What is the petition asking for? Why are consumers a bit confused? The FDA wants to hear from consumers on this issue, but also wants to ensure that they understand the exact nature of the proposed labeling change.
With its new Patient Network website, PatientNetwork.FDA.gov, the FDA Office of Health and Constituent Affairs (formerly Office of Special Health Issues) welcomes the unique perspective of patients, family members, caregivers and patient advocates directly affected by serious disease to the Agency’s decision-making processes.
NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.
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.
Your feet are pretty small, considering they have to support the entire height and weight of your body. But they can cause big problems. So pay some attention to your feet.
The next NIAMS Advisory Council Meeting will be held February 11, 2014, in Building 31, 6th Floor, C Wing, Conference Room 6, NIH Campus. A meeting agenda will be posted as soon as it is available.
The NIH’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series offers weekly lectures every Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Building 10, NIH Campus. Renowned scientists from around the globe present research on a variety of topics. The lectures are continuing medical education certified, open to the public and available live via webcast.
June 12, 2013
The Annual G. Burroughs Mider Lecture
Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, National Institute of Child Health and Development
“Navigating the Cellular Landscape With New Optical Probes, Imaging Strategies and Technical Innovations”
June 26, 2013
Jeffrey Gordon, Washington University at St. Louis
“Exploring the Human Gut Microbiome: Dining in With Trillions of Fascinating Friends”
The NIH hosts a number of science seminars and events that are available online through real-time streaming video. An event can be watched at your convenience as an on-demand video or a downloadable podcast. Most events are available to all; a few are broadcast only for the NIH or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are marked as such. See additional details on events.
Symposium on Advances in Pain Research: Integrated Self-Management Strategies for Chronic Pain
When: May 29–30, 2013
Where: Natcher Auditorium and Atrium, Building 45, NIH Campus
The NIAMS exhibit is traveling to several events. See the schedule of health fairs and exhibits.
Image: The NIAMS Exhibit
NIAMS Clinical Trial Outcome Instrument Development Grant Program (U01)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: January 7, 2014
Application Receipt Date: February 7, 2014
NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcements
Undiagnosed Diseases Gene Function Research (R21)
Application Receipt Date: June 14, 2013
Notice Announcing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Archived Technical Assistance Webinar for RFA-RM-13-002 “Planning Grants for the NIH National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN) (P20)”
Notice Announcing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Archived Technical Assistance Webinar for RFA-RM-13-001 “Planning Grants for the NIH Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) Initiative (P20)”
Other Funding Announcements
PCORI Announces Two Funding Opportunities
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) issued two funding announcements for up to $68 million to improve the nation’s capacity to efficiently conduct patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). The two linked cooperative agreement funding announcements will support development of a National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network designed to unite millions of patients through a coordinated collaboration with researchers and health care delivery organizations. These PCORI Funding Announcements correspond to PCORI’s fifth priority area, “Accelerating Patient-Centered and Methodological Research,” from its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda.
- Improving Infrastructure for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network: Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRN)—Phase One [PDF - 465 KB]
- Improving Infrastructure for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research: The National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network: Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRN)—Phase One [PDF - 373 KB]
Download application materials for these opportunities.
Both funding opportunities have the following key dates:
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: June 19, 2013
Application Receipt Date: September 27, 2013
Awards Announced: December 2013
NIH Administrative Supplements to Recover Losses Due to Hurricane Sandy Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act - Non-Construction (Admin Supp)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: June 12, 2013; January 14, 2014
FAQs for Costing of NIH-Funded Core Facilities
Notice of Clarification of the Funded Extension Option in RFA-OD-13-199 “NIH Administrative Supplements to Recover Losses Due to Hurricane Sandy Under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act - Non-Construction (Admin Supp)”
NIH Reminds Grantee Institutions of the Requirement to Use the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for All SNAP and Fellowship Progress Reports for Awards with Start Dates On or After July 1, 2013
IACUC 101 and 301 Workshops: June 5–6, 2013 in St. Louis, MO