February 19, 2015


Letter from Dr. Stephen I. Katz: Highlights from the NIAMS Intramural Research Program

 Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D.

The NIAMS Intramural Research Program (IRP) has an established tradition of excellence, with a strong focus on long-term, high-risk research into the genetics and pathophysiology of human disease, and the development of innovative therapies for a number of serious disorders for which satisfactory treatments previously did not exist. The IRP receives approximately 10 percent of the Institute’s budget, and I would like to share an update on this important program.

Read more.

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


human t cellNIH Researchers Reveal Link Between Powerful Gene Regulatory Elements and Autoimmune Diseases

Investigators with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system. The findings, published in Nature, open the door to new research and development in drugs and personalized medicine to help those with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis. The senior author of the paper, John J. O’Shea, M.D., is the scientific director at the NIAMS. The lead author, Golnaz Vahedi, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. O’Shea’s lab in the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch. The study was performed in collaboration with investigators led by NIH Director, Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., in the Medical Genomics and Metabolic Genetics Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Photo: Human T cell. Photo credit: NIAID.

NIH Fiscal Policies for 2015

The NIH announced policies for fiscal operations for fiscal year (FY) 2015, implementing the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014. The NIH has a budget of $30.31 billion, an increase of approximately $240 million over the FY 2014 final budget allocations of $30.07 billion. The NIH also announced the stipend levels for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, and salary limits for individuals receiving their salaries from an NIH grant, cooperative agreement or contract.

Informational Webinar To Be Held for Applicants Interested in NIAMS Resource-based Centers (P30)

NIAMS will hold a pre-application webinar on Monday, March 2 at 2 p.m. ET to introduce three new related Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs): RFA-AR-16-002, NIAMS Rheumatic Diseases Research Resource-based CentersRFA-AR-16-003, NIAMS Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Centers; and RFA-AR-16-004, NIAMS Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine Resource-based Centers. The webinar will  provide an overview of the FOAs and address questions pertinent to preparing applications. The webinars are optional and not required for application submission. To view the webinar, please pre-register.


NIH and NIAMS Student Training and Internship Opportunities Available

Winter is the perfect time to explore and apply for predoctoral and postbaccalaureate student training and internship opportunities at the NIAMS. In addition, the NIAMS offers postdoctoral trainingclinical training and the NIH Rheumatology Training Program. The Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research, which is geared toward science-oriented students 16 years and older, is accepting applications until March 1, 2015. For students who are currently enrolled in a community college, the Community College Summer Enrichment Programis accepting applications until March 1, 2015.

T.J. and Tashana Rae

Siblings Help Advance CANDLE Syndrome Research

T.J. spent the first year of his life in and out of the hospital while being treated with antibiotics and steroids for vasculitis, a condition that occurs when the immune system attacks the blood vessels by mistake, causing inflammation, pain and damage to the internal organs. When he was only 18 months old, doctors told his parents they had exhausted all the treatment options that were available. A little over a year later, T.J.’s mother gave birth to a daughter, Tashana Rae, who had the same rare genetic mutation called CANDLE syndrome. The family was referred to NIAMS Intramural researcher Dr. Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky.

Nancy Lane

Sex Differences in Musculoskeletal Diseases Across the Lifespan, an Interview With Nancy Lane, M.D.

Nancy Lane, M.D., is an endowed professor of medicine and rheumatology and director of the Center for Musculoskeletal Health at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine. Funded in part by the Specialized Centers of Research on Sex Differences program from the NIH’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, the NIAMS, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Lane investigates sex differences in musculoskeletal diseases across the lifespan. Her research in osteoarthritis and osteoporosis is internationally recognized.

10 Years of Helping Small Businesses Make an Impact

In the rapidly evolving world of modern medicine, it is important that the transition of basic scientific discoveries into new medical treatments takes place with both precision and speed. The NIH’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are a key part of the NIH’s translational research portfolio.

Photo: Dr. Nancy Lane

NIH Director’s Blog

Research on opioids

Managing Chronic Pain: Opioids Are Often Not the Answer

The term “silent epidemic” sometimes gets overused in medicine. But, for prescription opioid drugs, the term fits disturbingly well. In 2012, more than 259 million prescriptions were written in the United States for Vicodin, OxyContin and other opioid painkillers. That equals one bottle of pain pills for every U.S. adult. And here’s an even more distressing statistic: in 2011, overdoses of prescription painkillers, most unintentional, claimed the lives about 17,000 Americans—46 people a day.

Other Federal News

FDA Approves New Psoriasis Drug Cosentyx

The FDA recently approved Cosentyx (secukinumab) to treat adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, a skin condition that causes patches of skin redness and irritation. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs most commonly in patients with a family history of the disease. It most often begins in people between the ages of 15 and 35.


finger-like projections (magenta) into a tooth's top layer represent damage to the enamel of a person with a keratin 75 mutation

Spotlight on Scientific Imagery: Research on Keratins Reveals Unexpected Link Between Hair Disorders and Dental Decay

Sometimes, one area of research uncovers unexpected findings in another. For example, NIAMS research has shown that certain types of hair keratin also help form dental enamel, the tough outer covering of teeth. Here, finger-like projections (magenta) into a tooth’s top layer represent damage to the enamel of a person with a keratin 75 mutation. By uncovering a role for hair keratins in dental enamel structure, this work may lead to new strategies for combating tooth decay, one of the most prevalent health problems worldwide. This image is courtesy of Olivier Duverger, Ph.D., staff scientist in the NIAMS Laboratory of Skin Biology.

NIH Research Matters

NIH Research Matters is a review of NIH research from the Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of the Director, NIH.

a patient's arm being swabbed

Skin Microbes and the Immune Response

Research in mice shows how certain skin microbes help the immune system protect against pathogens. The findings in this study help clarify the protective role of skin microbes and may lead to a better understanding of various skin disorders.

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.

an illustration of a heart

Fixing Flawed Body Parts: Engineering New Tissues and Organs

How can you mend a broken heart? Or repair a damaged liver, kidney or knee? NIH-funded and NIAMS-funded scientists are exploring innovative ways to fix faulty organs and tissues or even grow new ones. This type of research is called tissue engineering. Exciting advances continue to emerge in this fast-moving field.


Rare Disease Day at NIH

Friday, February 27, 2015
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Masur Auditorium (Building 10)
Cost: Free
View agenda [PDF - 210 KB]
Available by videocast

Muscular Dystrophy Coordinating Committee Meeting

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Natcher Conference Center, Room D
NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, Maryland
Cost: Free
Registration is available here.
Available by videocast

NIH Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series

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.

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. You can watch an event at your convenience as an on-demand video or a downloadable podcast. Most events are available to all; a few are broadcast for the NIH or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and are marked as such. See additional details on events.


NIAMS Announcements

Request for Information: Core Centers for Clinical Research (CCCR)

Supplements to Advance Research (STAR) from Projects to Programs (Admin Supp)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: May 1, 2015; November 4, 2015; April 4, 2016; November 4, 2016; April 4, 2017; November 6, 2017

Notice of Applicant Information Webinar for NIAMS Resource-based Centers (P30)

NIAMS Rheumatic Diseases Research Resource-Based Centers (P30)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: September 9, 2015
Application Receipt Date: October 9, 2015

NIAMS Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Centers (P30)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: May 11, 2015
Application Receipt Date: June 11, 2015

NIAMS Musculoskeletal Biology and Medicine Resource-Based Centers (P30)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: May 11, 2015
Application Receipt Date: June 11, 2015

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science (R25)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 19, 2015
Application Receipt Date: March 19, 2015

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: Standard dates apply

Predictive Multiscale Models for Biomedical, Biological, Behavioral, Environmental and Clinical Research (U01)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: 30 days before the Application Due Dates
Application Receipt Dates: March 9, 2015; May 29, 2015; September 29, 2015; January 29, 2016; May 30, 2016; September 29, 2016; January 30, 2017; May 29, 2017; September 29, 2017

Clinical Observational (CO) Studies in Musculoskeletal, Rheumatic and Skin Diseases (R01)
Letter of Intent Receipt Dates: Not applicable
Application Receipt Dates: July 1, 2015 and November 2, 2015; March 1, 2016, July 1, 2016, November 1, 2016; March 1, 2017, July 3, 2017, November 1, 2017

NIH Common Fund Initiative Announcement

NIH Science of Behavior Change Resource and Coordinating Center (U24)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 20, 2015
Application Receipt Date: March 20, 2015

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Interpersonal and Social Processes Targets (UH2/UH3)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 20, 2015
Application Receipt Date: March 20, 2015

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Stress Reactivity and Stress Resilience Targets (UH2/UH3)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 20, 2015
Application Receipt Date: March 20, 2015

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Self-Regulation Targets (UH2/UH3)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 20, 2015
Application Receipt Date: March 20, 2015

Notice of Pre-Application Technical Assistance Webinar for RFA-RM-14-018, RFA-RM-14-019, and RFA-RM-14-020 Science of Behavior Change Assay Development and Validation Projects (UH2/UH3)

Nuclear Organization and Function Interdisciplinary Consortium (NOFIC) (U54)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: January 23, 2015
Application Receipt Date: February 23, 2015

Metabolomics Core for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U01)
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: March 15, 2015
Application Receipt Date: April 15, 2015

Other Funding Announcements

PCORI Announces Funding for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Focused on Rare Diseases
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) announced $12 million in set aside funding for rare disease research as part of the Spring 2015 Broad PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs). Funding is available through each of the broad national research priorities listed below. The links provide application details and additional information about project eligibility.

Letters of Intent Receipt Date: March 6, 2015
Application Receipt Date: May 5, 2015
Awards Announced: September 2015

Notice of Correction to Application Package for PAR-14-321 “Developing Interventions for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (R21/R33)”

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2015

Notice of Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

NIH Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards – FY 2015

Notice of NIH Requirement for Federal Recognition of Same-Sex Spouses/Marriages by Grant and Research and Development Contract Recipients

Notice of Reissuance of the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)

Notice of NIH’s Interest in Diversity

Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2015

Reminders Related to the NIH/AHRQ Policy for Application Submission

If you would like to review information about funding opportunities more frequently than our monthly updates allow, see 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.
Last Reviewed: 02/19/2015