National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 

Contact: Ray Fleming 
(301) 496-8190

Bridging the gap between bench and bedside is the goal of four new Centers of Research Translation (CORTs) funded by grants from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). CORTs are designed to bring together basic and clinical research in a way that helps translate basic discoveries into new drugs, treatments and diagnostics.

The four new centers are:

  • Center for Translating Molecular Signal Pathways to Orthopaedic Trauma Care, headed by Randy Rosier, M.D., Ph.D., chair of orthopaedics at the University of Rochester, N.Y. This center will study the biological basis of fracture healing and the efficacy of a potential new treatment, teriparatide, an injectable form of human parathyroid hormone that stimulates new bone formation. 
  • Center for Lupus Research, headed by M. Virginia Pascual, M.D., at the Baylor Research Institute in Dallas, Texas. This CORT will study the role of different cell types in the origin and development of lupus, will develop markers of disease activity and severity, and will look for new targets for treatment. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart and/or brain. 
  • Center for X-Linked Hypophosphatemic Rickets Research, led by Thomas O. Carpenter, M.D., at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. This center will study the various molecular contributors to this genetic form of rickets and work toward developing new treatments. 
  • Center for Research Translation in Scleroderma, headed by Frank Arnett, M.D., professor of internal medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. This center will study the molecular basis of scleroderma to understand its underlying causes using functional genomics and gene networks. Studies will involve a multiethnic cohort of scleroderma patients, as well as two mouse models of fibrosis recently developed at this center. Scleroderma involves the abnormal growth of connective tissue, which supports the skin and internal organs. 

CORT grants are a new funding mechanism for NIAMS, and require centers to encompass at least three projects, including one clinical and one basic research study.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health, is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information Clearinghouse at (301) 495-4484 or (877) 22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) - The Nation's Medical Research Agency - includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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