NIDCR Leading Workshops 

NIDCR Leading Workshops, Symposia at 2015 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session

From March 11 to 14, NIDCR leadership, program staff, investigators, and trainees will attend the 2015 IADR/AADR/CADR General Session at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. This annual meeting is a wonderful opportunity for investigators and prospective grantees to seek advice from NIDCR extramural program directors and for prospective trainees to learn about research training opportunities. For conference attendees who would like to sign up for one-on-one consultations with NIDCR program staff, there will be a sign-up sheet in the Exhibit Hall in Booth #115 on March 12 and 13 from 9:30 to 5.  

You can view NIDCR’s schedule of symposia, workshops, luncheon talks, mentoring discussions, and poster presentations on the NIDCR website.

March 11

  • NIDCR Intramural Research Training Opportunities
  • NIDCR Trainee Research Presentations and Poster Session
  • Fostering Innovation and Commercialization to Turn Discovery into Health

March 12

  • NIH/NIDCR Career Development and Transition Awards: Pathways to Research Independence
  • NIDCR Scientific Peer Review for New Investigators and Trainees

March 13

  • HPV Drives Cancer: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Prevention
  • Opportunities in the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network

March 14

  • Fighting the Battle Against Orofacial Pain With Novel Animal Models

For reminders of the schedule during the meeting, follow @NIDCR on Twitter.  

US Capitol 

FNIDCR Hosts Annual Conference and Awards

On January 28 in Washington, DC, NIDCR leadership took part in the Friends of the NIDCR (FNIDCR, Annual Conference and Awards, which began with a congressional briefing called, “Driving Innovation through Dental Research.” NIDCR Director Martha J. Somerman, DDS, PhD, NIDCR Director of Extramural Research Lillian R. Shum, PhD, and NIDCR Senior Investigator John A. Chiorini, PhD, presented at the congressional briefing to raise awareness about how dental, oral, and craniofacial research drives innovation. The briefing was organized by FNIDCR in collaboration with the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, which is a bipartisan group of legislators that supports oral health care and research and sponsors briefings and legislative seminars.  

Pamela G. Robey, PhD 

Later in the day at the annual conference awards ceremony, FNIDCR recognized six individuals for their contributions to improving the lives of those affected by oral and craniofacial conditions. FNIDCR presented Pamela G. Robey, PhD, chief of NIDCR’s Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, with the Outstanding NIDCR Career Research Award. Dr. Robey, who began her scientific career at NIH nearly four decades ago, studies the activity of skeletal stem cells and their role in skeletal diseases, and the potential application of stem cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

In the afternoon, FNIDCR presented education sessions by representatives of NIDCR, dental schools, private industry, and patient advocacy organizations. Dr. Shum presented, “Bringing Innovation to Market: The NIH Perspective” and NIDCR Research Training and Career Development Branch Chief Lynn King, PhD presented, “NIDCR Opportunities & changes at NIH that align with the BMW, and Diversity Workforce committee (BUILD, NRMN).“  

Linda R. Watkins, PhD 

Linda Watkins, PhD, to Deliver NIDCR 2015 Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture

On Monday, May 4 at 2:00 pm, Linda R. Watkins, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Colorado at Boulder, will present the NIDCR 2015 Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture in the Lipsett Amphitheater (Building 10) on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. The title of her lecture is “Targeting Glia to Treat Chronic Pain: Moving from Concept to Clinical Trials.”

Dr. Watkins is a University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholar and the Director of the Interdepartmental Neuroscience PhD Program. Her research is focused on how to control chronic pain and increase the effectiveness of analgesics while minimizing their side effects. She has held several research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the NIDCR, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"We are delighted to announce that we are reprising the NIDCR Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture after a hiatus of 10 years," said NIDCR Director MJS. "Dr. Watkins will deliver a powerful presentation on neuroscience that will demonstrate how our investments in basic research fuel innovations for clinical medicine." The NIDCR Seymour J. Kreshover Lecture honors the late Seymour Kreshover, DDS, MD, PhD, who served as director of the (then) National Institute of Dental Research from 1966–1975.  

Bruce A. Dye 

Dental Epidemiologist Bruce A. Dye, DDS, MPH, Reports NHANES Results on Children’s Oral Health

On March 5, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics released the data brief “Dental Caries and Sealant Prevalence in Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2011-12.” Lead author Bruce A. Dye, DDS, MPH, a dental epidemiology officer in NIDCR‘s Office of Science Policy and Analysis (OSPA), presented the findings via a Webinar on the same day. The data brief summarizes recent results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Tim Iafolla, DMD, MPH, also with OSPA, was a co-author on the brief.


Micheal T. Collins, MD 

Michael T. Collins, MD, Training Next Generation of Physician-Scientists

In January, Michael T. Collins, MD, chief of NIDCR’s Skeletal Clinical Studies Unit, assumed the additional responsibility of training fellows in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Inter-Institute Endocrinology Fellowship Program, which provides a comprehensive training experience in both research and clinical endocrinology.  As an NIDCR investigator at the NIH Clinical Center, Dr. Collins studies and treats patients with rare disorders of bone and mineral metabolism. Recently, he coauthored “Rare Bone Diseases and their Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Manifestations,” which was published in the April 2014 issue of the Journal of Dental Research. He earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore and began his NIH research career in 1998 after completing his endocrinology training in the NIH Inter-Institute Endocrinology Fellowship Program. ​

NIDCR Seeking Deputy Director

The application period closed in January for the position of NIDCR deputy director, and applications are now being reviewed. In the interim period, John Kusiak, PhD, has been appointed the acting deputy director of NIDCR.

You can learn about current NIDCR job opportunities by looking at the Job Openings section of NIDCR’s website and by following us on Twitter and LinkedIn

NIDCR Seeking Health Science Administrators

NIDCR is seeking health science administrators who will be able to manage clinical research and neuroscience/pain research portfolios in NIDCR’s Division of Extramural Research. This division plans, develops, coordinates, and manages basic, translational, and clinical research in dental, oral, and craniofacial health and disease. Applications were due by February 26.  


Molecular Alterations 

NIH Research Network Uncovers Molecular Alterations in Head and Neck Cancers

Investigators with NIH’s The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network discovered genomic differences — with potentially important clinical implications — in head and neck cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The study is the most comprehensive examination to date of genomic alterations in these cancers. “The rising worldwide incidence of head and neck cancers makes these types of large integrated genomic analyses by TCGA vital to establish a more detailed understanding of disease causes and behavior, and for the development of new treatment approaches,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD. TCGA is jointly supported and managed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health.  

Rare Disease Day 

NIH Hosts Rare Disease Day

Rare diseases affect an estimated 25 million people in the United States. On February 27, NIH hosted Rare Disease Day 2015 in Masur Auditorium on the Bethesda campus. This annual event raises awareness about rare diseases, the challenges patients face, and the importance of research collaborations in developing treatments for these conditions. The all-day event, which was sponsored by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the NIH Clinical Center, was webcast at  

DS-Connect the Down Syndrome Registry 

NIH Launches Tool to Advance Down Syndrome Research

NIH has launched a subsite of DS-Connect: The Down Syndrome Registry for researchers, clinicians, and other professionals with a scientific interest in Down syndrome. This Web portal will allow approved professionals to have access to de-identified data and to plan clinical studies, recruit participants for clinical trials, and generate new research ideas using information gathered from the registry participants. “Sharing this data will help us do the research needed to better serve people living with Down syndrome,” said Melissa Parisi, MD, PhD, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.  

NIH-supported Researchers Map Epigenome of More than 100 Tissue and Cell Types

In February, researchers supported by the NIH Common Fund’s Roadmap Epigenomics Program reported that they have mapped the epigenomes of more than 100 types of cells and tissues, providing new insight into which parts of the genome are used to regulate cell functions and changes in cellular activity. The epigenome is part of the machinery that helps direct how genes are turned on and off in different types of cells. “What the Roadmap Epigenomics Program has delivered is a way to look at the human genome in its living, breathing nature from cell type to cell type,” said Manolis Kellis, PhD, professor of computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and senior author of the paper. NIDA, NIEHS, and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders are co-administrators of the NIH Common Fund’s Epigenomics Program.  

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health 

Congress Renames NIH Agency for Complementary Approaches

The National Institutes of Health agency with primary responsibility for research on promising health approaches that already are in use by the American public has a new name — the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). The revision from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) was mandated as part of the omnibus budget measure signed by President Obama. Josephine P. Briggs, MD, NCCIH Director said, “The mission of NCCIH will remain unchanged. We will continue to focus on the study of the usefulness and safety of complementary and integrative interventions, and provide the public with research-based information to guide health care decision making.”  

NIH building 

NIH Hosts Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg

On March 17 at 1 pm, NIH will host a tribute to Marshall Nirenberg (1927-2010) on the 50th anniversary of his deciphering the genetic code. The event will be held at the National Library of Medicine, Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A in Bethesda, MD. The program is open to the public and will also be videocast at


Carrie Wolinetz, PhD, Appointed as NIH Associate Director for Science Policy

On February 23, Carrie Wolinetz, PhD, began her tenure as the new associate director for science policy at NIH. Previously, Dr. Wolinetz was the deputy vice president for federal relations with the Association of American Universities, the president of United for Medical Research, and Director of Scientific Affairs and Public Relations at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.  

Expert Panel Suggests Individual-centered Approaches for Treating Pain

In January, an independent panel convened by NIH concluded that individualized, patient-centered care is needed to treat and monitor the estimated 100 million Americans living with chronic pain. To achieve this aim, the panel recommends more research and development around the evidence-based, multidisciplinary approaches needed to balance patient perspectives, desired outcomes, and safety. The seven-member panel included experts in the fields of gerontology, rheumatology, internal medicine, psychiatry, addiction medicine, nursing, health education, biostatistics, and epidemiology. Panel member biographies, an archived videocast of the workshop, and additional resources are available at 

Grants Awarded 

Grants Awarded to Study How and When Genes Turned On and Off

NIH awarded grants of more than $28 million to decipher the language of how and when genes are turned on and off. These awards emanate from the recently launched Genomics of Gene Regulation program of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Researchers will study gene networks in several tissues with an aim of developing new treatments for diseases caused by defective gene regulation.


Science Advances

Tooth-colored fillings 

Improving Materials for Tooth-colored Fillings

An NIDCR-supported research team at the University of Kansas School of Engineering is designing and creating new dental restoration materials that will function better and last longer than those currently used for composite restorations. The researchers reported in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B: Applied Biomaterials that they synthesized a novel material that may be able to survive the wet environment of the mouth longer than the materials already used by dentists.

Tackling the problem required a multidisciplinary team. Experts in chemistry, polymer chemistry, civil engineering, bioengineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, structural biology, chemical engineering, and clinical sciences collaborated on the project.  

Changing the face of cherubism 

Changing the Face of Cherubism

Doctors have no way to treat cherubism, a rare inflammatory bone condition of the jaw that develops suddenly in early childhood. Researchers at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry are conducting experiments to systematically explore and resolve questions surrounding the development, progression, and regression of cherubism-related inflammation and bone loss. Their most recent results could someday lead to the development of prevention and treatment strategies for people with cherubism.



Shared Pathways

A research team at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Dentistry has discovered that cherubism shares molecular pathways with more common inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. This work illustrates how investigating the effects of genetic mutations that trigger a rare disorder may shed light on molecular pathways of more common human diseases.


Funding Opportunity News

Program Announcements

Lifespan Human Connectome Project: Development (U01)

Lifespan Human Connectome Project: Aging (U01)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training for a Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (T32)

Institutional Training for a Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Research Workforce (T90/R90)

Exploratory Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System for SPARC (U18)

Metabolomics Core for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U01)

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science (R25)

NIDCR Dentist Scientist Career Transition Award for Intramural Investigators (K22) 

NIH Pathway to Independence Award (Parent K99/R00)

Requests for Applications

​Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Advancing Biomedical Science Using Crowdsourcing and Interactive Digital Media (UH2)

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Self-Regulation Targets (UH2/UH3)

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Stress Reactivity and Stress Resilience Targets (UH2/UH3)

Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Interpersonal and Social Processes Targets (UH2/UH3)

Pharmacogenomics of Orofacial Pain Management (R01)

NIH Science of Behavior Change Resource and Coordinating Center (U24)

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Biomedical Data Science Training Coordination Center (U24)

Lifespan Human Connectome Project: Development (U01)

Lifespan Human Connectome Project: Aging (U01)

Exploratory Technologies to Understand the Control of Organ Function by the Peripheral Nervous System for SPARC (U18)

Metabolomics Core for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U01)

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Enhancing Diversity in Biomedical Data Science (R25)


Links to NIH Notices are available in the Grants and Funding section of NIDCR’s website.