In this Issue:
1. NIDCR News 2. DHHS/NIH News 3. Funding Opportunities 4. Science Advances 5. NIDCR Personnel News
NIDCR Director Testifies at Senate Appropriations Theme Hearing on the FY 2008 Budget for the National Institutes of Health: A New Vision for Medical ResearchOn June 22, NIDCR Director Lawrence Tabak testified before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, and Education as part of the fifth NIH theme hearing on the FY 08 Budget for the National Institutes of Health: A New Vision for Medical Research (Part 1). See the NIDCR Director's statement about the 2008 budget. Also participating in the hearing were Drs. Ruth Kirschstein, acting director, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Duane Alexander, director, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Paul Sieving, director, National Eye Institute; and David Schwartz, director, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Also see the FY 2008 NIDCR Congressional Justification. Centers for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health NIDCR has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Centers for Research to Reduce Disparities in Oral Health (U54). The initiative will support interventional research that: 1) has a clinically meaningful impact on caries, oral and pharyngeal cancer, and/or periodontal disease, 2) influences clinical practice, health policy, community and/or individual action and 3) ultimately eliminates disparities in vulnerable subgroups of the U.S. population. Applicants may request a project period of up to seven years. The NIDCR intends to commit approximately $10 million (total costs) each year through FY2015 to fund this FOA. The letter of intent receipt date is October 15, 2007; the application receipt date is November 15, 2007. For scientific/ programmatic issues/questions contact: Ruth Nowjack-Raymer, M.P.H., Ph.D., director, Health Disparities Research Program, Center for Clinical Research, (301) 594-5394; Ruth.Nowjack-Raymer@nih.gov
2007 NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award SelectionsTwelve students from dental schools across the U.S. have been selected as recipients of the 2007 NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award (SDSA). The SDSA program is an eight-week internship designed to expose dental students to cutting-edge research in oral health. Representatives from the following schools will participate in the program this summer: Baylor College of Dentistry, University of California at San Francisco School of Dentistry, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Howard University College of Dentistry, Meharry Medical College, University of Michigan School of Dentistry, University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and University of Texas Health Science Center- Dental Branch at Houston. See additional details about the NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award. 2007 David E. Barmes Global Health LectureDr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization, will deliver this year's David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture on December 10 at 3:30 pm. in the Masur Auditorium, Building 10 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The annual lecture, jointly sponsored by NIDCR and the Fogarty International Center, honors the late David E. Barmes, a long-standing World Health Organization employee, special expert for international health in the NIDCR Office of International Health, and ardent spokesman for global health.
Gordon Research Conference on Bones and TeethDr. Pamela Gehron Robey, chief of the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, Division of Intramural Research (DIR), will chair this year’s Gordon Research Conference on Bones and Teeth, to be held July 15-20 at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. The conference includes sessions on epigenetics, skeletal development, dental biology, stem cell biology, osteoimmunology, metastatic bone disease, calcium and phosphate metabolism and current therapies for the treatment of bone disorders, all of which are emerging areas of relevance to skeletal homeostasis in health and disease. The conference is supported jointly by NIDCR and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. See additional information about the Gordon Research Conference.
NIH Establishes Working Groups to Examine Peer ReviewNIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., has announced the formation of two working groups--one external, the other internal--to examine the NIH peer review process, with the goal of maximizing its effectiveness. NIDCR Director Lawrence Tabak is co-chairing both groups. The two groups will seek input from the scientific community, including investigators, scientific societies, grantee institutions, voluntary health organizations, and from within NIH as well. See the news release about peer review. FY 2008 NIH Director's Budget Request Statements The opening statement, FY 2008 Senate budget request from Dr. Zerhouni is available. In addition, see the opening statement, FY 2008 House budget request.
NIH Director’s Newsletter See the Spring 2007 message from Dr. Zerhouni . In Memoriam: Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM DirectorStephen E. Straus, M.D., 60, the first director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), died of brain cancer on May 14. “As the founding Director of NCCAM from1999 to 2006, Dr. Straus built a comprehensive research enterprise, championing the efforts to establish the efficacy and safety of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices while upholding the rigorous standards of science for which the NIH is known. Under his leadership, CAM research at NIH grew threefold, facilitating his vision of an evidence-based integrative approach to health care for the benefit of the public," said Ruth L. Kirschstein, M.D., acting NCCAM Director. An internationally recognized scientist, Dr. Straus also held the position of senior investigator in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). His bench-to-bedside research yielded original insights into the pathogenesis and management of several viral and immunological diseases. "The NIH has lost a great leader and an outstanding scientist. Most of all, we have lost a dear friend,” said Dr. Zerhouni.
Mostafa Nokta 301-594-7985
Maria Teresa Canto301-594-5497
Salivary Diagnostic Test Shows Promise Science News in BriefPlease see the following brief summaries of recent oral health research findings:
NIDCR Scientists Isolate First Cartilage Forming Precursor Cells Role of SOS1 in Hereditary Gingival Fibromatosis Elucidated Survey Examines Treating Deep Caries Possible Association of Chronic Periodontitis and Tongue Cancer Reported Nanocomposite Fillings Show Promise in Fighting Secondary Decay Researchers Report Chemical Rescue of Cleft Palate in Mice
Scientists Characterize Mesenchymal Cells from Cranial Sutures More Mutatations Contribute to Nonsyndromic Cleft Lip and/or Palate Scientists Complete Full Sequence of Opportunistic Oral Bacterium
Dr. Alice Horowitz, a health education specialist who joined the NIDCR in 1976, retired in February, ending a career of 31 years at the Institute. Dr. Horowitz' research contributed extensively to the knowledge base of key dental diseases and oral conditions, with a focus on health promotion, health education, disease prevention and early diagnosis. She was instrumental in managing a number of consensus development conferences, the most recent of which included the management and diagnosis of dental caries across the life span. Her work in early diagnosis and prevention of oral cancer created new survey instruments and educational materials, and was the impetus for state-wide models for oral cancer prevention. Dr. Horowitz served as the NIDCR lead for the Healthy People 2010 national objectives, and through collaborative work with the DHHS Office of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and with the Surgeon General, she played a major role in the progress review reports for the Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health.
Most recently, the focus of her work was health literacy. She took the lead in developing a research agenda for oral health literacy, founded the NIH Interest Group on Health Literacy, and contributed to the development of currently active Program Announcements on this topic. In addition to her research, Dr. Horowitz served as NIDCR's liaison to numerous organizations and routinely mentored dental public health residents and visiting scientists from all over the world. Her contributions have been recognized by federal, professional and voluntary organizations domestically and internationally. These include, among others, the NIH Director's award, the Surgeon General's exemplary medal and most recently, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry's President's award, and Honorary Diplomate status of the American Board of Dental Public Health.
Dr. Patricia Bryant, program director of the Basic and Applied Behavioral/Social Science Research Program, Center for Clinical Research, retired in March, ending a 30-year career as a health scientist administrator with the NIDCR. Dr. Bryant joined the institute at the very beginning of the emergence of the introduction of behavioral and social sciences into the then “NIDR” research portfolio. She was the driving force within the extramural research program area in nurturing and managing grant applications and awards in this field. Together with Dr. Lois Cohen, Dr. Bryant and others co-authored sentinel books on the state-of-the-science of social sciences in dentistry and set the stage for bringing together the many disciplines comprising the social and behavioral sciences with those already active in addressing oral health conditions.
Her more recent efforts focused on integrating the behavioral sciences with basic biomedical research, with a focus on assessing the effects of stress on oral and craniofacial diseases and conditions. One of many examples of Dr. Bryant's work includes her involvement with the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research's initiative on Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, a system aimed at facilitating measures of functioning across disease categories. Her research portfolio was extremely diverse and included studies related to tobacco cessation, temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders, and quality of life studies, among others. In addition, Dr. Bryant served as the NIDCR liaison to many NIH and PHS committees and was a major contributor to the overall scientific agenda of the NIDCR throughout her career. Dr. Bryant was recognized by federal and professional organizations for her work.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190