In this Issue:
1. NIDCR News 2. NIH News 3. Funding Opportunities 4. Science Advances 5. NIDCR Personnel News
NIDCR Celebrates 60th AnniversaryOn June 24th, NIDCR celebrated its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the Institute held a scientific symposium featuring sessions on "Building the Molecular Toolbox: Four Perspectives" and "The Human Microbiome: Biology's Next Revolution." The symposium featured talks by NIDCR grantees Linda Griffith, Paul Krebsbach, David Wong, William Maixner, Floyd Dewhirst, former grantee David Relman, and Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. See the news release on "NIDCR Turns Sixty" (see Current News Releases--June 24, 2008--NIDCR Turns Sixty): http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/ Also see the 60th anniversary scientific symposium agenda: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/NewsAndFeatures/Announcements/60thAnniversary.htm On June 23rd, the Friends of the NIDCR also hosted a 60th Anniversary celebration. Dr. Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of Science Magazine, presented the keynote address on "The Societal Context for Science." Share Your Ideas for NIDCR's Next Strategic PlanNIDCR is developing a new strategic plan to guide the Institute's research efforts over the next 5 years (2009-2013). Please give us your views about future directions for the Institute. You may submit your comments through the form posted on NIDCR's website through July 11: www.nidcr.nih.gov/ NIDCR Launches New WebsiteIn early April, NIDCR launched its new website: www.nidcr.nih.gov/ The new site features simplified navigation with fewer clicks to accomplish key tasks, an "A to Z" index, new content, and a user-friendly graphic design, among other features. The redesign was guided by usability testing with NIDCR's major audiences: researchers, students, educators, patients and consumers, dental and medical care providers, and public health professionals, as well as by online user surveys and interviews with NIDCR staff.
NIH Peer Review UpdateOn June 6, NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni announced critical changes to enhance and improve the NIH peer review system, marking the end of a year-long effort to determine ways to further enrich the process. The changes--which were presented at the 96th Meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Director by NIDCR Director Lawrence Tabak, co-chair of the internal and external committees examining the NIH peer review process--reflect NIH’s response to thousands of comments, opinions, and criticisms received throughout the year. Taken together, these proposals bring to fruition the original charge, “to fund the best science, by the best scientists, with the least administrative burden.”
The Implementation Plan Report consists of four main priorities. Highlights include:
Additional information about enhancing peer review at NIH and the implementation plan is available at: http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/ NIH Director's NewsletterSee the NIH Director's Spring 2008 newsletter: http://www.nih.gov/about/director/newsletter/Spring2008.htm NIH Forms Council of CouncilsIn March, NIH announced the appointments to the NIH Council of Councils: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/od-24.htm The Council is made up of 27 members selected from the NIH Institute and Center (IC) advisory councils and advisory members to the NIH Office of the Director. Cecile A. Feldman, DMD, MBA, is the liaison to the NIDCR. The Council will advise the NIH Director on cutting-edge trans-NIH priorities and matters related to the policies and activities of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives and the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives (OPASI). The Council also will act as an external advisory panel to the IC Directors during the concept approval stage of the review process for trans-NIH initiatives. The Council’s first official meeting was held March 31-April 1, 2008. Dr. Tabak gave a presentation to the Council on “Interdisciplinary Research.” NIH Expands Clinical and Translational Science Award ConsortiumFourteen academic health centers in 11 states are the latest members of NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) consortium. Creating a unique network of research institutions across the nation, the consortium is working to reduce the time it takes for laboratory discoveries to become treatment for patients and to engage communities in clinical research efforts. The consortium also is fulfilling the critical need to train the next generation of clinical and translational researchers. The 14 new institutions will receive $533 million over 5 years. See additional details about the new CTSA centers: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2008/ncrr-29.htm NIH Launches Undiagnosed Diseases Program NIH has announced a new clinical research program to provide answers to patients with mysterious conditions that have long eluded diagnosis. Called the Undiagnosed Diseases Program, the trans-NIH initiative will focus on the most puzzling medical cases referred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., by physicians across the nation. The program is expected to begin in July 2008: http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2008/nhgri-19.htm Dr. Francis Collins to Step DownFrancis S. Collins, MD, PhD, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), has announced that he will step down on August 1 to explore writing projects and other professional opportunities. Dr. Collins, a physician-geneticist, served as NHGRI director since 1993. He led the Human Genome Project to its successful conclusion in 2003 and subsequently initiated and managed a wide range of projects that built upon the foundation laid by the sequencing of the human genome. Dr. Alan Guttmacher, current NHGRI deputy director, will become acting director on August 1.
PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS AIDS
NIDCR Individual NRSA Predoctoral Dental Scientist Fellowship (F30)
Genetic Screens to Enhance Zebrafish Research (R01)
Exploratory Collaborations with National Centers for Biomedical Computing (R21)
Melissa Riddle 301-451-3888
REQUESTS FOR APPLICATIONS Biotechnology/Regenerative Medicine/Biomaterials
Extension of Several NRSA Training (T), NRSA Fellowship (F), and Career Development (K) Funding Opportunity Announcements
Scientists Launch First Comprehensive Database of Human Oral Microbiome NIDCR grantees and their international colleagues have launched the first comprehensive database of the oral microbiome, or the approximately 600 distinct microorganisms currently known to live in the mouth. The free online compendium is called the Human Oral Microbiome Database (HOMD). The database is the digital equivalent of an Oxford dictionary of oral microorganisms, providing detailed biological entries for each species and an extensive catalogue of the thousands of genes that these microbes express. The site is located at: http://www.homd.org/ and is overseen by scientists at The Forsyth Institute in Boston and King's College London in England. See additional information about the Human Oral Microbiome Database (see Current News Releases--"March 25, 2008--Scientists Launch First Comprehensive Database of Human Oral Microbiome"): http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/NewsReleases/ Antibody Technique Shows Diagnostic Promise In the February 1 issue of the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, a team of NIH researchers report early results with a tremendously sensitive and accurate new diagnostic technique to quantify antibodies in blood and saliva. Known by the acronym LIPS, the technique performed without error in a small validation study involving a well-known antigen that is frequently elevated in people with a rare disorder called Stiff-Person Syndrome. See more information about the new antibody technique (see first story--"Antibody Technique Shows Diagnostic Promise"): http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/InterviewsOHR/ Research Experience Propels NIDCR Summer Intern to Intel FinalsBenjamin Lu, a 2007 NIH summer intern in NIDCR's Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, was a finalist in the recent Intel Science Talent Search (STS). The Intel STS is the most prestigious science competition for high school students in the U.S. Mr. Lu, a senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Md., was one of 40 finalists out of more than 1,600 contestants. He was honored for his research on the Drosphila melanogaster (fruit fly) genome. His research focused on genes that may be involved in the pathway between the Gq-coupled muscarinic receptor type 1 and the AP-1 transcription factor in the nucleus. Such fundamental research could one day illuminate possible targets for cancer therapies. Read the interview with Benjamin Lu: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/InterviewsOHR/BenLu.htm Science News in Brief See the following brief summaries of recent oral health research findings: http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/Research/ResearchResults/ScienceBriefs/ Study Finds Tooth Eruption Accelerated in Kids with Diabetes Study Evaluates Oral Care and Bacteremia Risk Study Evaluates Periodontal Disease Contributing to Diabetes Risk GWAS Study Looks Into Clefting, Dental Conditions Self-Assembling Sacs and Membranes Reported First Lead into Molecular Interplay that Produces Trigeminal Ganglion Molecular Targeting Reverses Craniofacial Defects in Mice Consortium Publishes Salivary Proteome PBRN Offers Overview of Clinical Research Primer
Dr. Lillian Shum Named Chief, Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases BranchDr. Lillian Shum was appointed chief of the Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases Branch, Division of Extramural Research, on May 11. Prior to her appointment she served as acting chief of the branch. Dr. Shum will oversee program planning, solicitation, evaluation, and monitoring of this NIDCR extramural research program. She joined NIH in 1995 as a senior research fellow at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and took the position as health scientist administrator with the NIDCR in 2003. Dr. Shum received her Ph.D. in cell biology and anatomy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Mary Sue Hamann Appointed Evaluation Officer Dr. Mary Sue Hamann joined the NIDCR as its new evaluation officer in January. She comes from the Coastal Health Education Center (AHEC) in North Carolina where she led the research department of a large, multi-specialty graduate medical education program and served as principal investigator for externally sponsored research since 2003. While working at AHEC, Dr. Hamann also was a clinical research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her Ph.D. in education policy and leadership from the Ohio State University. Dr. Jonathan Horsford Appointed Scientific Review Administrator Dr. Jonathan Horsford was appointed as a scientific review administrator in the Scientific Review Branch (SRB). Previously he was a program analyst, program director, and IRTA fellow in the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Horsford received his Ph.D. in molecular and medical genetics from the University of Toronto. Dr. Kenneth Yamada Receives AADR Award Dr. Kennth Yamada, chief of the Laboratory of Cell and Developmental Biology, received the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Distinguished Scientist Award in April for "his outstanding contribution to dental research." This award is presented every two years at the AADR annual meeting. Dr. Yamada's research focuses on elucidating the mechanisms of cell adhesion, migration, and salivary gland development. Dr. Eleni Kousvelari Retires from Federal ServiceDr. Eleni Kousvelari, associate director for biotechnology and innovation, retired on May 16 after 24 years of Federal service. While with the NIDCR, Dr. Kousevelari served as an expert and senior staff fellow in the Intramural Research Program, a health scientist adminstrator in the extramural program, and most recently as associate director for biotechnology and innovation. Dr. Rochelle Small Retires from Federal ServiceDr. Rochelle Small retired from Federal service on April 25 after spending over 15 years in the government. Dr. Small joined the NIH in 1992 and in 2000 accepted a position in NIDCR's extramural program as a health scientist administrator. She served as director of the Developmental Biology and Genetics Program. Dr. Mostafa Nokta Takes New Position at NIHDr. Mostafa Nokta left the NIDCR in April to take a position at the National Cancer Institute as a health scientist administrator. Dr. Nokta had served as director of NIDCR's AIDS and Immunosuppression Program since 2003. Dr. Sangeeta Bhargava Takes New Position at NIH Dr. Sangeeta Bhargava left the NIDCR in March to take a position at the Center for Scientific Review as a health scientist administrator. Dr. Bhargava served as a health scientist administrator in the NIDCR since 2003. She was director of NIDCR's Immunology and Immunotherapy Program. Dr. Piotr Zelazowski Joins NICHDDr. Piotr Zelazowski left the NIDCR in March to become a health scientist administrator at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Dr. Zelazowski had been with the NIDCR since 2002 and was a health scientist administrator in NIDCR's Scientific Review Branch.
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