NIH building 

Applications Now Accepted for NIDCR Deputy Director

NIDCR is seeking an exceptional leader for Deputy Director who can advance the mission and initiatives of the Institute by working collaboratively across the NIH, throughout the federal government, and with other key stakeholders and organizations. We invite candidates who can demonstrate their commitment to scientific excellence and who possess the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic and diverse Institute.

Applicants must have a doctoral dental degree, medical degree, and/or PhD and have senior-level research experience in a scientific area related to oral, dental, and craniofacial research. The deadline for applications is January 16, 2015.

John Kusiak, PhD 

NIDCR Director Selects John Kusiak, PhD, as Senior Advisor

NIDCR Director Martha Somerman, DDS, PhD, has asked John Kusiak, PhD, who has been acting chief of NIDCR’s Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases Branch, to serve as senior advisor to the director. Dr. Kusiak will assist the director in managing the many responsibilities that come with running the Institute.

Dr. Kusiak joined NIDCR in 2003 and is an exceptional scientist and administrator. In addition to leading the Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases Branch, he is also the program officer for the Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Program, which focuses on the pathogenesis of pain. Before joining NIDCR, he was with the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke and the National Institute of Aging. He received his PhD in biochemistry from George Washington University Medical School.

Kathleen Stephan 

Kathleen Stephan, MBA, Selected as NIDCR Executive Officer

After a national search, Kathleen G. Stephan, MBA, has been selected as NIDCR’s associate director for management, and she will join the Institute on December 28. “I am pleased to fill this key position on our leadership team,” said NIDCR Director Martha Somerman.

During her 21 years with NIH, Ms. Stephan has held key leadership positions with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Cancer Institute, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She earned a bachelor of science in business and a master of business administration at the
University of Baltimore.

For the past two years that the position has been open, NIDCR has been extremely fortunate to have the capable leadership of George Coy, who served as NIDCR’s Acting Associate Director for Management, and also Carol Loose, who served as the Acting Branch Chief of the Financial Management Branch (FMB). Mr. Coy and Ms. Loose will return their full attention to their previous roles in FMB.

Dental Epidemiologist Bruce A. Dye, DDS, MPH, Joins NIDCR

Dr. Bruce A. Dye, a Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), recently joined NIDCR‘s Office of Science Policy and Analysis as a dental epidemiology officer. An active diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, Dr. Dye will direct and conduct dental epidemiology and public health research and also become the new director of NIDCR’s Dental Public Health Residency Program.

For the past 12 years, he has been a dental epidemiology officer and dental public health consultant at the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Dye trained and calibrated dental examiners for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and produced analytical reports assessing the oral health of the U.S. population.

After earning a DDS from the Ohio State University College of Dentistry, Dr. Dye began his USPHS career with the Indian Health Service in South Dakota and Michigan. He earned an MPH at the University of Michigan, pursued epidemiology training at Johns Hopkins University, and completed a dental public health residency at NIDCR.

Two women smiling 

Deadline Extended for Applications for 2015-2016 Residency Program in Dental Public Health

The deadline has been extended until January 16, 2015, for applications for the 2015-2016 Residency Program in Dental Public Health, which is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association. The 12-month full-time or 12-month equivalent part-time program provides a formal training opportunity for dentists who are planning careers in dental public health with an emphasis on oral and craniofacial, health-related epidemiologic research.

Although the residency program emphasizes research training and oral disease prevention and health promotion, the program also provides experience in other areas of dental public health, such as public health administration and management, the organization and financing of dental care programs, and the development of resources. Residents develop an individualized training plan and conduct at least one research project under the guidance of NIDCR staff and other qualified faculty and mentors. Graduates of the residency program receive a certificate of completion and are qualified educationally to apply for examination by the American Board of Dental Public Health for specialty certification.

A group of summer dental student 

January 16 Deadline for Applications for 2015 Summer Dental Student Award

NIDCR is now accepting applications for the 2015 Summer Dental Student Award. This summer training program provides dental students with hands-on research experience in NIDCR’s intramural research labs in Bethesda, Maryland.

To be eligible for the competitive stipend, students must be able to commit to a minimum of eight weeks during the summer. After selection, the student will be awarded a competitive stipend and assigned a mentor. In previous years, some students have presented their NIDCR research results at scientific meetings, and some have co-authored scientific publications.

The deadline for applications is January 16, 2015, and all supplemental application information must be received by February 7, 2015. For additional information on how to apply, please see “NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award: A Summer Research Program for Selected Dental Students” or contact Dr. Deborah Philp, Program Director, at or (301) 594-6578. 

NIH News

colorful puzzles 

NIH Awards Nearly $31 million to Enhance Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce

In October, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded about $31 million to develop new approaches that will engage researchers, including those from backgrounds underrepresented in biomedical sciences, and prepare them to thrive in the NIH-funded workforce. These awards are part of a projected five-year program to support more than 50 awardees and partnering institutions in establishing a national consortium to develop, implement, and evaluate approaches to encourage individuals to start and stay in biomedical research careers.

“These awards represent a significant step toward ensuring that NIH’s future biomedical research workforce will reflect the unique perspectives found within the diverse composition of our society,” said NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity
Hannah Valantine, MD.

A woman doctor treating a patient 

NIH Research Consortia to Study More than 200 Rare Diseases

With about $29 million in awards, NIH is expanding the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network (RDCRN), which is led by NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

“NCATS seeks to tackle these challenges in an integrated way by working to identify common elements among rare diseases,” said NCATS Director Christopher P. Austin, M.D. “The RDCRN consortia provide a robust data source that enables scientists to better understand and share these commonalities, ultimately allowing us to accelerate the development of new approaches for diagnosing and treating rare diseases.”

Scanned brain 

NIH Awards Initial $46 Million for BRAIN Initiative Research

In the first wave of awards, NIH invested $46 million to support the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. More than 100 investigators in 15 states and several countries will work to develop new tools and technologies to understand neural circuit function and capture a dynamic view of the brain in action.

NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, said, “These initial awards are part of a 12-year scientific plan focused on developing the tools and technologies needed to make the next leap in understanding the brain.”

NIH Announces High-Risk, High-Reward Research Awardees

In October, NIH awarded 85 grants to scientists with highly innovative approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research. "Supporting innovative investigators with the potential to transform scientific fields is a critical element of our mission,”’ said NIH Director Francis Collins. The NIH Common Fund High Risk-High Reward program “allows researchers to propose highly creative research projects across a broad range of biomedical and behavioral research areas that involve inherent risk but have the potential to lead to dramatic breakthroughs."

The US Capitol 

President Obama Approves FY 2015 Spending Bill

On December 17, President Barack Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill from Congress for the fiscal year 2015 budget. NIH will be funded through September 2015.

A group of several words such as data, clinical, trust 

HHS and NIH Encourages the Reporting of Clinical Trial Results

In November, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which proposes regulations to implement reporting requirements for certain clinical trials. The proposed rule clarifies requirements for registering clinical trials and submitting summary trial results information to NIH Director Francis Collins blogged about the proposed rule. See “Honoring Our Promise: Clinical Trial Data Sharing.”

NIH Promotes Use of Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-site Clinical Trials

In early December, NIH issued a draft policy to promote the use of single institutional review boards (IRBs) in NIH-funded multi-site clinical trials. NIH Director Francis Collins said, “By using single IRBs in multi-site studies, we reduce duplication of effort, speed the initiation of important research, and save time and taxpayer funds.”

NIH Pain Consortium Will Release National Pain Strategy Report for Public Comment

The National Pain Strategy, which has been drafted but not finalized, is a plan for population-focused pain research and pain prevention, treatment, and management. The strategy is being developed by the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), which is a federal advisory committee created by HHS to enhance pain research efforts and promote collaboration across the government. More than 80 experts drafted the IPRCC’s National Pain Strategy, which will soon be released for public comment. 

students in a lab 

NIH Will Take Part in Amgen Scholars Program for Undergrads Next Summer 

To prepare students for careers in science, 17 facilities, including NIH, are taking part in the Amgen Scholars Program.  It will be the first time that NIH will be a host institution, and next summer, NIH will appoint candidates who meet both the NIH and Amgen Scholars requirements. The program is made possible by an $850,000 grant to the Foundation for the NIH from the Amgen Foundation of Thousand Oaks, California.

National Oral History Project Visits NIH Campus

In early December, StoryCorps, a national oral history project, visited the NIH campus to record the stories of patients, their loved ones, researchers, and others in the community. Their goal was to capture stories that reflected different aspects of the NIH research experience.

Full Version of MedlinePlus Launched for Mobile

Because many people use tablets and phones to search for medical information, NIH’s National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a new version of the MedlinePlus mobile site ( in November. The latest version of the mobile site offers the same resources found on, such as more than 950 health topic pages, drug and supplement information, videos, news, and a medical encyclopedia. Previously, the mobile site had only some of the content from MedlinePlus. In the future, NLM plans to release a fully responsive version of MedlinePlus that will eliminate the need for a separate mobile site for tablets and phones.

Bill Gates 

New Phase of Cooperation Between NIH and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

In October, the NIH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation entered into a new phase of cooperation to develop interventions to reduce major global health burdens that disproportionately affect populations in low- and middle-income countries. Interventions will be developed to reduce HIV, tuberculosis, malnutrition, premature births, and other health problems.​

2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to NIH Grantee

NIH grantee William E. Moerner, PhD, of Stanford University shares the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on optical microscopy. To date, 145 NIH-supported researchers, including staff scientists, have been awarded a Nobel Prize for achievements in physiology or medicine, chemistry, physics, and economic sciences.

HHS Releases 13th Report on Carcinogens

In October, HHS released the 13th edition of the Report on Carcinogens, which identifies 243 chemical, biological, or physical agents that are known or suspected to cause cancer. “Identifying substances in our environment that can make people vulnerable to cancer will help in prevention efforts,” said Linda Birnbaum, PhD, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP). “This report provides a valuable resource for health regulatory and research agencies, and it empowers the public with information people can use to reduce exposure to cancer causing substances.”

US Map 

NIH Awards $32 million in Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K)

NIH made an initial investment of almost $32 million in October to increase utility of biomedical research data. These multi-institute awards are intended for the development of new strategies, such as software and training programs, to improve access to complex biomedical data sets. The Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative is projected to have a total investment of nearly $656 million through 2020, pending available funds.

Science Advances

The Oral Microbiome: From Bad Bugs to Bad Biofilm Behaviors

Microbial ecologist Jorge Frias-Lopez, PhD, of the Forsyth Institute uses genomic technology to analyze the many bacterial species in the biofilm of the mouth. While other scientists may focus research on a single species within the bacterial community, his work considers the community as a collective, living organism. He examines group behavior and defines the communal activities that could predict progression from gum disease to severe periodontal disease and tooth loss

Mouse study 

Mouse Study Reveals Potential Clue to Extra Fingers or Toes​

A study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and by NIDCR reveals a possible mechanism to explain why some mice have extra toes. The study, published online in Cell Reports, was undertaken by Licia Selleri, MD, PhD, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues at Cornell and other institutions.

“Dr. Selleri and her colleagues have discovered that an unexpected cellular pathway is involved in the generation of extra digits,” said Lorette Javois, PhD, of the Developmental Biology and Structural Variation Branch at NICHD. “The findings expand what we know about genetic pathways involved in normal limb development and offer researchers a new direction in which to search for human mutations.”

Tooth decay 

People with a Variant of Keratin 75 Protein May Have Increased Risk of Tooth Decay (With Videos)

Investigators at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and NIDCR-supported scientists at the University of Pittsburgh hypothesized that keratin 75 was more than merely a major player in the formation of hair and nails, and they collaborated to investigate whether keratin 75 might play a role in susceptibility to tooth decay.

Their studies showed that keratin 75 protein, which is highly expressed in scalp hair follicles and in the nail bed, is also found in teeth, especially the mature enamel. NIDCR Director Martha Somerman said, “This is a great example of researchers from different areas realizing a potential link and then finding the link.”


Shaking Up Cell Biology

For the first time, NIDCR scientists have imaged mitochondria – the microscopic energy factories within cells -- as they oscillate in a live animal. The scientists used an intravital microscope to visualize the movements of mitochondria within the salivary glands of lab rats.

“It almost looks like a synchronized dance,” said Roberto Weigert, PhD, chief of NIDCR’s Intracellular Membrane Trafficking Unit and senior author on the study published in the journal Cell Reports. Dr. Weigert observed oscillations lasting from tens of seconds to minutes, which was longer than observed previously in cell culture.

A group of fish in the water 

How Genes Affect Facial Development

NIDCR-supported scientists have been studying the genes involved in the formation of facial structure. Drs. Chong Pyo Choe and J. Gage Crump at the University of Southern California used time-lapse imaging to observe how a master control gene coordinates the arrangement of tissues into the shape of a face. Their work was conducted with zebrafish embryos.

Funding Opportunity News

Program Announcements

NIDCR Clinical Trial or Biomarker Clinical Validation Study Cooperative Agreement (U01)

Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R21)

Systems Science and Health in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (R01)

Administrative Supplements for Research on Sex/Gender Differences (Admin Supp)

​Building Genetics and Genomic Knowledge about Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Diseases and Disorders (R01)

Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint in Health and Disease (R21)

Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint in Health and Disease (R01)

Requests for Applications

Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) Data and Operations Center (DOC) (U01)

Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) Coordinating Center (CC)  (U01)

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Data Management for Biomedical Big Data (R25)

NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Research Education: Open Educational Resources for Sharing, Annotating and Curating Biomedical Big Data (R25)

Nuclear Organization and Function Interdisciplinary Consortium (NOFIC)(U54)

Nucleomics Tools (U01)

Study of Nuclear Bodies and Compartments (U01)

4D Nucleome Imaging Tools (U01)

4D Nucleome Network Organizational Hub (U01)

4D Nucleome Network Data Coordination and Integration Center (U01)

Model Organisms Screening Center for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U54)

Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (K12)

NIH Director's Early Independence Awards (DP5)


HHS Changes Standard Due Dates for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications

Notice To Extend PA-14-072 "PHS 2014-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42])"

Notice To Extend PA-14-071 "PHS 2014-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44])"

Notice of Change in Due Date and Applicant Action Required for RFA-RM-006, Nuclear Organization and Function Interdisciplinary Consortium (NOFIC) (U54)

NIH Identifies Additional Awardees Eligible for PA-12-150 "Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers (Admin Supp)"

NIH Identifies Additional Awardees Eligible for PA-12-149 "Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Admin Supp)"

Update: New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After May 25, 2015

Reminder for the Extramural Scientific Community: Implementation of the Genomic Data Sharing Policy Begins January 25, 2015

NIH Modification to Guidance on Marking Changes in Resubmission Applications

Request for Comments on the Draft NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board for Multi-Site Research

Request for Information (RFI): Challenges and Opportunities for Exploring and Understanding the Epitranscriptome

Notice of Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare Policy on Shared Animal Welfare Concerns

New Biographical Sketch Format Required for NIH and AHRQ Grant Applications Submitted for Due Dates on or After January 25, 2015

Reminder: Annual Reports to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare due January 31, 2015

NIH Implementation of the US Government Policy on Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern

Request for Information (RFI): Inviting Comments and Suggestions on the Reagent-Related Barriers to Reproducible Research

NIH Request for Public Comments on the Draft NIH Policy on Dissemination of NIH-Funded Clinical Trial Information

Publication of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Clinical Trials Registration and Results Submission under FDAAA

Request for Information (RFI): Input on Direction of the Second Phase of the "Illuminating the Druggable Genome" Program

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for NIH Science ​of Behavior Change Resource and Coordinating Center (U01)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Interpersonal and Social Processes Targets (UH2/UH3)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Stress Reactivity and Stress Resilience Targets (UH2/UH3)

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Science of Behavior Change: Assay Development and Validation for Self-Regulation Targets (UH2/UH3)

Notice Announcing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for RFA-RM-14-016 "Model Organisms Screening Center for the Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) (U54)"

Request for Information (RFI): Neuromodulation Technology Needs and Challenges to Enable SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions)

Request for Information (RFI): Research on Neural Control and Neuromodulation of Organ Function to Enable SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions)

Request for Information: NIH-Industry Partnership towards Clinical Utility of Market-approved Devices to Support New Market Indications within SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions)

Notice to Extend PAR-12-032 "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Etiology, Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment (R01)" by an Additional Funding Cycle

Notice of Clarification of 4-Year Limit of Postdoctoral Research Eligibility for K99 Applicants for PA-14-042 NIH Pathway to Independence Award

Notice of Revised NIH Definition of Clinical Trial

Notice to Extend PAR-12-033 "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Etiology, Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, and Treatment (R21)" by an Additional Funding Cycle

Reminder: NIH Requires the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) for All Type 5 Progress Reports

Notice of Special Accommodations for Submission and Reporting Requirements for Program Directors/Principal Investigators Responding to the West Africa Ebola Outbreak

Notice to Extend the Response Date for NOT-OD-14-128 "Request for Information (RFI): Consideration of Sex As a Biological Variable in Biomedical Research"

Request for Information (RFI): Physician-Scientist Specific Grant Program to Facilitate the Transition From Training to Independence

OMB Clarifies Guidance on the Dual Role of Student and Postdoctoral Researchers

NIH Offers Niche Assessment Program to SBIR and STTR Phase I Awardees

Notice of NIDCRs Participation in PAR-14-353 "Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Human Cancers for Years 2015 and 2016 (P50)

Use of New Inclusion Management System Required as of October 17, 2014

Reminder Notice Regarding Requirements of the Bayh-Dole Act and the NIHs Implementing Regulations

Webinars on What You Need to Know About NIH Application Submission and Review

NIH Operates Under a Continuing Resolution

Review of Grants Information for Fiscal Year 2014

Notice to Discontinue the Requirement for Additional Educational Information under PA-14-149 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32)"

Notice to Emphasize the Requirement for Additional Educational Information under PA-14-148 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 - Diversity)"

Notice to Emphasize the Requirement for Additional Educational Information under PA-14-147 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31)"​

Notice to Emphasize the Requirement for Additional Educational Information under PA-14-150 "Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NSRA) Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD or Other Dual-Doctoral Degree Fellowship (F30)"

Notice of Availability of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Updated Address for Paper-Based Submissions for PA-14-320