In this Issue:
NIDCR Requests Public Input on Development of Proposed Research Initiatives for FY2014 As part of the budget planning process for Fiscal Year 2014, NIDCR is identifying topical themes for development into research initiatives. During this process, we welcome input from our scientific advisory boards, the extramural community, interested organizations, and the public at large.
Initiatives are a vehicle used by the Institutes and Centers to communicate future research goals to NIH, the Department of Health and Human Services, and Congress. NIDCR begins the initiative development process each year by identifying broad research topic areas, or themes. We then develop a specific initiative proposal for each theme, taking into consideration the input received. See the themes identified for FY 2014: http://go.usa.gov/wLC Please send your comments and suggestions related to these specific theme areas directly to us at FY2014Comments@nidcr.nih.gov . If you want to suggest additional topic areas, or comment on the process for developing research initiatives, please send those suggestions to the same email address. Please submit all comments no later than Friday August 10, 2012 .
NIDCR to Continue its Support of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)In keeping with NIDCR's commitment to monitor the oral health status of the nation, the Institute continues to support oral health surveillance activities, most notably through our collaboration with the CDC Division of Oral Health and National Center for Health Statistics to support the Oral Health component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NIDCR plans to provide continued support for the 2013-2014 NHANES cycle. The current NHANES proposal includes an increased scope of oral health data collection, as well as a pilot project for objective and reproducible measurement of fluorosis using multispectral digital imaging techniques. NIDCR Participation in Upcoming MeetingsNIDCR will co-sponsor the 8 th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer , to be held July 21-25 in Toronto, Ontario. This year’s theme is Bridging the Gap: Caring for the Head and Neck Cancer Patient. The conference brings together a broad spectrum of health professionals who have an interest in head and neck cancer, including head and neck surgeons, otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, dentists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, clinical investigators, and more. Additional details about the conference are found at: http://www.ahns2012.com/# ! The XIX International AIDS Conference will be held July 22-27 in Washington, D.C. In addition to having a booth at the event , staff will participate in a "Meet the Expert" session and provide an overview of NIDCR-sponsored basic, translational and clinical research linking HIV/AIDS with oral health. See more about the conference: http://www.aids2012.org/ NIDCR will co-sponsor the Chromatin Control of Viral Infection Symposium , September 17-18 in the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus. See additional details about the symposium: http://www.blsmeetings.net/ViralChromatin2012/contacts.cfm NIDCR Holds Re-Opening Ceremony for Institute's Renovated Dental Clinic On June 11, NIDCR held a re-opening ceremony and open house for its newly renovated NIDCR Dental Clinic, located in the NIH Clinical Center. Following remarks given by Dr. James E. Melvin, NIDCR Clinical Director, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held. Attendees were then invited to tour the dental clinic facilities, view science poster exhibits, and learn more about the clinic's contributions to clinical and translational research at the NIH. NIDCR Director and Intramural Scientists Participate in High School Research SymposiumOn May 30, NIDCR Director Martha J. Somerman, together with two NIDCR scientists, participated in the Thomas Jefferson Symposium to Advance Research (tjSTAR), sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Somerman was joined by Dr. Pamela Gehron Robey, chief of NIDCR's Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, and Dr. Marian Young, chief of the Molecular Biology of Bones and Teeth Section. Together they gave a presentation on repair and regeneration of the dental-craniofacial complex. tjSTAR, which features presentations, discussions, demonstrations and interactive learning opportunities presented by experts from the scientific community, enables students to explore future research careers. Dr. Yasaman Shirazi Named Chief, Scientific Review BranchNIDCR is pleased to announce that Dr. Yasaman Shirazi has returned to the NIDCR where she will serve as chief of the Scientific Review Branch in NIDCR's Division of Extramural Activities. She comes to the Institute from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), where she was deputy branch chief and project officer on grants and cooperative agreements for domestic and international clinical trials in pediatric, adolescent, and maternal AIDS. Prior to her NICHD position, Dr. Shirazi had a successful tenure with the NIDCR. She joined the Institute in 1998 as a scientific review officer in the Scientific Review Branch. In 2002, she moved to the current Division of Extramural Research, where she served as the program director for the Epithelial Cell Regulation and Transformation Program. In this role, she managed NIDCR's portfolio for head and neck cancers and led the initiative to establish the first national resource for salivary gland tumors. Dr. Shirazi received a Ph.D. in experimental pathology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Before coming to the NIH, she was assistant professor of oncology at the Tampa Bay Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL, and later was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University. Former NIDCR Director David B. Scott Passes AwayIt is with great sadness that we report that former NIDCR Director David B. Scott passed away on June 8th. He served as NIDCR Director from 1976-1981. A commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service from 1944-1965, Dr. Scott served in the (then) National Institute of Dental Research and retired as chief of the Laboratory of Histology and Pathology. He continued his distinguished career as a professor of physical biology at the School of Dentistry at Case Western Reserve University, later becoming Dean of the Case Western dental school. In 1976, he returned to active duty with the USPHS as a Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General and was named Director of the NIDR, a position he held until he retired in 1981. Throughout his career, Dr. Scott advanced the educational and research objectives of the profession of dentistry. He served as principal investigator for studies of dental structure and pathology and as an examiner for the NIDR study of water fluoridation in Grand Rapids, MI. He also pioneered the use of electron microscopy to study mineralized tissues, resolving the ultrastructural pathology of enamel crystal changes during dental cavity formation.
Advisory Committee to the NIH Director: Working Group Reports on the Biomedical Workforce, Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, and Data and Informatics Now AvailableOn June 14-15, three working groups of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) presented their final draft recommendations to the ACD. The reports of the working groups on the Biomedical Workforce, Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce, and Data and Informatics may be viewed online at: http://feedback.nih.gov/index.php/category/advisory-committee-to-the-director/ Each working group had a specific charge. The Working Group on the Biomedical Workforce was tasked with developing a model for a sustainable and diverse U.S. biomedical research workforce that can inform decisions about training of the optimal number of people for the appropriate types of positions that will advance science and promote health. The Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce was charged with providing concrete recommendations on ways to improve the retention of underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and persons from disadvantaged backgrounds. The working group focused on five key transition points in the pipeline: (i) entry into graduate degree programs; (ii) the transition from graduate degree to post-doctoral fellowship; (iii) the appointment from a post-doctoral position to the first independent scientific position; (iv) the award of the first independent research grant from NIH or equivalent in industry; and (v) award of tenure in an academic position or equivalent in an industrial setting. Finally, the Data and Informatics Working Group was assigned with providing expert advice on the management, integration, and analysis of large biomedical datasets. The working group addressed the areas of research data spanning basic science through clinical and population research; administrative data related to grant applications, reviews, and management; and management of information technology (IT) at the NIH.
NIH Common Fund Announces New ProgramsNew programs exploring novel approaches to cell-to-cell communication and understanding undiagnosed diseases, which represent challenges or scientific opportunities for a wide array of health research, are the latest priorities for the NIH Common Fund. The funding was announced on July 2nd by NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., after he received broad community input and recommendations from institute and center directors at NIH. The Common Fund targets strategic investments that have the potential for rapid and significant impact. The programs are scheduled to begin during Fiscal Year 2013. The Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) will provide a new network of medical research centers focused on the discovery, diagnosis, and ultimately care of undiagnosed patients by capitalizing on recent advances in genomics and the infusion of basic researchers in clinical projects. NIH expects to provide approximately $145 million in Common Fund support over the next seven years for the UDP program. The Common Fund's Extracellular RNA Communication program will explore new ways in which cells communicate with each other using extracellular ribonucleic acids (RNAs) — RNAs that are present in the space outside of and between cells. The program will provide foundational information about the synthesis, distribution, uptake, and function of extracellular RNAs that are involved in cell-to-cell communication that is critical for basic cell function and health. NIH expects to provide approximately $130 million in Common Fund support over the next five years for the program. NIH Implements Special Review for Well-Supported InvestigatorsWell-supported investigators who are slated for new awards will get a special Council review (SCR), as required in the FY 2013 President's Budget for HHS. "Well-supported" describes people with existing NIH grants of $1.5 million or more in annual total costs from NIH. All competing research project grant applications from well-supported investigators will be given extra consideration by the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council prior to funding. Members will take into account whether a project offers a unique opportunity to advance research and its importance to the mission of the NIDCR. Keep in mind that SCR does not represent a cap on total NIH funding for any one investigator and that a relatively small number of applications will be subject to SCR. For further details, including what will and won't require SCR, see the May 18, 2012 Guide notice: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-110.html You may also want to read the May 18 blog post "Piloting the $1.5M Special Review" from NIH's Office of Extramural Research: http://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2012/05/18/piloting-the-1-5m-special-review/ U.S. Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of ConcernPlease be aware of the recently issued United States Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern: http://go.usa.gov/wLr To comply with this policy, NIDCR has put in place a regular review process for all currently funded projects, as well as new applications and proposals, and may place new terms of award on grants and contracts that may have dual use concerns, if any are identified. Look for further guidelines, including standard operating procedures and possible requests for public input, in the coming months. For more information, visit the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) Web site on Dual Use Research: http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/biosecurity.html. See educational materials: http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/biosecurity_educational.html and NSABB documents: http://oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/biosecurity_documents.html Impact of NIH ResearchNIH recently launched a section on the NIH website devoted to “The Impact of NIH Research”: http://www.nih.gov/about/impact/ Here you can find information about the impact of NIH research on health, the economy, communities, and our fundamental understanding of human health and disease. It also includes a toolbox with resources that you can use to learn more—and tell others – about the impact of NIH research. Rebranding the NIH See the June 2nd cover story of the Congressional Quarterly (CQ) on Rebranding the NIH: http://public.cq.com/docs/weeklyreport/weeklyreport-000004098278.html Applications Accepted for NIH Director's Transformative Research Awards (R01)NIH is now welcoming proposals for the NIH Director's Transformative Research Awards (R01). These awards complement NIH’s traditional, investigator-initiated grant programs by supporting individual scientists or groups of scientists proposing groundbreaking, exceptionally innovative, original and/or unconventional research with the potential to create new scientific paradigms, establish entirely new and improved clinical approaches, or develop transformative technologies. Little or no preliminary data are expected. Projects must clearly demonstrate the potential to produce a major impact in a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research. The NIH Common Fund intends to commit $15 million in FY 2013 for this initiative. Component Institutes and Centers of NIH may provide additional funds based on specific programmatic interests and availability of funds. Letters of Intent are due August 21, 2012; applications are due September 21, 2012. See the announcement: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-RM-12-017.html Read more about the Transformative Research Award Program: http://commonfund.nih.gov/TRA/index.aspx
NIH Pain Consortium Selects 11 Centers of Excellence in Pain Education The NIH Pain Consortium has announced the selection of 11 health professional schools to serve as Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs). The CoEPEs will act as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing and pharmacy schools to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is coordinating the project and NIDCR is among the institutes and centers at NIH that provide funding for the pain education centers. Support for the CoEPEs also is provided by NIDA, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NationaI Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Institute on Aging, the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the Office of Research on Women's Health, and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The awardees are: the University of Washington, Seattle; the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia; Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville; the University of Rochester, N.Y.; the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston; the University of Alabama at Birmingham; the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Philadelphia; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; and the University of Pittsburgh. Many of the new CoEPEs will build curricula across several of their health professional schools. 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health DisparitiesNIH, together with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Minority Health, and the National Institute on Minority Health Disparities, will hold the 2012 Summit on Science of Eliminating Health Disparities—Integrating Science, Policy and Practice; Building a Healthier Society—October 31-November 3, 2012 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, MD. The Summit is an HHS-wide endeavor that seeks to advance activities to eliminate health disparities. See additional information about the summit: http://www.nimhd.nih.gov/summit_site/ .
NIH Human Microbiome Project Defines Normal Bacterial Makeup of the BodyFor the first time, a consortium of researchers organized by the NIH has mapped the normal microbial makeup of healthy humans, producing numerous insights and even a few surprises. Researchers found, for example, that nearly everyone routinely carries pathogens. In healthy individuals, however, pathogens cause no disease; they simply coexist with their host and the rest of the human microbiome. Researchers must now figure out why some pathogens turn deadly and under what conditions, likely revising current concepts of how microorganisms cause disease.
Reporting on nearly five years of research, some 200 members of the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium from nearly 80 universities and scientific institutions published the series of coordinated scientific reports on June 14 in Nature and several journals in the Public Library of Science (PLoS). The Human Microbiome Project is managed by National Human Genome Research Institute, in partnership with the NIH Office of the Director, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the National Cancer Institute, NIDCR, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Five More Pharmaceutical Companies Join NIH Initiative to Speed Therapeutic DiscoveryFive additional pharmaceutical companies have joined an NIH-led effort to help scientists research promising new treatments for patients. Funding and molecular compound information is available now for the initial phase of the recently unveiled Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules program: http://go.usa.gov/wLg This NIH-industry collaboration will match researchers with 58 compounds to test ideas for new therapeutic uses. Since the launch of the program last month, the total number of compounds the companies are making available has more than doubled. Abbott, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., and Sanofi have joined Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Eli Lilly and Company in this innovative approach to research. Dr. David M. Murray Appointed Director, NIH Office of Disease PreventionDavid M. Murray, Ph.D. has been named the new associate director for disease prevention and director of the Office of Disease Prevention. The Office of Disease Prevention is the lead office at NIH responsible for assessing, facilitating and stimulating research on disease prevention and health promotion, and disseminating the results of this research to improve public health. Dr. Murray comes to the NIH from The Ohio State University, where he is chair and professor of the Division of Epidemiology, College of Public Health. He has spent his career evaluating intervention programs designed to improve public health. Dr. Murray is expected to begin his new position in late September.
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National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190