News from NIDCR (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH)

5th Edition: December 16, 2003

The NIDCR E-Newsletter provides information about NIH and NIDCR grant, contract and training program policies; new NIDCR funding opportunities; new grant and contract awards; NIH and NIDCR programmatic news; and meetings and events of interest to the research community.


  1. NIDCR Personnel News
  2. Upcoming Meetings and Conferences
  3. Funding Opportunities
  4. NIH Student Loan Repayment Awards
  5. NIDCR Research Resources
  6. Oral Health Data Resources
  7. Science Advances


*The NIH Roadmap is under way and NIH Director Elias Zerhouni has begun to assemble a team to coordinate the implementation of related activities. As part of this effort, Dr. Zerhouni asked Dr. Dushanka V. Kleinman, NIDCR Deputy Director, to serve in the new Office of Director position of Assistant Director for Roadmap Coordination, beginning December 15, 2003. During this initial six-month detail, Dr. Kleinman will work closely with the NIH Roadmap Implementation Coordination Committee, designated Roadmap liaisons from the NIH Institutes and Centers, the to—be-named Senior Advisor for Clinical Research Re-engineering Activities, and OD Senior Staff to facilitate policy development and key decisions related to Roadmap implementation. In addition, a team of advisors will be formed to address key aspects such as monitoring, communication, and evaluation. Dr. Kleinman will continue her role as Chief Dental Officer, USPHS, during this detail.

*Dr. Henning Birkedal-Hansen, NIDCR Scientific Director, will serve as the NIDCR Acting Deputy Director during the period of Dr. Kleinman's detail. While the timeframe for Dr. Kleinman's return to NIDCR from her detail is unclear, it is expected that Dr. Birkedal-Hansen will remain in the NIDCR Office of the Director even after Dr. Kleinman's return. An Acting Scientific Director will be named as soon as feasible and a formal search will be initiated in the near future for a permanent Scientific Director.

*Dr. Ricardo Martinez, NIDCR Associate Director for Program Development, retired from government service on November 21. Dr. Martinez was recruited to the NIDCR as Director of the Extramural Program in 1998. In 2001, he took on the position of Associate Director to help establish long-range research priorities for the NIDCR. As part of this task, he convened a series of expert panels on a number of topics. 

These panels contributed greatly to the development of the Institute's strategic plan. Dr. Martinez also served as Executive Secretary of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council and of the Institute's Board of Scientific Counselors. He co-chaired the NIH Hispanic Task Force and was a member of the NIH Diversity Council and the Board of the Extramural Associates Program. Dr. Martinez is relocating to Southern California where he plans to continue his efforts to enhance the participation of underrepresented minorities in the sciences and health professions.

*With the departure of Dr. Martinez from government service, Dr. Norman Braveman, Assistant to the NIDCR Director, will serve as the Executive Secretary of both the Board of Scientific Counselors and the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council. In addition, Dr. Braveman will take the lead in coordinating ad hoc panels that NIDCR will convene to help advise the Institute on future scientific directions.

*Dr. Lillian Shum recently joined the NIDCR as Director of the Physiology, Pharmacogenetics and Injury Program, Division of Basic and Translational Sciences. She will manage a portfolio of research grants in the areas of pharmacogenetics, tooth and bone physiology, craniofacial injury and wound healing. Previously she was a senior staff fellow in the Cartilage Biology and Orthopedics Branch, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Dr. Shum earned her Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology at the University of North Carolina and was a postdoctoral fellow first at the University of Southern California with Dr. Harold Slavkin and then at the University of California at San Francisco with Dr. Rik Derynck.

*Dr. Sangeeta Bhargava recently joined the NIDCR Division of Basic and Translational Sciences as Director of the Immunology and Immunotherapy Program. She will provide management and oversight for research grants primarily in the areas of mucosal immunity and cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Previously Dr. Bhargava was a senior scientist at Wyeth where she was responsible for research on mucosal immunology with an emphasis on discovery and preclinical development of viral vaccines. Dr. Bhargava earned a Ph.D. in medical sciences from the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences and subsequently was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. John Cebra at the University of Pennsylvania.

*Gabrielle Cannick, a DMD/PhD student currently working on her dissertation research in oral cancer at NIDCR, received the grand prize at the Hinman Student Research Symposium sponsored by the Thomas P. Hinman Dental Society (THDS) and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry. The symposium is held annually to recognize dental student efforts in clinical and basic science research. Ninety-four dental students from the U.S. and Canada competed in oral and poster presentations in Memphis, TN. The title of Gabrielle's oral presentation was “Oral Cancer Knowledge Among South Carolina Dental Students.” She received a plaque from THDS for the “Most Outstanding Presentation in Clinical Research” and the President's Award for Excellence in Dental Research from the National Student Research Group of the American Association for Dental Research.



NIDCR will host a conference for trainees, fellows, and training program directors on the NIH campus on April 19-20, 2004. The conference will provide scientific professional development training that is important for achieving scientific independence and productivity. Among the topics to be covered are: an overview of the NIH grants process and grant writing; a training grant technical assistance workshop for program directors and staff; and a session on developing skills for an academic career. The conference will provide a forum for training directors and trainees to interact with one another and with NIH staff and for participants to obtain information about NIDCR and NIH resources and research initiatives.


NIDCR will host a workshop May 6-7, 2004 on “Methods for Enhancing the Efficiency of Dental/Oral Health Clinical Trials: Current Status, Future Possibilities,” on the NIH campus.


NIDCR will sponsor the following scientific conferences:

*Oral Immunology/Microbiology Research Group Annual Meeting
January 8-11, 2004; San Juan Puerto Rico

* Gordon Conference: Biology of the Spirochetes
January 25-30, 2004; Ventura, California

*7th ASM Conference on Candida and Candidiasis
March 18-22, 2004, Austin, Texas


Clinical Research
equests for Applications (RFAs):

* General Dental Practice-Based Research Network

*Also see the Notice: Practice Based Research Network Technical Assistance Conference

* NIDCR Exploratory and Developmental Grants in Clinical Research

* Hyperaccelerated Award/Mechanisms in Immunomodulation Trials

Program Announcements (PAs):

* Oral Health of Special Needs and Older Populations

* Epidemiological and Behavioral Research in Oral Health

* Phase III Clinical Trials in Oral Infectious Diseases

* Reducing Preterm & Low Birth Weight in Minority Families

Requests for Proposals - Contracts (RFPs):

* Clinical Trial of Topical Thalidomide for Aphthous Stomatitis in Patients with HIV/AIDS (PDF, 277KB)

Basic and Translational Research
Requests for Applications (RFAs):

* Multidisciplinary Approach for Research on Oral Complications of HIV Infection

* Development of In Vitro Models of Human Oral Mucosa Relevant to AIDS and Mucosal Infections

* Aids-Related Oral Malignancies and Tumors
* Regenerative Dental Medicine

* Mechanisms of Orofacial Pain: Anatomy, Genomics and Proteomics

* Bioengineering Research Partnerships

Trans-NIH Roadmap Initiatives:

NIDCR is participating in all of the newly established Trans-NIH Roadmap Initiatives. Many of these are relevant to NIDCR activities. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities and respond to the appropriate RFAs.

NSF/NIH Collaborative Research:

* Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS)- Innovative Approaches to Science and Engineering Research on Brain Function: NSF 04-514 (Replaces NSF 02-018)


* Publication of the Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev. 12/03)

* Mentored Career Development Awards: Change in NIH Policy Concerning Concurrent Support from Career Development Award and a Research Grant


The federal government's new web site was unveiled on December 9. The site provides a single, centralized source of information on government-sponsored grant opportunities as well as the ability to apply for grants online. Funding opportunities were submitted by five agencies—the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Commerce, Education, Energy, and Justice. The goal is to have 50 grant packages posted on the site and 15,000 applications processed through the portal by the end of FY 2004. HHS, which is the federal government's largest grantor, spearheads The agency awards 36 percent of all federal grants. Synopses of 242 grants listed under HHS on the web site include grants sponsored by NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.


Existing Multiple Project Assurances (MPA) and Cooperative Project Assurances (CPA) will remain in effect until further notice. In addition, the Office of Human Research Protections (OHRP) will continue to accept Single Project Assurances (SPA) until further notice, pending final clearance of the Federalwide Assurance (FWA). The FWA was initially made available in December 2000 as a new Assurance of Compliance, and is expected to replace all other types of assurances in the future. OHRP encourages institutions to begin submitting the FWA voluntarily. As a part of the FWA application, the institution must designate their reviewing Institutional Review Board(s) (IRB). All IRBs designated on an FWA must be registered with OHRP.  

NIH awarded student loan repayment contracts to 1,200 researchers across the nation in Fiscal Year 2003, a 66 percent increase in the number of awards over FY 2002, the first year NIH implemented the programs. The 1,197 new contracts for FY 2003 totaled $63.3 million. Over half of the awards were to researchers who completed their doctoral degree within the past five years. More than half of the awardees hold M.D. degrees; more than a third, Ph.D. degrees; 8 percent have M.D./Ph.D. degrees, and 5 percent have other doctoral degrees. NIH can repay up to $35,000 annually of their qualified loans and will cover all taxes related to the payments. NIH is now accepting applications until December 31 for the FY 2004 program.


Visit the NIDCR web site for information about NIDCR-supported microbiology and immunology resources (sequencing projects and the microarray facility); craniofacial development resources (Center for Inherited Research, Mouse Mutagenesis Center for Development Defects, Mouse Mutation Database, Mutant Mouse Regional Resource Centers); and the Report on Global Strategies to Reduce the Health-Care Burden of Craniofacial Anomalies. See NIDCR's research resources.  


The next receipt date for requests for complete genome DNA microarray slides for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans is April 1, 2004.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released the latest edition of “Health, United States, 2003 with Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.” The document contains valuable information on the state of Americans' health (including dental health). 

NIDCR/CDC Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Data Resource Center Develops New Product

The Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Resource Center (DRC) recently developed a catalogue of dental and oral health questions used in national and state health surveys. The catalogue is searchable both by topic and survey and will be available in CD ROM format.


Scientists Report Early Progress in Tissue Engineering Mandibular Condyle

Gene Therapy Shows Promise in Treating Sjogren's Syndrome in an Animal Model

Pain Research: Past, Present, and Future
See the interview with Dr. Ronald Dubner.

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National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)   National Institutes of Health (NIH)