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

9th Edition: October 6, 2004

In This Issue:

1) Funding Opportunities
2) NIDCR News
3) DHHS/NIH News
4) Science Advances
5) Meetings and Conferences
6) Personnel News


Program Announcements

Manufacturing Processes of Medical, Dental, and Biological Technologies (SBIR/STTR)

Research on Malignancies in AIDS and Acquired Immune Suppression

Metagenomic Analyses of the Oral Microbiome

Joint Degeneration: Mouse Models

Pilot Studies: Oral Complications of Cancer Therapies

Clinical Trials: Oral Complications of Cancer Therapies

Requests for Applications

Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity in Primary Care Settings


Extending the Expiration Date of PA-02-004, NIDCR Individual Predoctoral Dental Scientist Fellowship (F30)

Announcement of the US-Japan Brain Research Cooperation Program (BRCP) – The US Component

Oral Research Data from the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Available to Researchers

Applications to the NIDCR for Support of Clinical Trials

NIH Roadmap Initiatives

Requests for Applications:

Regional Translational Research Center Planning Grants

Molecular Libraries Screening Instrumentation

National Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways

Innovation in Molecular Imaging Probes


Change in Receipt Dates: RFA-RM-04-020 "Molecular Libraries Screening Instrumentation"


NIDCR Director Meets With Members of Congress

On July 20, NIDCR Director Lawrence Tabak met with several members of Congress who have demonstrated an interest in oral health care and research to discuss NIDCR activities and initiatives. Dr. Tabak met with Reps. Mike Simpson (R-ID), co-chair of the Congressional Oral Health Caucus, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Mr. Brent Jaquet (staff to Rep. C. W. Bill Young (R-FL). Dr. Isabel Garcia, acting director, NIDCR Office of Science Policy and Analysis, Alec Stone, executive director of the Friends of the NIDCR, and Anne Houser, NIH Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis also were present. The meetings were held at the request of congressional staffers who attended the April 28 briefing provided by the NIDCR Director at the annual Patient Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, which is sponsored by the Friends of the NIDCR.

NIDCR Provides Update on Stem Cell Research to Congressional Staff

On August 23, NIDCR hosted a group of 30 congressional and legislative staffers who requested an update on stem cell research. Dr. Pamela Robey, chief of the Craniofacial and Skeletal Diseases Branch, and until recently, NIDCR acting scientific director, was one of the NIH speakers who addressed the group. She provided an update on post-natal skeletal stem cells and their potential use in tissue engineering. The group also toured Dr. Robey’s laboratory.

Working Groups Convened to Develop Implementation Plan for the NIDCR Strategic Plan

NIDCR is convening a series of working groups aimed at initiating development of an implementation plan for the NIDCR Strategic Plan 2003-2008. The working groups are composed of staff and members of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council and the Board of Scientific Counselors. The first working group, which met in August, focused on microbiology and immunology. On September 29, working groups met to discuss craniofacial developmental biology and bone research and head and neck cancer research. The groups are helping to identify the highest priorities for future funding in these respective areas. Other working group meetings have been planned for October 2004 and January, March and June 2005.

NIDCR Funds Seven U24 Grants

On June 20-22, review of applications received in response to RFA-DE-04-008, “ Enhancing Research Infrastructure and Capacity Building for U.S. Dental Institutions.” Although the RFA announced the intent to award six of these U24 grants, NIDCR will fund the following seven grants (in alphabetical order). All have start dates of September 2004:

University of Alabama, Birmingham
Baylor College of Dentistry, Texas A&M University System
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
University of Illinois at Chicago
Medical University of South Carolina

NIDCR Funds Eleven R21 Exploratory and Developmental Grants in Clinical Research

Effective September 2004, NIDCR awarded funding to 11 applications received in response to RFA-DE-04-009, “ NIDCR Exploratory and Developmental Grants in Clinical Research.”
The awardees are (in alphabetical order): Catherine Binkley (University of Louisville), Leonard Cohen (University of Maryland), Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglou (University of Connecticut), Daniel Fine (University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey), Margherita Fontana (Indiana University), Ann Gillenwater (University of Texas – MD Anderson), Rita Jablonski (Virginia Commonwealth University), Douglas Longshore (University of California Los Angeles), Suchitra Nelson (Case Western Reserve University), Mathilde Peters (University of Michigan), and Karin Weber-Gasparoni (University of Iowa).


The NIDCR is supporting ORALGEN , a specialized relational database containing the genomic sequences of oral microorganisms. The database, a product of the Bioinformatics Section at Los Alamos National Laboratories, currently contains the genomes of Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans , Fusobacterium nucleatum , Porphyromonas gingivalis , Prevotella intermedia , Streptococcus mutans , and Treponema denticola . Other genomes will be added as they become available. ORALGEN has numerous user-friendly analytical and visualization tools available to explore the genomic sequences.

Next Application Receipt Date for DNA Microbial Array Slides

The next application receipt date for requests for complete genome DNA microarray slides for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans is October 15, 2004.

NIDCR Completes Successful 2004 Summer Research Training Program

Thirty-one individuals participated in the 2004 Division of Intramural Research Summer Research Training Program, including eight NIDCR Summer Dental Student Awardees, students in high school and college participating in the NIH Summer Internship Program, medical and dental students participating in the NIH Summer Research Fellowship program, and participants in the Special Volunteers program.

Highlights of the summer included a welcome party, a dental application workshop, a clinical orientation offered by the dental public health residents and clinical program fellows, an educational dental program that included visits to the University of Maryland, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery and the National Museum of Dentistry, a career panel entitled “Future Careers in Science in Dentistry,” and an NIDCR summer student poster session. See additional information about NIDCR training programs .

Report Available on Assessment of Dental Public Health Infrastructure in the United States

The final report of a study conducted for the NIDCR on Assessment of the Dental Public Health Infrastructure in the United States is now available. The assessment was needed to address disparities issues noted in Healthy People 2010, the NIDCR Strategic Plan, as well as in Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Information amassed from this project provides useful baseline data for new initiatives that address elements of the U.S. dental public health infrastructure.

New Genetics, Disease, and Dentistry Web Site Available

The new Genetics, Disease and Dentistry web site for dental and dental hygiene faculty and students is now available. T hree interactive case studies walk users through basic genetics concepts and their applications in dental practice. After completing these case studies, users should be able to collect basic family history information, identify patients and families who may benefit from genetic services, consult credible resources about genetic contributions to dental diseases, and locate and refer to genetics professionals as necessary. As part of the Dental Education Advisory Committee to the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics, NIDCR staff helped to develop the site. NIDCR also provided funding for the site, along with the National Human Genome Research Institute, the Office of Rare Diseases, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.


Division of Extramural Activities Support Starts Operations

The new NIH Division of Extramural Activities Support (DEAS) started operations on October 4, 2004, the first workday in FY 2005. The new division—the largest at NIH—is providing support services for grants management, peer review, and scientific program management functions at NIH. The reorganization of extramural support services into DEAS represents a major change in business practices, from a decentralized operation to one that is centrally managed using standardized operating procedures. The reorganization occurred as a result of the acceptance of NIH’s proposal to restructure extramural support services into a Most Efficient Organization in an effort to create cost savings under President Bush’s competitive sourcing program (also known as A76).

NIH Proposes Enhanced Public Access to NIH Research Information

All research funded by the NIH will be made freely available six months after an NIH-supported research study’s publication—or sooner if the publisher agrees—under a proposal announced by NIH. The manuscripts would be made available to the public through the Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central. The notice of NIH’s intent to provide public access to information from research it funds and to seek comment on its decision for 60 days appeared in the September 3 NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts.

NIH Releases Strategy to Fight Obesity Epidemic

On August 24, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni announced the release of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research, a research agenda designed to enhance development of new research in areas of greatest scientific opportunity and coordinate obesity research across NIH. The Plan calls for intensifying efforts along several fronts. It focuses on behavioral and environmental approaches to modifying lifestyle to prevent or treat obesity; pharmacological, surgical and other medical approaches to effectively and safely prevent or treat obesity; breaking the link between obesity and diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers; research on special populations at high risk for obesity, including children, ethnic minorities, women and older adults; translating basic science results into clinical research and then into community intervention studies; and disseminating research results to the public and health professionals.


Researchers Report New Gene Test for Isolated Cleft Lip and Palate

Protein from Oral Pathogen Can Clear Medical Devices of Bacteria


NIH Roadmap Workshop on Clinical Research Training in Medical and Dental Schools

On May 11-12, NIH sponsored a Workshop on Clinical Research Training in Medical and Dental Schools (PDF, 524KB) as part of the NIH Roadmap effort focusing on Re-engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise. The NIH Roadmap Trans-NIH Clinical Research Workforce Training Committee is exploring ways to cultivate and train a cadre of clinical researchers who will have skills commensurate with the increasing complexity and needs of the research enterprise.

NIH Summit Workshop on Predictive Drug Toxicology

An NIH Summit Workshop on Predictive Drug Toxicology (PDF, 341KB) was held on June 15-17 on the NIH campus. The workshop was an activity of the Molecular Libraries and Imaging initiative of the NIH Roadmap. Workshop participants discussed existing and developing technologies in the prediction of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicology. They also identified needed advances to improve the preclinical testing of drug candidates.

Interagency Workshop on Research at the Interface of the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences

On May 10, NIH sponsored an Interagency Workshop on Research at the Interface of the Life Sciences and Physical Sciences. Dr. Tabak co-chaired the workshop together with Dr. Roderic Pettigrew, director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering and Dr. Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Ten Federal agencies with interests in the life sciences (biology and medicine) and/or the physical sciences (physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, and computer sciences) participated in the workshop. As a result of the meeting, a new interagency committee will generate a national interdisciplinary-interagency research agenda.

Meeting on Microbial Biofilm Network

NIDCR convened a group of outside experts from the biofilm area this past June to discuss plans to create a major new initiative in the area of oral microbial biofilms. The group concurred with staff that this is a timely initiative and that recent technological advances have made possible unprecedented progress towards understanding the biology and pathology of biofilms in the oral cavity as well as their association with health and disease.


Dr. Robert Angerer has been appointed scientific director of the NIDCR Division of Intramural Research, effective October 3. Dr. Angerer comes to the NIDCR from the University of Rochester where he recently served two consecutive terms as chair of the biology department and also was a professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Dentistry. A distinguished developmental biologist, his laboratory investigates the mechanisms used in early animal embryos to establish cell fates. In particular, his work focuses on how the initial maternal axis of developmental polarity is established in the egg and how this first polarity is further elaborated to pattern cell fates along the embryo axis. Dr. Angerer earned his Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1973. After receiving an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellowship and completing his postdoctoral work at the California Institute of Technology, he was recruited by the University of Rochester in 1978.

Dr. Rosemarie Hunziker joined NIDCR’s Center for Biotechnology and Innovation in August as director of the Technology Development and Industrial Relations Program. Before coming to the NIDCR she was president of Connexon Life Sciences Consulting. Prior to that she was program manager of the Advanced Technology Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology where she managed tissue engineering projects. She recently worked with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Science Foundation on proposal review and program development in the areas of biosensors and molecular diagnostics, regenerative medicine, metabolic control, and vaccines. Dr. Hunziker received her Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Alberta.

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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)