In This Issue:
1) New Funding Opportunities
2) Training Opportunities
3) NIH News
4) New Oral Health Reports and Surveys Released
5) Science Advances
6) Personnel News
NIDCR Small Research Grants for Data Analysis and Statistical Methodology (R03)
Novel Approaches to Study Polymicrobial Diseases
Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network (MLSCN)
Good Response Received to NIH Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Program NIDCR is participating in the NIH Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Programs (RFA-RM-04-006) for the career development of clinical researchers. Of 49 applications received, 20 included schools of dentistry. See the NIH Roadmap Initiative .
The Howard Hughes Research Training Fellowship is a year-long residential experience that enables medical and dental students to obtain hands-on training in basic research. A record number of dental students (9) applied this year. Five students were interviewed, and all were accepted. The students are from Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, and the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry.
The NIDCR Summer Dental Student Award is an eight-week program designed to expose dental students to the latest advances in oral health research. Students are assigned a research mentor based on stated research interests and learn state-of-the-art technologies to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of oral diseases. Eight dental students were selected from across the country to participate this summer. Schools represented include: the University of Maryland Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Harvard University School of Dental Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, and Temple University School of Dentistry.
The Fogarty International Center (FIC), with support from the Ellison Medical Foundation, is offering a one-year clinical research training experience for graduate level U.S. students in the health professions, including dentistry. The fellowship is an opportunity for highly motivated individuals to receive mentored research training at top-ranked NIH-funded research centers in developing countries. The countries include Botswana, Brazil, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mali, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, and Zambia.
NIDCR has developed a CD entitled “Facing Your Future: Research Training and Career Development Opportunities,” which is aimed at groups ranging from high school students to independent scientists. Designed to replace written publications that quickly go out-of-date, the CD links potential research trainees directly to relevant training information on the NIDCR web site. The CD begins with a fast-paced introduction set to music that describes different facets of oral health and ends by linking users to the training section of the NIDCR web site. The NIDCR Office of Communications and Health Education is now testing the CD with members of the various target audiences. Once the CD is finalized, NIDCR will distribute it at conferences and other training-related events and activities.
The NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) sponsors semiannual NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants. These seminars are intended to help demystify the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern. The seminars are appropriate for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students.
NIH also sponsors several other outreach programs, including:
Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) workshops on implementing the Public Health Service Policy on Animal Welfare Education.
Office for Human Research Protections workshops on the responsibilities of researchers, Institutional Review Boards, and institutional officials for the protection of human subjects in research. The workshops are open to everyone with an interest in research involving human subjects.
NIH Small Business Research Conferences addressing the needs of small business researchers interested in the SBIR/STTR programs.
Office of Research Integrity Workshops and Conferences to promote scientific integrity:
NIH Director Elias Zerhouni has asked a group of NIH Institutes, including the NIDCR, to work together over the next few months to develop a trans-NIH blueprint for brain research. The primary goal of the blueprint is to organize and coordinate neuroscience resources and objectives among the institutes. The blueprint likely will target three areas: infrastructure, technology development, and common research themes. In addition to the NIDCR, the institutes that will help develop the brain research blueprint are the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Eye Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The NIH Director established a working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director to study the issues surrounding NIH researchers’ consulting with outside groups. The working group, known as the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on Conflict of Interest Policies, is led by Bruce Alberts, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Norman R. Augustine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. The charge of the Panel was to review and make recommendations for improving the existing rules and procedures under which NIH currently operates regarding real and apparent financial conflict of interest of NIH staff and requirements and policies for the reporting of NIH staff’s financial interests. The panel provided recommendations on May 6 to the Advisory Committee to the Director. See the report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Conflict of Interest .
Some antimicrobials show promise as adjunctive therapies to scaling and root-planing for treating non-aggressive chronic periodontitis in patients without other conditions such as diabetes or immune deficiency, according to a new systematic literature review prepared by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) RTI-University of North Carolina Evidence-based Practice Center. The evidence-based report was funded by the NIDCR. The report, entitled “Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Adjuncts to Scaling and Root-Planing Therapy for Periodontitis,” is the fourth and final report in a series of systematic reviews of published evidence-based literature on dental-related topics for NIDCR. View the AHRQ report on periodontitis therapy .
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a report showing that dental caries, periodontitis, and oral and pharyngeal cancers are a global health problem in both industrialized and developing countries, especially among poorer communities. In announcing the findings, WHO said that an estimated five billion people worldwide had experienced dental caries. See the WHO report on the global problem of oral diseases (PDF, 1.3MB) .
In 2000, NIDCR began a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch the International Collaborative Research on Craniofacial Anomalies Project. The partnership promotes collaboration in craniofacial anomalies research (CFA) and aims to develop global consensus on CFA research directions. So far, the project has yielded several products:
A WHO report on “Global Strategies to Reduce the Healthcare Burden of Craniofacial Anomalies,” which contains recommendations in four research areas--genetics, gene-environment interaction, prevention, and treatment—that emerged from a series of international consensus conferences.
A directory of craniofacial anomalies research resources
A report from a meeting held in Bauru, Brazil addressing the implementation of a centralized global registry of craniofacial birth defects
Information and registry tables from nearly 50 birth defects registries, compiled by the International Centre for Birth Defects of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems (ICBDMS)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/National Center for Health Statistics has announced the release of the Oral Health Examination Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for survey years 1999-2000. The data are being released as three datasets: Oral Health (Dentition Section), Oral Health (Periodontal Section), and Oral Health (Recommendation of Care/Referral Section).
The NIDCR/CDC Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Data Resource Center recently posted to its web site the March 2004 release of the Catalog of Surveys and Archive of Procedures Related to Oral Health. The release contains new survey entries along with updated survey information of entries already contained in the catalog. It is available free of charge on CD-ROM.
Animal Studies Show Promise Treating Severe Chronic Pain
Periodontal Disease: Early Progress Reported in Tissue Engineering
Scientists Identify Candidate Genes in Tumor
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has announced the appointment of Bernard A. Schwetz, D.V.M., Ph.D., as director of the HHS Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP). Dr. Schwetz had served as acting director of the office since February 2003. OHRP leads the department’s efforts to ensure the protection of human subjects in research. The office monitors programs at more than 10,000 HHS-funded universities, hospitals and other medical and behavioral research institutions in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining the OHRP, Dr. Schwetz served as the senior advisor for science at the Food and Drug Administration and as a distinguished scientist at the University of Maryland. He was the acting principal deputy commissioner of the FDA from January 2001 to February 2002, and before that was the agency’s acting deputy commissioner. He also chaired the FDA’s Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects.
Dr. J. Silvio Gutkind, Chief of the NIDCR Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, is the 2004 recipient of the Oral Medicine and Pathology Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research. Dr. Gutkind’s research addresses the molecular basis of cancer through studies of normal and aberrant functions of molecules involved in the transduction of proliferative signals. His laboratory has made seminal contributions to the field and has helped elucidate some of the basic molecular mechanisms whereby cell-surface receptors regulate the nuclear expression of growth-promoting genes. Dr. Gutkind also heads a multi-institutional effort aimed at elucidating the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the evolution of squamous cell carcinomas and how to use this knowledge to develop molecular markers of disease progression and novel therapeutic approaches in oral malignancies. The IADR Oral Medicine and Pathology Award is supported by Sunstar Butler and consists of a cash prize and a plaque. It is one of 15 Distinguished Scientist Awards given annually by the IADR.
NIDCR grantee David Sidransky, Director of Head and Neck Cancer Research and a professor at Johns Hopkins University, received the 2004 AACR-Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award. Dr. Sidranksy was honored for his pioneering translational research in molecular oncology. He has made major strides in elucidating the molecular pathogenesis of smoking-related cancers of the aerodigestive tracts. His work has led to the definition of molecular markers for the early detection of cancer, which have tremendous potential for widespread applications as highly accurate screening tests for cancers of the head, neck, lung, and bladder. The Rosenthal Foundation established this award to recognize research that has made, or gives the promise of soon making, a notable contribution to improved clinical care in the field of cancer.
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National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190