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

11th Edition: March 30, 2005


In This Issue:

1) Funding Opportunities
2) Training and Career Development News

3) NIDCR News

4) DHHS/NIH News

5) Science Advances

6) Personnel News



Requests for Applications:

Course Development in the Neurobiology of Disease


Planning Grants (P20) for U54 Specialized Center-Cooperative Agreement

Units for HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks  


NIH Roadmap Initiatives:

Solicitation of Assays for High Throughput Screening (HTS) in the Molecular Libraries Screening Centers Network (MLSCN)

Program Announcements:

Collaborations with National Centers for Biomedical Computing

Protein Biomarkers of Infection-Associated Cancers

Framework Programs for Global Health  


Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business

Technology Transfer (STTR) to Improve the Chemistry and Targeted Delivery of RNAi Molecules



Concept Clearance:

Concepts represent early planning stages for initiatives in which NIDCR seeks to support research in an understudied and significant area of science.   The following concept clearance was approved at the January 2005 meeting of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council:


Drug Delivery Systems for Treatment of Orofacial Disease   


Fogarty International Center (FIC) Offers Bioethics Training Programs

The Fogarty International Center, in partnership with the NIDCR and other NIH Institutes, is supporting 18 programs worldwide to provide graduate training opportunities in international bioethics related to performing research in developing countries. Trainees may include postdoctoral behavioral or biomedical scientists, physicians, dentists, nurses, midwives, ethics review committee members, hospital directors and health policy makers as well as ethicists or philosophers with no prior experience in biomedical or clinical research.  

Alaska Native Research Outreach Effort

NIDCR was one of 10 NIH Institutes that participated in the Alaska Native Research Outreach effort in February.   NIH staff traveled to Anchorage, AK, to present information on NIH training opportunities, health education, and research career opportunities to interested groups and to participate in the 8 th annual gathering of the Southcentral Foundation, called “Better Alaska Native Health Through Research.”   The Southcentral Foundation is an Alaska Native non-profit health corporation whose purpose is to improve the health and well being of Alaska Natives and American Indians.    About 2,000 Alaska Natives and families from the region attended the gathering, which featured cultural and educational activities highlighted by the participation of NIH.   Dr. Albert Avila, director of the NIDCR Office of Education and Research Training, together with a colleague from the National Institute of Nursing Research, presented a workshop on research career opportunities at the NIH.   While in Anchorage, Dr. Avila and NIH staff members also met with science students at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, first-year medical students in the WWAMI (University of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) program, high school students interested in NIH summer programs, and representatives from several health organizations and the Alaska Native Medical Clinic.


NIDCR Director Provides Briefings on Capitol Hill

On February 17, at the invitation of Reps. Michael Castle (R-DE) and Diane DeGette (D-CO), NIDCR Director Lawrence Tabak and NIDCR-supported researchers participated in a stem cell briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the American Association for Dental Research, the American Dental Association, and the American Dental Education Association.   About 50 legislative assistants attended the briefing.   Dr. Tabak opened the session by highlighting the prevalence of dental and craniofacial abnormalities, their impact on quality of life, and the need for better ways to restore structure and function.   Following his presentation, Dr. Pamela Gehron Robey, chief of the NIDCR Craniofacial Skeletal Diseases Branch, and NIDCR grantees Drs. Mary MacDougall, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and Paul Krebsbach, University of Michigan, spoke about potential sources of adult stem cells (including human exfoliated deciduous [SHED] teeth), the types of tissues that stem cells can form, and different approaches that can be used to regenerate dental and supporting tissues lost to disease and trauma.   The session ended with a discussion by Dr. Jonathan Schuermann, previous Ad Hoc member to the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council, about the impact that dental advances have had on his life.   Dr. Schuermann was born with ectodermal dysplasia and has dental implants; he looks forward to being a beneficiary of future advances in dental engineering.

At the request of Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Dr. Tabak met with Minority Staff Director David Bowen and staff member Ravi Sawhney on February 8.   He also spoke to Rep. Sanford Bishop’s (D-GA) Legislative Director, Roger Manno, about recent findings in dental research.

Applications Accepted for DNA Microarray Slides
In collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIDCR has a contract with The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) in Gaithersburg, MD, to produce and distribute DNA microarray slides for the complete genomes of Porphyromonas gingivalis and Streptococcus mutans.  Researchers are allowed to request up to 150 slides through a brief, yet competitive, application process.  The next application receipt date for the slides is April 15, 2005.   Further information about the TIGR facility and application instructions may be found at:


NIDCR to Support ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will host a Conference on Beneficial Microbes, April 17-21 in Lake Tahoe, NV. The conference will examine molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the “healthy” relationships that exist between microbes and animals.   NIDCR is providing support for the conference.  


NIH Makes ‘Public Access’ Effective May 2

On February 3, NIH made official its intent to create an online public archive of the research it funds.   Starting May 2, the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central will host an electronic, searchable database of peer-reviewed journal articles funded by NIH money within 12 months of the articles’ appearance in print—and preferably sooner.   NIH-funded investigators will be asked—not required--to post their manuscripts to PubMed Central so that citizen-taxpayers will have free access to the work their money has purchased.  For further information, see " Policy on Enhancing Public Access to Archived Publications Resulting from NIH-Funded Research." Also   see additional details about NIH's public access plan


Frequently Asked Questions About Submitting an NIH Application

The NIH Center for Scientific Review has posted answers on their web site to frequently asked questions about submitting an NIH application.   The questions include topics such as:   Can I examine study section rosters and suggest a study section to review my application?   What is your mailing address?   Can I deliver my application myself?   Can I update my application?   When will I receive word about my application?   Where can I go with additional questions?    View the answers to questions about submitting an NIH application .


For general questions about NIH grants, applicants should visit the  grants information web page maintained by the NIH Office of Extramural Research.


Latest Issue of Peer Review Notes Available

The latest issue of Peer Review Notes , which is published three times a year, is now available on the Center for Scientific Review web site.

Reminder to Use NIH Commons

A reminder that the fastest way to find out information about your NIH grant or grant application (including scores/percentiles) is through the NIH Commons.  The web site contains information about the scope and purpose of the Commons, frequently asked questions, and the status of grants/applications.   In addition, the Commons is the place to submit non-competing continuation (Type 5) applications (i.e., Progress Reports), and Just in Time information.   Your institution must arrange to sign you on to the Commons.  


Michael O. Leavitt Sworn In as HHS Secretary

On January 26, Michael O. Leavitt was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).   Prior to joining HHS, Leavitt served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Governor of Utah.   


Elizabeth Nabel Named NHLBI Director

Elizabeth Nabel, M.D., scientific director for clinical research at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), has been appointed NHLBI Director.  She assumed her new position on February 1.   

Antonio Scarpa Named Director, NIH Center for Scientific Review

On March 21, NIH Director Elias Zerhouni named Antonio Scarpa, M.D., Ph.D., to be Director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review.   Dr. Scarpa chairs the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH.   He will join NIH on July 1.   


Judith Vaitukaitis Steps Down as NCRR Director
Judith Vaitukaitis, M.D., has announced that she is stepping down from her position as Director of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) to begin working with Dr. Zerhouni as his senior advisor on scientific infrastructure and resources.   Barbara Alving, M.D., currently deputy director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, will serve as NCRR Acting Director while a search is conducted for a new permanent Director of the Center.    


Study Finds Direct Association Between Cardiovascular Disease and Periodontal Bacteria   

Looking to the Future: Systems Biology


Chronic Periodontitis: Geographic Differences in the Oral Biofilm


Science News in Brief

Additional information about the following topics is available at Science News in Brief:

*Study Suggests Why Eating Salmon Might Be Good for You

*Measuring Toughness of Dentin-Enamel Junction

*Latest on Viral Protein and B-Cell Cancers

*Studying Cancer in 3-D

*No Association Found Between Amalgam Fillings and Diabetic Neuropathy

*Key Insight Into Dental Enamel Formation

*Further Preclinical Progress in Salivary Gland Gene Transfer

*Comprehensive Candida Albicans Database Launched

*Link Between Extra Centrosomes and Tumor Cells Elucidated

*Bioprocessor Shows Tremendous Promise in Preliminary Studies



Dr. Eva Mezey Heads Stem Cell Biology Unit
Eva Mezey, M.D., Ph.D., was recently recruited as a tenure track investigator to head the Stem Cell Biology Unit in the NIDCR Pain and Neurosensory Mechanisms Branch.   A neurobiologist by training, she has a broad range of expertise in cell biology and imaging techniques.  During the last eight years, Dr. Mezey has focused on studying the fate of bone marrow derived stem cells using gender-mismatched bone marrow transplants.  Her findings were some of the first to suggest that post-natal stem cells may be more "plastic" than originally thought.  Recently she  made the exciting observation that hematopoietic stem cells have the ability to differentiate into cells with neuronal character, and even to form epithelial cells found in the oral cavity.   Her long-term goal within the PNMB is to determine the potential use of post-natal stem cells in regenerating damaged neuronal tissues.


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)