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

13th Edition: September 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
Completion of a Comprehensive Mouse Knockout Resource

Validation of New Technologies for Clinical Assessment of Tooth Surface Demineralization
Clinical Research on Osseointegrated Dental Implants
Biology of RNA Interference: Stability, Delivery and Processing by Tissues
Development and Validation of Technologies for Saliva-Based Diagnostics

Program Announcements
Genetic and Genomic Analyses of Xenopus

Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)

Grant Issues Related to Hurricane Katrina
The NIH Office of Extramural Research has published questions and answers on grant issues related to Hurricane Katrina.  See the NIH Response to Hurricane Katrina Disaster Information for Investigators and Institutions.  Also see Frequently Asked Questions about grant submission following Hurricane Katrina .

Electronic Receipt of Grant Applications
Beginning December 1, 2005, all Small Business Innovation Research/ Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) grant applications are required to come in electronically via This milestone marks the beginning of a change in the way NIH receives grant applications. One by one, all competing grant mechanisms will gradually transition from being received on paper to being received electronically. The goal is for all NIH competing grant applications to be submitted electronically by May 2007.  See additional information about the electronic receipt of applications


Applications Now Accepted for NIH Loan Repayment Programs
NIH is accepting applications for its Loan Repayment Programs through December 1, 2005. The NIH Loan Repayment Program pays up to $35,000 per year for two years towards educational debt.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, NIDCR received 32 applications for the Clinical Research and Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Programs (LRP). Sixteen contracts were made to individuals conducting oral health research—11 for clinical research projects and 5 for pediatric research projects. Renewal applications represented half of the total contracts funded. Since FY 2002, NIDCR has provided 52 individuals with funding towards their educational debt.


NIDCR Invites Comments on Draft Implementation Plan
We are pleased to announce that the steps NIDCR will take to achieve the goals identified in our Strategic Plan are now available.  We invite your comments on this draft Implementation Plan through October 31, 2005.

NIDCR will finalize the Implementation Plan in late 2005 and submit it for approval by the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council in January 2006.

Reorganization of NIDCR’s Extramural Programs
The reorganization of NIDCR’s extramural programs has been approved by the Office of the Director, NIH. As of October 1, extramural programs are now organized within the following Centers:

*Center for Integrative Craniofacial Research – Acting Director, Dr. Ann Sandberg

*Center for Biotechnology and Innovation – Acting Director, Dr. Eleni Kousvelari

*Center for Infectious Diseases and Immunology – Acting Director, Dr. Dennis Mangan

*Center for Clinical Research – Acting Director, Dr. Bruce Pihlstrom

*Center for Health Promotion and Behavioral Research – Acting Director, Dr. Dushanka Kleinman

Also  see a list of contacts by research area

NIDCR’s Practice-Based Research Networks Launch Websites
Last March, NIDCR awarded three seven-year grants totaling $75 million to establish practice-based research networks that investigate with greater scientific rigor everyday issues in the delivery of oral healthcare. The impetus behind the networks is the frequent lack of research data to guide treatment decisions in the dentist’s office. Each regional network will conduct approximately 15 to 20 short-term clinical studies over the next seven years, comparing the benefits of different dental procedures, dental materials, and prevention strategies under a range of patient and clinical conditions.  See additional information about the practice-based research networks.

In addition, see the networks’ web sites:
* Practitioners Engaged in Applied and Research and Learning (PEARL) Network (administered by the New York University College of Dentistry)

* Dental Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN) (administered by the University of Alabama at Birmingham)

* Northwest PRECEDENT (administered by the University of Washington)

NIDCR Announces Availability of Research Materials Through the NIDCR Temporomandibular Joint Implant Registry and Repository
NIDCR has announced the availability of clinical data, retrieved implants, and biological specimens through its Temporomandibular Joint Implant Registry and Repository (TIRR):
The materials, which are available to basic and clinical researchers, will help in understanding the pathology of TMJD and provide information for the development of new TMJ implants.

Dr. Rita Colwell to Deliver Barmes Lecture
Dr. Rita Colwell, former Director of the National Science Foundation, will deliver the 2005 NIH David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture on November 15 at 3:30 p.m. on the NIH campus. Dr. Colwell is currently Distinguished University Professor at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland. Her talk is entitled, “Global Climate, Environmental Pathogens, and Human Health: a New Paradigm.” The NIDCR and the Fogarty International Center jointly sponsor the annual Barmes Lecture
. See the Barmes lecture web cast

NIDCR Grantee Receives Prestigious Award
Dr. Paul Yager, a NIDCR grantee and scientist at the University of Washington, recently was awarded a $15.4 million grant from the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative to develop a small, easy-to-use device to test for health conditions common in developing countries. These conditions include various bacterial infections, nutritional status, and HIV-related diseases. Dr. Yager and colleagues envision that health care workers would load a small blood sample onto a disposable test card, about the size of a credit card, which would contain all of the necessary test reagents. The test would be inserted into a small device, and the results would be available in 10 minutes. Launched in 2003, the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with NIH, to harness the power of science and technology to dramatically improve health in the world’s poorest nations. In addition to the above-mentioned blood-based test, Dr. Yager continues to receive support from NIDCR’s Center for Biotechnology and Innovation to develop a portable, hand-held device for saliva-based diagnostic tests.

Job Opening
NIDCR has a job opening for a health scientist administrator in its Division of Clinical Research and Health Promotion (now the Center for Clinical Research).


Surgeon General Issues Health Tips for “Year of the Healthy Child”
As part of “The Year of the Healthy Child,” U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., has issued a series of “Healthy Dozen” health tips for mothers, toddlers and fathers, including tips on oral health. For example, one tip is “ Encourage good oral health. Cavities are the second-most common chronic disease among U.S. children. Supervise your child’s toothbrushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush. As he or she gets older, teach your child to floss and brush his or her teeth unsupervised. Talk with your dentist about fluoride and dental sealants. Make sure your child has dental appointments on a regular basis, and learn dental emergency care.” Reference was made to health information on the NIDCR web site.

Healthy People 2010 Activities Undergo Mid-Course Review
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Federal agencies, and other experts are conducting a mid-course review of Healthy People 2010. The purpose of the review is to assess data trends during the first half of the decade, consider new science and available data, and make changes to ensure that Healthy People 2010 remains current, accurate, and relevant. The NIDCR, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Indian Health Service, as well as the Office of the Secretary, are responsible for reviewing the Oral Health focus area. The draft of the Oral Health focus area was made available for public review for a 30-day period, beginning August 15.  Public comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the draft prior to final approval of the document.

2005 NIH Director's Pioneer Award Recipients Announced
On September 29, NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., named 13 new recipients of the NIH Director's Pioneer Award (NDPA).  T he NDPA supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering approaches to major contemporary challenges in biomedical research.  See information about the Pioneer Award Program, including the press release announcing the winners.

NIH Roadmap Grants Establish Nine Screening Centers in Seven States
NIH is awarding $88.9 million in grants to nine institutions over three years to establish a collaborative research network that will use high-tech screening methods to identify small molecules that can be used as research tools. Certain small organic chemical compounds, also referred to as small molecules, can be valuable tools for understanding the many important cellular events involved in health and disease, which is key to identifying possible new targets for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. To date, most useful small molecules have been found serendipitously. The molecular libraries screening program is an effort by NIH to take an efficient, high-throughput approach toward the discovery of many more useful compounds.

Meeting Held on NIH Roadmap Interdisciplinary Research Consortium Program
On September 19, NIH sponsored a meeting on the NIH Roadmap Interdisciplinary Research Consortium Program to enable potential applicants to ask questions about the program. As part of the NIH Roadmap, more than $36 million was awarded over three years to fund 21 Exploratory Centers for Interdisciplinary Research. NIH intends to announce a follow-on program for Interdisciplinary Research Consortia in FY 2007See the web cast of the meeting on the Interdisciplinary Research Consortium Program

Metabolomics Standards Workshop Held
NIH and the Metabolomics Society sponsored a Metabolomics Standards Workshop on August 1-2, 2005 in Bethesda, MD. See the web cast of the metabolomics standards workshop


Looking at the Periodontal-Systemic Connection

Scientists Find Cell Surface Enzyme Matriptase Causes Cancer

New Lead Reported in Tumor Angiogenesis

Science News in Brief
Information about the following topics is available at Science News in Brief:
*Study Characterizes Oral Complications of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in Children
*First Gene Profile of Oral Pathogen as it Invades Coronary Artery
*Toluidine Blue Staining Identifies High-Risk Premalignant Oral Lesions
*New Analytical Tool Applied for First Time to Oral Cancer
*Study Correlates Antimicrobial Peptides and Tooth Decay in Children
*Novel Modeling Analysis of Drug Targeting Strategy
*New Data Suggest Chronic Periodontitis Involves More Oral Bacteria than Previously Thought
*Important Early Advance in Coaxing Muscle-Derived Stem Cells to Regenerate Bone
*Study Clarifies Inhibition of Osteoblast Maturation
*Study Evaluates Zirconia Based Fixed Partial Dentures
*Important Clue in How Certain Oral Bacteria Might Contribute to Heart Condition
*Progress in Dissecting a Key Immune Signal
*Evidence Based Study of Periodontal Defects After Third Molar Surgery
*Mouse Model for Osteoarthritis of TMJ
*New Bioinformatics Tool for Oral Pathogens
*Study Reappraises Periodontal-Cardiovascular Disease Link
*Key Finding in How Tumor Cells Invade Healthy Tissues
*Deciphering Signal Transduction in S. Mutans
*Promising New Polymer and Dental Material Reported


* Dr. Albert Avila has moved from the Division of Intramural Research, where he served as director of the Office of Education, to the Extramural Training Office. Dr. Avila will provide assistance in program planning, consultation to potential career award and fellowship applicants, and technical assistance to individual and institutional grantees.

* Dr. David W. Bradley has joined the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) as the new technology development coordinator. He replaces Dr. Jacob Donkersloot, who served the DIR in this capacity since 1988. Dr. Donkersloot will continue to work with Dr. Bradley over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. Dr. Bradley obtained his doctorate in cell and developmental biology from Harvard in 1992. Prior to joining the NIDCR, he held positions with several small biotech companies in the New England area and had started his own consulting and manufacturing company, BenchMark Science, in Manchester, NH.

*Ms. Rebecca Roper recently joined the Division of Clinical Research and Health Promotion, assisting Dr. Bruce Pihlstrom with the programmatic implementation and oversight of the Practice-Based Research Networks. Prior to this assignment she served as a scientific review administrator in the Scientific Review Branch, Division of Extramural Activities.

*Dr. Robert Selwitz retired from the PHS Commissioned Corps on July 1, 2005. He was chief of the NIDCR Population Research and Health Promotion Branch and also served as co-director of the NIDCR Dental Public Health Residency Program. Dr. Selwitz provided leadership on behalf the Institute for several key global initiatives related to the detection of dental caries in epidemiological surveys and clinical trials. He has moved to Florida where he will continue his involvement in relevant issues both at the Duvall County Health Department and as a clinical professor at the University of Florida, School of Dentistry.

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)