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

18th Edition: September 5, 2006

In this Issue:
1. Funding Opportunities
2. NIDCR News
3. NIH/DHHS News
4. Science Advances
5. NIDCR Personnel News


Program Announcements
Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R21)

Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R03)

Mechanisms, Models, Measurement, & Management in Pain Research (R01)

Immunology of Biofilms (R01)

Immunology of Biofilms (R21)

Independent Scientist Award (K02)

Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08)

Oral Health Research Education Grants (R25)

Enabling Technologies for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (R01):

Pathophysiology of Bisphosphonates-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (R01)

Pathophysiology of Bisphosphonates-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (R21)

Pathophysiology of Bisphosphonates-Associated Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (R03)

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships (F31) in Health-Related Research

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Biology and Medicine (R21)

Bioengineering Research Partnerships (BRP) [R01]

Joint Degeneration: Mouse Models (R21)

Pharmacogenetics of Fluoride (R21)

New NIH Policy for Funding of Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance on Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards
NIH has announced a change in policy for funding of tuition, fees, and health insurance costs associated with Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA). The new policy applies to new and competing-continuation (renewal) NRSA institutional research training grants (T32, T34, T35, and the NRSA component of T90), competing individual fellowships (F30, F31, F32, and F33), and all other grant mechanisms that utilize NRSA authority, awarded beginning in fiscal year (FY) 2007. It also applies to the non-competing continuation years of institutional research training grants that received competing awards in FY 2006.

Requests for Applications
Collaborative Research on Tinnitus (R01)

New Models of Pain Relevant to the Trigeminal System (R21)

Health Promotion Research Directed to Improving the Oral Health of Women and Their Infants (R21)

Technical Assistance Workshop for RFA on Health Promotion Research Directed to Improving the Oral Health of Women and Their Infants
A technical assistance workshop to help prospective applicants applying for RFA-DE-07-008 (Health Promotion Research Directed to Improving the Oral Health of Women and Their Infants) will be held Thursday, October 5 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The workshop will take place in the Natcher Conference Center, Room D, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. You may also view the videocast.
For additional information, contact Dr. Maria Teresa Canto at 301-594-5497 or

NIH Roadmap Initiatives
Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54)

Membrane Protein Production and Structure Determination (R01)

Assay Development for High Throughput Molecular Screening (R21)

Using Metabolomics to Investigate Biological Pathways and Networks (R01)


NIDCR to Cosponsor Oral-Based Diagnostics Conference
NIDCR is cosponsoring the New York Academy of Sciences' Oral Based Diagnostics Conference, October 10-13 in Lake Lanier Islands, GA. Dr. Tabak will give the keynote presentation on “Point-of-Care Diagnostics Enters the Mouth." The conference will focus on advances and new technologies in the oral diagnostics field and their use in detecting health status.

Symposium Honoring Dr. Lois K. Cohen
A symposium honoring Dr. Lois K. Cohen, who recently retired from government service, will be held December 11. The symposium, entitled “The Integral Role of Behavioral and Social Sciences in a Systems Approach to Oral Health Research: A Tribute to Dr. Lois K. Cohen,” will take place 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the Lipsett Amphitheater in Building 10 on the NIH campus (please see the personnel news section for a brief chronicle of Dr. Cohen's NIH career).

New Head and Neck Tissue Array Initiative
NIDCR has a new Head and Neck Tissue Array (HNTA) Initiative, which is a collaborative effort between the NIDCR Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer Branch, The Tissue Array Research Program (TARP), the National Cancer Institute, and contributing centers in eight countries. Each center has provided paraffin blocks from patients bearing head and neck squamous cell carcinomas, as well as other control tissues from non-neoplastic and neoplastic diseases. A tissue microarray has been developed using samples from these sources. Investigators may request paraffin sections of the microarray by completing a short application explaining how they will use the slides and signing a Material Transfer Agreement. The application deadline is October 16, 2006.

Loan Repayment Awards
Through the NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP), NIDCR has awarded loan repayment benefits in FY 2006 to 16 investigators conducting clinical or pediatric research. The LRP seeks to recruit and retain highly qualified health professionals to biomedical, behavioral and clinical research careers by using the repayment of educational loans as an incentive. NIH will repay up to $35,000 of the principal and interest of educational loans for each year of obligated service.

NIH recently announced that qualified health professionals who contractually agree to engage in pediatric research for at least two years and for at least 50 percent of their work schedule are invited to apply for the NIH Extramural Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program (PR-LRP). Applications will be accepted September 1-December 1, 2006.


Second Annual NIH Director's Pioneer Award Symposium
NIH will hold the second annual NIH Director's Pioneer Award (NDPA) Symposium on September 19, featuring research talks by the 2005 Pioneer Award recipients, a poster session by 2004 and 2005 awardees and members of their labs, and the announcement of the 2006 awardees. Attendance is free and no registration is required. The NIH Director's Pioneer Award program--a key component of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research—supports exceptionally creative scientists who take innovative approaches to major challenges in biomedical research. The award provides $500,000 in direct costs per year for five years.

Applicants Must Use Updated SF424 Forms
Beginning July 18, 2006, applicants submitting grant applications for R03, R15, and R21 mechanisms must use version 2 of the SF 424 (R&R) and PHS 398 forms. Once funding opportunity announcements are updated with the new version 2 form package, will no longer accept applications with the older package. See additional information about the requirement to use the updated forms.

NIH Director's Powerpoint Presentation and E-Newsletter Available
America is Living Longer and Healthier

A new powerpoint presentation from NIH Director Elias Zerhouni on “NIH at the Crossroads: Strategies for the Future” is available online.

In addition, see the NIH Director's new e-newsletter.

Research Results for the Public
NIH has a new web site—Research Results for the Public—that highlights information to help the public learn more about how NIH is pursuing its goal to make important medical discoveries that improve health and save lives. The site features information about NIH funding such as “Success Rates, Percentiles, and Paylines, and Your Chances of Being Funded,” as well as fact sheets on various medical and dental conditions including periodontal diseases and tooth decay.

NIH Roadmap Interdisciplinary Methodology and Technology Summit
On August 21-22, NIH held a Roadmap Interdisciplinary Methodology and Technology Summit. The summit aimed to identify gaps and opportunities in developing methodology and technology for the behavioral and social sciences that can enhance participation in interdisciplinary research.

NIH Conference on Health Disparities

A conference on “ Understanding and Reducing Disparities in Health: Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Contributions” will take place October 23-24 on the NIH campus. The conference will focus on three broad areas of action influencing health disparities: policy, prevention and health care.

Dr. John Niederhuber Named National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director
On August 15, President Bush announced his intent to appoint John Niederhuber, M.D. to be the 13th Director of the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach formally submitted his resignation as NCI Director, effective June 10. A surgeon and researcher with strong ties over many years to the NCI as an outside advisor and grant reviewer, Dr. Niederhuber joined the NIH in September 2005 as NCI's deputy director for translational and clinical sciences. Immediately before his recruitment to NCI, he chaired the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Surgeon General Releases Report on Secondhand Smoke
The Surgeon General issued a scientific report on June 27 concluding that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. The finding is of major public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke. Copies of The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General and related materials are available on the Surgeon General's Web site.

Surgeon General Completes Term
On July 29, Vice Admiral Richard H. Carmona completed his 4-year term as the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service. During his tenure, he promoted the importance of oral health and dentistry's role in health promotion and disease prevention. He actively supported activities that included the National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health, the first national conference on Dentistry's Role in Bioterrorism and Other Catastrophic Events, Healthy People 2010, and the Healthy Dozen series that incorporated oral health messages, which was part of “The Year of the Healthy Child” initiative. Rear Admiral Ken Moritsugu has now been appointed Acting Surgeon General.

HHS Sponsors National Obesity Action Forum
HHS sponsored a National Obesity Action Forum , June 5-6, in Bethesda, MD. Obesity is a major risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. An estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents are overweight, a problem with many associated health and social consequences that often continue into adulthood. The two-day meeting, which featured Admiral John O. Agwunobi, Assistant Secretary for Health, Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, and Rear Admiral Van S. Hubbard, M.D. Ph.D., the HHS Secretary's Senior Advisor on Obesity, addressed the problem of obesity by bringing together federal, state, and local public health officials; leaders of community organizations and advocacy groups; nutrition and physical fitness experts; health care providers; school and food industry representatives; and interested consumers.


Bioadhesion: An Amino Acid Like No Other

Building a Better Dental Composite

Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing Tool Updated

Science News in Brief
Information about the following topics is available at NIDCR's Science News in Brief:
*Regulator of Fungal Biofilm Identified
*Discovery Elucidates Bacterial Coaggregation in Oral Biofilm
*Study Shows DNA Methylation Involved in Common Head and Neck Cancer
*Mixed Results on Benefits of Statins for Chronic Periodontitis
*Assay Shows Promise in Screening for Group B Strep Disease
*Study Suggests Oral Bacterium's Possible Mechanistic Role in Heart Disease
*Novel Lead in Endocarditis Research


Dr. Tim Iafolla has joined the NIDCR as a public health analyst in the Office of Science Policy and Analysis where he will work on activities related to oral health policy development and analysis. In addition, he will work with the Office of Communications and Health Education to provide expert technical advice in matters related to health educational materials and information for public and professional audiences. Dr. Iafolla holds a DMD from the School of Dental Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; a master's degree in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill; and a general practice hospital-based residency from the VA Medical Center.

On September 17, Dr. Jane Atkinson will move to the NIDCR Center for Clinical Research to oversee the Center's research grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and interagency agreements related to patient-oriented research and clinical trials. In her new role, she also will provide day-to-day management of NIDCR's extramural clinical trials under the NIH Cooperative Agreement mechanism. Dr. Atkinson previously worked in the NIDCR intramural program where she served as the Institute's deputy clinical director since 2004.

Dr. Lois K. Cohen, associate director for international research, retired June 2, ending a career of more than 40 years in the Federal government; 30 of those years were with the NIDCR. Dr. Cohen spent the first part of her career with the NIDCR as a health scientist administrator in the Office of the Director. In 1989, she became director of the NIDCR extramural program, a position she held for almost 10 years. In 1998, she was named the Institute's associate director for international health, a position she held until her retirement.

Dr. Rick Mowery retired on July 31, ending a Federal career of more than 20 years. Dr. Mowery's entire government career was spent at the NIH serving in positions at the National Eye Institute, the National Cancer Institute, and the Fogarty International Center. In 2002 he moved to the NIDCR where he became chief of the Clinical Trials Program, Center for Clinical Research.

On June 24, Dr. Dennis Mangan left the NIDCR to assume a science administration position at the University of Southern California. Dr. Mangan was part of the NIDCR extramural program since joining the Institute in 1992. His most recent position was director of the microbiology program, Center for Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases.

It is with great sadness that we report that Karl A. Piez, NIDCR scientist emeritus, died on August 25. A biochemist who conducted groundbreaking research on collagen, Dr. Piez spent 30 years at the (then) National Institute of Dental Research. He began his research in 1952 and went on to elucidate the molecular structure of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. In 1966, he was named chief of the Institute's Laboratory of Biochemistry. Together with his colleagues, he described the process whereby collagen is cross-linked by an enzyme into fibers that develop the tensile strength of steel cables. He and his associates also discovered two genetically distinct collagens, types II and III, the major structural components of cartilage and blood vessels, respectively, which are mutated in certain genetic diseases. Dr. Piez retired from the NIDR in 1982. He moved to California and worked for several biotechnology companies, including the Collagen Corporation where he was involved in the development of artificial bone graft material used by surgeons for fracture repair. He returned to the Washington, D.C. area in 1991.

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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)