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

15th Edition: January 31, 2006

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

Training in Neuroimaging: Integrating First Principles and Applications (T90)

Training in Computational Neuroscience: From Biology to Model and Back Again (T90)

Training for a New Interdisciplinary Research Workforce (T90)

Program Announcements

PHS 2006-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC, FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (Parent SBIR [R43/R44])

Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (Parent STTR [R41/R42])

Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology Initiative (SBIR [R43/R44])

Innovations in Biomedical Computational Science and Technology Initiative (SBIR [R41/R42])

Drug Delivery Systems for Orofacial Disease (STTR [R41/R42])
Drug Delivery Systems for Orofacial Disease (SBIR [R43/R44])

New 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 meeting of the National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council:
New Models of Pain Relevant to the Trigeminal System


NIH Announces Program to Foster the Independence of New Investigators

NIH has established a new career transition award called the Pathway to Independence Award(K99/R00). The award provides an opportunity for promising postdoctoral scientists to receive both mentored and independent research support from the same award. The new mechanism will replace the K22 in NIDCR’s training and career development portfolio, with a few significant differences: the new K99/R00 first phase will provide funding for up to 2 years, with a total cost of $90,000 per year; the K99/R00 second phase will provide funding for up to 3 years, with a total cost of $249,000 per year; the second phase will be a true R grant and will include full indirect costs (no longer limited to 8%); and the award will be open to any scientist working at a U.S. institution, regardless of citizenship or permanent residence status. See additional information about the Pathway to Independence award, including a press release from NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, background information, and a link to the program announcement.

NIH Town Hall Meeting About National Research Service Award Tuition Policy
On November 30, NIH hosted a Town Hall meeting to discuss possible revision to the National Research Service Award (NRSA) tuition policy. Currently, NIH will pay the first $3,000 and 60 percent of tuition costs over $3,000. However, the continuing escalation of tuition costs is resulting in a significant reduction in the number of NRSA trainee positions and T32 training grants that can be supported across the NIH. Several options for altering the tuition formula were presented for public comment. NIH hopes to have a final policy in place by April 2006. See the summary of the NIH Town Hall meeting.


NIDCR Issues FY 2006 Extramural Funding Plan
NIDCR’s FY 2006 extramural funding plan is now available on the NIDCR web site. 

TMJMD Clinical Study Launched
NIDCR has launched a seven-year clinical study that could accelerate research on better pain-controlling treatments for temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders. Called Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment, or OPPERA, the $19.1 million project marks the first-ever large, prospective clinical study to identify risk factors that contribute to someone developing a TMJ disorder. During the OPPERA study, scientists will track 3,200 healthy volunteers from three to five years to see how many develop the disorder. The multi-center research program will involve investigative units at: University of Florida in Gainesville, directed by Dr. Roger Fillingim; University of Buffalo-SUNY, directed by Dr. Richard Ohrbach; University of Maryland at Baltimore, directed by Drs. Joel Greenspan and Ronald Dubner; and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, directed by Dr. William Maixner. See additional information about the TMJMD clinical study
Also read the interview with Dr. Maixner . NIDCR Sponsors Technology Transfer Conference
NIDCR’s Center for Biotechnology and Innovation sponsored a technology transfer conference, “Pathway to Product Development,” November 7-8 in Bethesda, MD. The goals of the meeting were to establish an ongoing dialogue among the various stakeholders (e.g., NIDCR/NIH, academia, industry, the Food and Drug Administration, and other Federal agencies), identify specific areas ripe for synergy and collaboration, and facilitate the translation of discovery science supported by the NIDCR into products that will advance craniofacial health. 


HHS Awards More Than $56 Million to Eliminate Health Disparities
On January 9, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced the awarding of $56.9 million by NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to support the advancement of health disparities research and the elimination of health disparities among racial and ethnic minority and medically underserved communities.

Electronic Receipt of Applications
Beginning June 1, 2006, all R03, R21, R33, and R34 applications must be submitted electronically. As of October 1, 2006, all R01, U01, R18, U18, R25, C06, and UC6 applications also must be transmitted electronically. To facilitate transition to this new process, NIH held technical assistance workshops on January 11. View the archived videocasts. Also find  further information about the electronic submission process.

NIH Roadmap Initiative in Interdisciplinary Research Consortia
On January 20, NIH announced the establishment of a Roadmap initiative in Interdisciplinary Research Consortia. The goal of this program is to support interdisciplinary approaches for solving significant and complex biomedical problems, particularly those that have been resistant to traditional approaches. The NIH Roadmap expects to award $40 million in the first year of this program to fund eight consortia. Each consortium applicant can request direct costs of up to $2.8 million in the first year and up to $3.0 million in years 2-5. See the preapplication program announcement. Also see t he full consortium program request for applications .
A technical assistance workshop will be held in conjunction with a meeting on Interdisciplinary Research on February 9-10.

National Library of Medicine Funds Dental Informatics Online Community
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has awarded a grant of $280,000 to the Center for Dental Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine for the development and implementation of an online community for dental informatics researchers. For dental informatics researchers with limited resources, the online community will provide access to valuable information pertaining to potential areas of study and project development. Researchers also will be able to easily obtain the names and backgrounds of potential collaborators as well as updates on other projects.


Nature Suggests a Promising Strategy for Artificial Bone

Science News in Brief
Information about the following topics is available at NIDCR’s Science News in Brief:
*Protein Complex Linked to Pain Hypersensitivity
*Molecule Directly Implicated for First Time in Pain Signaling
*Study Shows How P. Gingivalis Might Spread from Cell to Cell
*Researchers Making Headway with Headpin
*Oral Bacterium Proves More Unique than Once Thought
*Protein Induces Dental Pulp Stem Cells Into Dentin-Forming Ondotoblasts


*It is with great sadness that we report that Seymour J. Kreshover, former director of the National Institute of Dental Research from 1966-1975, died on January 23. Under Dr. Kreshover’s leadership, the Institute’s extramural and intramural research studies were extended to encompass such fields as developmental biology, oral facial anomalies, and the entire range of life sciences. His efforts to broaden the base of dental investigations also led to the establishment of a unique program of dental research centers in universities. Dr. Kreshover was known for his outstanding leadership in research, his marked dedication to public service, and his valuable contributions to the broad field of dental medicine. Born in 1912, he went on to earn not only a D.D.S., but also an M.D. and Ph.D. In 1983, the NIDCR started the annual Kreshover Lecture Series in his honor.

*Dr. Ann Sandberg, acting director of the Center for Integrative Craniofacial Research, retired on December 2 after more than 30 years of government service at the NIDCR. Her career spanned roles as a bench researcher, science administrator, and Institute representative to the larger research community. Dr. Sandberg joined the Institute’s intramural research program in 1972 where she served for more than 20 years. Her extramural career began in 1995 when she was named chief of the Neoplastic Diseases Branch. She then led the Division of Basic and Translational Sciences, and most recently, the newly formed center that focused on craniofacial research.

*After a national search, Dr. Pamela McInnes was selected as director of the Institute’s Center for Integrative Biology and Infectious Diseases, formerly the Center for Infectious Diseases and Immunology and the Center for Integrative Craniofacial Research. Dr. McInnes most recently served as deputy director of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. She received her D.D.S. from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1977 and MSc (Dent) from the same institute in 1980.


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)