Spring 2017


NIDCR at IADR/AADR/CADR Annual Meeting in San Francisco

From March 22 to 25, NIDCR leadership, program staff, investigators, and trainees will be at the 2017 IADR/AADR/CADR Annual Meeting and Exhibition at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco. Attendees can sign up to have one-on-one consultations with NIDCR staff in Booth 221.

For reminders about NIDCR-sponsored symposia or other events during the meeting, follow @NIDCR on Twitter. Or, look at the schedule on the NIDCR website.


NIDCR Study Demonstrates Commitment to US Dental Institutions

A paper authored by members of NIDCR’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis and the Office of the Director, in collaboration with AADR, shows that NIDCR is the largest NIH supporter of US academic dental institutions, having invested approximately $1.5 billion over the past decade, or about 70% of NIH’s total dental funding. The authors reported that between 2005 and 2014, 56 US dental institutions received approximately $2.2 billion from more than 20 NIH institutes, centers, and offices. NIDCR’s investment over the past 10 years has remained stable at about 50% of the extramural budget. NIDCR is also the primary supporter of research training and career development, investing $177 million, which represents 92% of the total NIH investment of $192 million. The paper was published January 1, 2017, in the Journal of Dental Research.

Listen to Dr. Martha Somerman discuss the article in an accompanying podcast.


NIDCR Funds Consortium for Developing Dental and Orofacial Tissue Regeneration Therapies

NIDCR recently awarded two cooperative agreements aimed at developing resources and strategies for regenerating dental, oral, and craniofacial (DOC) tissues that have been damaged by disease or injury. Totaling $24 million over 3 years, these awards support development of two Resource Centers as part of the NIDCR’s Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Tissue Regeneration Consortium (DOCTRC), an initiative designed to shepherd new therapies through pre-clinical studies and into human clinical trials. The Resource Centers will be based at several California university campuses and the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and the University of Pittsburgh. The ultimate goal is to develop strategies and devices that help repair or regenerate damaged DOC tissues, including craniofacial bone, muscle and blood vessels, nerves, teeth, and salivary glands.

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Thomas E. Price, MD, Confirmed as HHS Secretary

Dr. Thomas E. Price was sworn in as the 23rd Secretary of HHS on February 10. Dr. Price received his bachelor's and doctor of medicine degrees from the University of Michigan and completed a residency in orthopaedic surgery at Emory University. For 20 years, Dr. Price ran a solo orthopaedic medical practice in Atlanta. From 2005 to 2017, Dr. Price served as the US Representative for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. On February 21, Dr. Price made his first visit to NIH as HHS Secretary, meeting with Dr. Francis Collins and several institute, center, and office directors. Dr. Price also toured the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where he met a breast cancer survivor who had been successfully treated and cured of her disease.


David R. Wilson, PhD, Appointed as Director of NIH Tribal Health Research Office

On January 22, Dr. David R. Wilson was appointed director of NIH’s Tribal Health Research Office. The office coordinates NIH research related to the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives across the NIH institutes, centers, and offices. Dr. Wilson (Diné, born for Tódích’íi’nii and born to Honágháahnii) comes to the NIH Office of the Director from the HHS Office of Minority Health, where he served as public health advisor and the American Indian/Alaska Native policy lead.


Karen L. Parker, PhD, MSW, Appointed as Director of NIH Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office

Dr. Karen L. Parker was recently appointed as director of NIH's Sexual & Gender Minority Research Office. In 2015, Dr. Parker was instrumental in the formation of the office, which coordinates NIH research related to the health of sexual and gender minorities across the NIH institutes, centers, and offices. She comes to the NIH Office of the Director from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), where she served as an acting branch chief in the NCI Office of Science Planning and Assessment and Women's Health Officer for the institute. Prior to that, she was the special assistant to the President's Cancer Panel. She began her career at NIH in 2001 as a Presidential Management Intern.


NIH Pain Consortium Releases Educational Modules for Health Professionals

The NIH Pain Consortium, a trans-NIH initiative to boost pain research, posted several education modules on its website. The multimedia, interactive courses are an effort of the Consortium-supported Centers of Excellence in Pain Education, a network of 11 health professional schools designated as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy, and other schools to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment. Using a series of patient videos, self-quizzes, and other resources, the modules guide students and practitioners through the evaluation, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of a variety of pain-related conditions, including burning mouth syndrome.


All of Us Research Program Announces Funding Opportunity for Community Partners

On January 31, NIH announced a new opportunity for organizations interested in helping engage volunteers in the All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. This funding opportunity, open to national and regional organizations, as well as local community groups, will support activities to promote enrollment and retention in the All of Us Research Program across diverse communities. Pending available funds, NIH is designating up to $5 million per year over the next 3 years to support these community-led outreach efforts, which will complement the program’s existing research and engagement infrastructure.


Federal Rule To Enhance Protections for Research Participants

On January 18, HHS and 15 other federal agencies issued a final rule to update regulations that safeguard individuals who participate in research. The new rule strengthens protections for people who volunteer to participate in research, while ensuring that the oversight system does not add inappropriate administrative burdens, particularly to low-risk research. It also allows more flexibility in keeping with today's dynamic research environment.


NIH and Kennedy Center Announce Sound Health Partnership

Through a new partnership, NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will expand on an initiative called Sound Health, which NIH has had with the National Symphony Orchestra for several years. The partnership aims to expand current knowledge and understanding of how music affects health and wellness.

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Science Advances

Experts from NIH and the Middle East Cure Patient with Rare Tumor

A team of clinicians led by NIDCR researcher Michael Collins, MD, used a procedure—selective venous sampling—developed under an NIDCR clinical trial to locate a hard-to-find tumor and enable its removal. The teenage patient had traveled to NIH from her home in the Palestinian territories. She had tumor-induced osteomalacia, a rare and debilitating disease marked by muscle weakness, bone pain, and fractures. Dr. Collins used selective venous sampling to pinpoint the tumor’s location in the patient’s jaw. He then assembled a multidisciplinary team of NIH and NIDCR experts, as well as surgical and medical staff from the Palestinian territories. The teams consulted on the case via teleconference and developed a surgery and rehabilitation plan. Weeks after the patient returned home, she underwent surgery to remove the tumor, which allowed her to stand and walk again. She is now considered cured.


Chewing Away at the Question of Oral Immunity

The signals regulating immune responses at the gingiva, a key oral barrier, remain unclear. NIDCR researchers and colleagues have shown that mechanical damage caused by chewing controls certain immune cell responses in the mouth. In the study, led by intramural NIDCR scientist Niki M. Moutsopoulos, DDS, PhD, in collaboration with UK-based researcher Joanne E. Konkel, PhD, the authors investigated how Th17 cells develop in the gingiva. Th17 cells are known to be key elements of host protection at mucosal sites but also have been linked to inflammatory periodontitis. The current study shows that oral barrier/gingival Th17 cells are induced in response to chewing rather than microbial colonization. These results reveal that physiologic mechanical damage by mastication is a unique, tissue-specific cue that conditions local immunity and inflammation at the oral barrier.

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Funding Opportunities
Title Extramural Scientific Topics Opportunity number Expiration Date
Parent Announcements & Trans-NIH Announcements
PA 18-591
Common Fund Programs
Small Business (SBIR/STTR)
Technology Development
Common Fund Programs
Small Business (SBIR/STTR)
Technology Development
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Last Reviewed on
February 2018