NIMHD Quarterly News: Fall 2017

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Director's Message

Dr Eliseo Perez Stable

As we enter a new fiscal year, I’m proud of how far we’ve come in my two years as Director. Through our extramural programs, we have launched new research topics in minority health and health disparities, such as surgical disparitiessocial epigenomics, and immigrant health. On the intramural side, our staff has been supporting young investigators through mentoring and training. We also have a collaboration with the Medical Research Scholars Program and recently participated in both the Future Research Leaders Conference and the NIH Research Festival.

I’m excited about the changes we've made as an Institute, and I look forward to building upon our research and training programs. We are committed to the promotion of diversity among the best scientists and supporting them in their growth.

NIMHD recently issued new funding awards for two major research programs: the Centers of Excellence (COEs) and Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI). The COEs have been part of NIMHD since 2002, and more than 100 institutions have had these awards at some point. This renewal effort is now structured to support both established investigators and scientists early in their careers, especially those from underrepresented population groups. The RCMI program has existed at NIH since 1986 and targets institutions with less than $50 million in NIH funding and a documented commitment to and track record of training students from underrepresented populations.

Improving minority health and reducing health disparities remains a constant and primary focus for us, and together we will get there!

News Releases

NIH to fund seven Research Centers in Minority Institutions

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, will fund seven new awards to support the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Specialized Centers program. RCMI is designed to support institutional research capacity and foster the career development of new and early-career investigators conducting minority health and health disparities research. The centers will share approximately $122 million over five years, pending available funds. Read more.

NIH to fund Centers of Excellence on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Twelve specialized research centers designed to conduct multidisciplinary research, research training, and community engagement activities focused on improving minority health and reducing health disparities will launch. The centers, to be funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), part of the National Institutes of Health, will share approximately $82 million over five years, pending the availability of funds. Read more.

NIMHD announces recipients for the inaugural William G. Coleman Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award

Three postdoctoral fellows within the NIH Intramural Research Program have been selected to receive the first William G. Coleman Jr., Ph.D., Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Innovation Award. This competitive award seeks to support innovative research ideas and concepts proposing potential for high impact in areas of minority health and health disparities research. Award recipients receive $15,000 each for supplies and services to be used in FY 2017. | Read more.

Recent Features

NIMHD funds first NIH Rwandan research fellow, in new partnership with NIDDK

Dr. Jean Nepo Utumatwishima

Twenty-three years after the genocide  that disrupted Rwanda’s fragile economic structure, Rwanda’s Ministry of Health has given Dr. Jean Nepo Utumatwishima the opportunity to travel abroad for training in medical research. Dr. Utumatwishima is the first graduate of the National Institutes of Health’s Rwanda fellowship, which serves as a yearlong program geared toward training a Rwandan physician to become a clinician scientist. | Read more.

“Herbal probiotics”: bacteria on medicinal plants contribute to immune-boosting benefits


Juzen-taiho-to (JTT) is a mixture of medicinal plants used in Japan to help cancer patients rebuild their immune system after chemo and radiation therapy. Studies have shown that it improves the number and functioning of white blood cells, which help fight off infections, such as bacterial infections. Read more.

For rural people with chronic diseases, poverty and depression go hand in hand

rural people chronic diseases

An NIMHD-funded study attempted to understand some of the factors that predict depression in patients with chronic disease. The researchers focused on poor people who live in rural areas, who can have a particularly tough time getting treatment and managing their chronic disease. The study found that poor rural people with diabetes or high blood pressure are much more likely to have depression if they have been unable to afford their medications in the last year. | Read more.

New at NIHMD

Fireside Chat: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Congressman Louis Stokes


On October 12, NIMHD was honored to welcome the family of former Congressman Louis Stokes, along with NIH Director Dr. Francis S. Collins, during a Fireside Chat in the Louis Stokes Laboratories building on the NIH campus.  Celebrating the man who dedicated so much of himself to advancing equity in social welfare, education, professional opportunities, as well as equal access to health care was remarkable. Congressman Stokes was instrumental in launching the NIH’s Office of Minority Programs in 1990 under the leadership of then Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Louis Sullivan. The office later became the Office of Research on Minority Health, then the Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, and eventually, in 2012, NIMHD.

National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NACMHD)

Sept 2017 Advisory Council Speakers

On Friday, September 8, the NACHMD held its 46th meeting. Speakers included Eric Dishman (National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program), Dr. Maria Rosario G. Araneta (University of California, San Diego), and Dr. David M. Murray (National Institutes of Health Office of Disease Prevention).

2017 Health Disparities Research Institute

2017 HDRI group photo

NIMHD hosted the 2017 Health Disparities Research Institute, held August 14-18, 2017. Participants from all over the United States gathered at NIH for lectures, mock grant review, seminars, and small group discussions on research relevant to minority health and health disparities. Check out the full discussion on Storify. 

CLIPS on location at the University of Maryland

Natasha Williams and Dr. Stephen B. Thomas

On this segment of CLIPS (Conversations Leading to Insights on Policy and Science), an NIMHD grantee at the University of Maryland provides an in-depth discussion of the Health in All Policies law that recently passed in the state of Maryland. Dr. Stephen Thomas, principal investigator and director of the Maryland Center for Health Equity, shares insights on the process, lessons learned and the importance of translating research into policy interventions to improve health equity for all populations. | Read more.

Research Spotlight

NIMHD Intramural Research Investigators Participate in 2017 NIH Research Festival

Dr. Lauren Amable and Dr. Kelvin Choi at 2017 NIH Research Festiva

NIMHD intramural research investigators Dr. Lauren Amable and Dr. Kelvin Choi presented posters at the 2017 NIH Research Festival, covering areas such as altering cisplatin sensitivity by manipulating the cellular metallome and characteristics associated with smokers who take advantage of price promotions. Learn more about the NIH Research Festival.

Dr. Lauren Amable interviewed in Hope for More Effective Chemotherapy Treatments: Innovative Thinking Series video


Dr. Lauren Amable and her staff at NIMHD have been studying the effects of cisplatin uptake in individual cells, using single-cell ICP-MS technology to change the outcomes and offer new hope for more effective treatments. 

View Dr. Amable in the Hope For More Effective Chemotherapy Treatments: Innovative Thinking Series video produced by PerkinElmer, Inc.

NIMHD's Dr. Michael Sayre participates in panel discussion at the NIH Human Microbiome Workshop, Emerging Themes at the Horizon of the 21st Century

Dr. Michael Sayre

Dr. Michael Sayre, Chief of the Office of Research Innovation and Program Coordination at NIMHD, participated in a panel discussion at the NIH-wide microbiome workshop, held August 16-18, 2017. The workshop was designed to seek input from a trans-disciplinary group of scientists to identify (1) knowledge gaps, (2) technical hurdles, (3) new approaches, and (4) research opportunities that will inform the development of novel prevention and treatment strategies based on host/microbiome interactions over the next 10 years. 

View the videocast of Dr. Sayre from day 3 of the workshop.

On the Blog

NIMHD Loan Repayment Programs

The National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) invites qualified health professionals who contractually agree to engage in NIH mission–relevant research to apply for the 2018 extramural NIMHD Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) for an average of at least 20 hours per week for at least two years. |  Read more. 

Breastfeeding disparities in African American women

What are some of the health benefits of breastfeeding? Breast milk not only offers a nutritionally balanced meal, but some studies suggest that breastfeeding may even reduce the risk for certain allergic diseases, asthma, and obesity in your baby, as well as type 2 diabetes in moms. Also, breastfeeding creates a close bond between mother and child. |  Read more.

Funding Opportunities and Notices

  • Simulation Modeling and Systems Science to Address Health Disparities (R01)
  • Testing Interventions for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity (R01)
  • Intervention Research to Improve Native American Health (R01)
  • Research to Improve Native American Health (R21)
  • Short-term Mentored Career Enhancement Awards for Mid-Career Investigators to Integrate Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences (K18)
  • Collaborative Minority Health and Health Disparities Research with Tribal Epidemiology Centers (R01) and (R21)
  • Research on the Health of Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Populations (R01) and (R21)
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS): Population, Clinical and Applied Prevention Research (R01) and (R21)
  • Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) (U54)
  • Clinical and Epidemiological Research on Chronic Disease in the Caribbean (R01)
  • Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomics Exploratory/Developmental Research Grant Program (R01) and (R21) 
  • Multidisciplinary Studies of HIV/AIDS and Aging (R01) and (R21)
  • PHS 2017-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH for Small Business Technology Transfer Grant Applications (R41/R42)
  • PHS 2017-02 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC & FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications (R43/R44)
  • Addressing Suicide Research Gaps: Understanding Mortality Outcomes (R01)
  • Mechanisms of Disparities in Chronic Liver Diseases and Cancer (R01) and (R21)
  • Mechanisms and Consequences of Sleep Disparities in the U.S. (R01) and (R21)
  • Advancing the Science of Geriatric Palliative Care (R01) and (R21)

Learn more about NIMHD funding opportunities.

Recent Staff Publications