National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) Seeks Input on Long-Range Plan

Calling all scientists who are funded by NIAMS or who conduct research on health that impacts management of chronic disease: NIAMS is seeking your input as it develops its next long-range plan (2010 – 2014).

Calling all scientists who are funded by NIAMS or who conduct research on health that impacts management of chronic disease: NIAMS is seeking your input as it develops its next long-range plan (2010 – 2014).

  • NIAMS is asking for input via its website. Among the several questions posed to those who comment are:

  • List the most significant research advances during the past five years;

  • List the greatest challenges to research progress and the potential options for overcoming these challenges;

  • List the most pressing scientific and training needs; and

  • Describe what gaps in training have delayed progress in critical research areas.

APA requests that if you comment on the strategic plan, you please share your comments with the Science Government Relations Office to help inform our advocacy on NIH issues and APA's own comments on the plan. The deadline for comment is November 7, 2008. Comments may be submitted at the NIAMS website. NIAMS's current long-range plan specifies behavioral research as an important cross-cutting area. It says:

Behavioral and social factors are involved in numerous ways in the onset, course and outcomes of chronic diseases. These factors are central in the experience of symptoms (such as pain and fatigue), disease-related distress, and coping with chronic disease, disability and, to varying extents, the success of prevention and treatment approaches. In addition, interactions between the immune and central nervous systems may be relevant to autoimmune diseases within the NIAMS mission but have not been well-studied.

Purely biomedical approaches are not sufficient to understand and optimally manage the chronic diseases within our mission. Interdisciplinary research that integrates behavioral and biomedical sciences is likely to result in enhanced management of these diseases and reduced disability, and may shed light on the complex mechanisms involved in these disease processes.

While not one of the larger NIH institutes, NIAMS has an active program of behavioral research. According to NIH statistics, NIAMS is estimated to spend $20.3 million on behavioral and social sciences research in Fiscal Year 2008 and $4.6 million on basic behavioral and social sciences research in the same period.