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Genes Play
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Schools Instill
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May Trigger
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Obesity as a
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Girl Power and
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Spring 2000


New Leadership at NIDDK

notes99pct0.jpg (7378 bytes) Allen M. Spiegel, M.D.

Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., was appointed director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) on November 15, 1999. In announcing Spiegel's directorship, Harold Varmus, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), called him "one of the nation's most distinguished medical scientists." Varmus added,"With the advanced understanding of the genetic underpinning of disease at the cellular level, Allen and the Institute are well positioned to dramatically affect the prevention and treatment of many diseases."

Dr. Spiegel is an internationally recognized endocrinologist whose groundbreaking research helped define the genetic basis of several endocrine diseases. His work in signal transduction established that inherited disease can be caused by defects in G proteins, which serve as intermediaries between hormone receptors and effectors.

As scientific director of NIDDK for the 9 years prior to his current appointment, Dr. Spiegel led one of the largest and most productive intramural research programs on the NIH campus. NIDDK's strong support for basic science must continue, according to Dr. Spiegel, because it offers "the best promise for discovering new knowledge relevant to human disease." At the same time, he adds, "We must vigorously support efforts to apply this new knowledge so that it reaches patients afflicted with the many serious disorders NIDDK studies." Dr. Spiegel also hopes to promote opportunities for collaborations in areas of shared interest with other NIH Institutes.

As director of NIDDK, Dr. Spiegel oversees a staff of 900 employees and an annual budget of $1 billion. The Institute supports research in medical centers, universities, and laboratories throughout the United States. NIDDK's 3,000 grantees are contributing to advances in the understanding and treatment of diabetes, obesity, basic nutrition, cystic fibrosis, hormone disorders and diseases, digestive disease, polycystic kidney disease, end stage renal disease, kidney stones, interstitial cystitis, prostate disease, and blood disorders. In addition, NIDDK conducts basic and clinical research at its facilities in Bethesda, MD, and Phoenix, AR.

After graduating cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1971, Dr. Spiegel completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. His career at NIDDK began in 1973, when he participated in the Endocrinology Research Training Program under the mentorship of the late Dr. Gerald Aurbach.


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