NIDDK Director's Update (January, 2008) : NIDDK

NIDDK Director's Update (January, 2008)

Featured Updates

Rodgers Receives American Society of Hematology’s Outstanding Service Award

NIDDK director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers received the American Society of Hematology’s Outstanding Service Award on Dec. 9 at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta. The award recognizes Dr. Rodgers’ contributions to hematology, particularly in the areas of genetic diseases, molecular genetics of human blood cells, and human blood cell development, according to the society. He is also being honored for his efforts to increase the number of minority scholars focusing on hematology and for becoming the first hematologist to direct NIDDK.

“NIDDK’s Director Honored by Hematology Society”

Rodgers Participates in World Diabetes Day Events in New York City

NIDDK director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers kicked-off the first World Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, 2007, in New York City with a speech thanking clinical studies participants for their contributions to diabetes research. He stated that patients are critical members of the research team and their participation has fundamentally changed medical practice and helped move advances to the bedside. The General Assembly of the United Nations passed a Resolution on December 20, 2006, designating World Diabetes Day to be observed yearly starting in 2007. The United Nations partnered with the International Diabetes Federation to host events in New York City to celebrate the day.

“Statement of Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, on World Diabetes Day: Patient Participation in Clinical Studies Is Critical for Progress”

People with Diabetes and Sickle Cell Trait Should Have Reliable A1C Test

NIDDK launched a new information campaign to inform physicians and patients of the importance of using accurate methods to test hemoglobin A1c in people with diabetes who also have sickle cell trait or other inherited forms of variant hemoglobin. The specific needs for testing blood glucose control in these patients are explained in two new booklets, “Sickle Cell Trait and Other Hemoglobinopathies and Diabetes: Important Information for Physicians” and “For People of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian Heritage: Important Information about Diabetes Blood Tests” from the NIDDK’s National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.

“People with Diabetes and Sickle Cell Trait Should Have Reliable A1C Test: Campaign Informs Physicians and Patients”

NIDDK National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse:

NIH and NIDDK Budget Update

FY 2008 Appropriations

The President signed the FY 2008 Omnibus spending bill on Dec. 26, which includes appropriations for Labor-HHS-Education. NIH received a FY 2008 budget of $29.229 billion, an increase of $329 million (1.1 percent) over FY 2007. The NIDDK received a budget of $1.706 billion, identical to the FY 2007 budget. In addition, the President signed a bill on Dec. 29 authorizing funding for the Special Type 1 Diabetes Funding Program through FY 2009 with an appropriation of $150 million for FY 2009.

NIH Office of Budget web page:

NIH News and Updates

Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives (OPASI) Council of Councils

Members of OPASI’s Council of Councils met for the first time on Nov. 8 for a planning session with OPASI director, Dr. Alan Krensky. The National Institutes of Health Reform Act of 2006, passed in January 2007, called for the NIH to create the Council of Councils to act as an external advisory panel to the NIH Director and NIH Institute and Center directors on OPASI funding and policy matters. The Council of Councils consists of approximately 30 members, including one member from each Institute and Center Advisory Council and one member from the NIH Council of Public Representatives. The official inaugural meeting will take place in the spring of 2008 and will involve the full membership of the Council.


“NIH’s New ‘Council of Councils’ Learns Mission at Planning Session,” NIH Record, November 30, 2007:

NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Update

The NIH recently launched the Human Microbiome Project within the New Pathways to Discovery theme of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. The human microbiome is the collective genomes of all microorganisms present in or on the human body. This project will award a total of $115 million to researchers over the next five years to sequence hundreds of microbial genomes and to discover the role of the microbiome in human health and disease.

“NIH Launches Human Microbiome Project: NIH Roadmap Effort to Use Genomic Technologies To Explore Role of Microbes in Human Health and Disease”

NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Human Microbiome Project:

The NIH also recently launched the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Epigenomics Program within the New Pathways to Discovery theme. Gene activity and expression are primarily dependent on a gene’s place in the DNA. However, they can also be susceptible to outside influences, known as epigenetics. Epigenomics refers to global analyses of epigenetic changes across an entire genome. The Epigenomics Program is currently accepting applications for several open Requests for Applications (RFA).

NIH Roadmap for Medical Research Epigenomics Program:

Since the NIDDK has special interest in the Human Microbiome Project and the Epigenomics Program, NIDDK staff will be providing updates on these programs at the next NIDDK Advisory Council meeting on Jan. 30, 2008.

NIDDK Advisory Council:

NIH Director’s Pioneer and New Innovator Award Programs are seeking highly innovative research proposals for their 2008 application cycles. Pioneer Awards are open to scientists at any career stage, while New Innovator Awards are reserved for new investigators who have not received an NIH regular research (R01) or similar grant. Pioneer Award applications will be accepted from Dec. 16, 2007, to Jan. 16, 2008. The New Innovator Award application period is from March 3 to 31, 2008. Both programs are part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research within the Research Teams of the Future theme.

“NIH Director’s Pioneer and New Innovator Award Programs Launch 2008 Application Cycles: Highly Innovative Research Proposals Sought”

NIH Roadmap for Medical Research:

NIH Public Trust Initiative Update

The NIH Public Trust Initiative has launched its “Partners in Research” program and released a new Request for Applications (RFA). The purpose of the program is to support studies of innovative programs designed to improve public understanding of health care research and promote collaboration between scientists and community organizations. NIH Director Dr. Elias Zerhouni launched the NIH Public Trust Initiative in the spring of 2004 to improve the public’s health through promotion of activities and attitudes that will instill confidence in the NIH as a premier biomedical and behavioral research enterprise.

“The NIH Public Trust Initiative Launches the “Partners in Research” Program”

“Public Trust Initiative Invites Community onto ‘Ground Floor’ of Research,” NIH Record, Dec. 14, 2007:

NIH Public Trust Initiative:

NIDDK News and Updates

NIDDK Current Funding Opportunities

Find the current Requests for Applications (RFAs) and Program Announcements (PAs) that communicate NIDDK’s current funding opportunities and research interests on the NIDDK website:

Recent Notices in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts

Find current NIDDK Notices in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts on the NIDDK website:

Upcoming Meetings and Workshops

NIDDK supports and participates in scientific meetings and workshops and a list of upcoming meetings and workshops is available on the NIDDK website:

In the News

News Releases

“NIH State-of-the-Science Panel Seeks to Dispel Stigma Associated With Fecal and Urinary Incontinence: Open communication between patients and healthcare providers is key”
NIH Office of the Director (OD), NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research (OMAR)
Release Date: Dec. 12, 2007

“Acting U.S. Surgeon General Galson, NIH Director Zerhouni Announce Expanded Efforts to Address Nationwide Childhood Overweight Epidemic: Boston , Pittsburgh and Las Vegas named as new We Can! Cities, National Partnership with the Association of Children’s Museums Launches”
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Release Date: Nov. 29, 2007

“Depression Linked to Bone-Thinning in Premenopausal Women: Should be considered risk factor for osteoporosis; immune system involved”
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Release Date: Nov. 26, 2007

“Diabetes Rates Are Increasing Among Youth: NDEP Introduces New Resources to Help Teens Manage the Disease”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Release Date: Nov. 13, 2007

“Chronic Kidney Disease Rises While Most People with the Condition Remain Unaware”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Release Date: Nov. 9. 2007

“Imaging Neural Progenitor Cells in the Living Human Brain”
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Release Date: Nov. 8, 2007

“Scientists Compare Twelve Fruit Fly Genomes: Fly Consortium Uncovers Swarm of Novel Findings About Genomic Evolution, Function”
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Release Date: Nov. 7, 2007

“Hepatitis C Treatment Reduces the Virus but Serious Liver Problems May Progress”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2007

“NIDDK Website Features Spanish Health Information”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Release Date: Nov. 5, 2007

“Study Reveals Reasons for Women's Departure from the Sciences”
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2007

“Unique Pattern of Gene Expression Can Indicate Acetaminophen Overdose: May Lead to New Tool for Physicians”
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Release Date: Oct. 31, 2007

“Three NIH Scientists Named 2007 AAAS Fellows”
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
Release Date: Oct. 25, 2007

“Signature of a Letter of Intent between the National Institutes of Health and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) for the "Research Career Transition Award" Program”
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2007

“NIH Director's Council of Public Representatives Welcomes Six New Members to the Next Meeting, October 26, 2007 in Bethesda, MD.”
NIH Office of the Director (OD)
Release Date: Oct. 22, 2007

“Press Statement from NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. : NIH Grantees Win 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for Developing Techniques to Target Specific Genes in Mice”
NIH Office of the Director (OD), National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)Release Date: Oct. 8, 2007

People in the News

Dr. Alexandra McPherron, a tenure-track investigator in the NIDDK Genetics of Development and Disease Branch, Division of Intramural Research, was one of 58 researchers to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her research in regulation of muscle growth, focusing on the study of the protein myostatin. Also, NIDDK grantee, Dr. Michelle P. Winn of Duke University, was one of 11 NIH grantees to win the award.

“NIDDK’s McPherron Among 11 PECASE Winners,” NIH Record, Nov. 30, 2007

NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers recently appointed Lucy Greene, Ph.D., associate director of management at the NIDDK. Dr. Greene is the executive officer for the Institute and advises the NIDDK Director and other senior officials on all phases of administrative management for the Institute. Dr. Greene served as the deputy executive officer at the NIDDK from April 2006 and as the acting executive officer from April 2007 until her appointment. She has 31 years of experience as an administrator in the Federal Government.

“Lucy Greene Appointed NIDDK Executive Officer”

“Greene Named NIDDK Executive Officer,” NIH Record, Nov. 30, 2007

NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers recently appointed Richard A. Farishian, Ph.D., director of the NIDDK Office of Science Program and Policy Analysis (OSPPA). He is a member of the Institute’s senior leadership team and will advise the NIDDK Director on policy, planning, and legislative issues. Dr. Farishian served as deputy director of NIDDK OSPPA from 1988 until his appointment as director.


Page last updated: January 07, 2008

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