U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Director's Note

Spring 2012

Within the science and health care communities, the word “translation” has many meanings. In some cases, translation means taking research done at the bench and using the findings to fuel research in the clinic. Sometimes it means taking those clinical findings and figuring out how to use them widely in communities. Other times, translation involves sifting the words of science into words everyone can understand and use. At the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, our work speaks to all of these meanings. 

You’ll find examples of translation throughout this issue of the NIDDK Director’s Update. In the Commendations and Commencements section, learn about an NIH-funded HIV-prevention study that Science named the 2011 Breakthrough of the Year for its vast potential to reduce the virus’ transmission. Years ago, NIDDK helped fund the basic research of study co-chair Dr. Myron Cohen, also a current NIDDK grantee, helping lay the groundwork for the advances that followed. 

In our news section, you can also read about one of our efforts to translate what we’ve learned about improving outcomes for people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) into practices usable in a variety of health care settings. Under a new NIDDK funding initiative, five projects are testing how health care providers and people with CKD can best implement proven therapies, even with few resources. Through this initiative, we aim to put what we’ve learned through research into the hands of those who need it. 

We also reach out to communities through publications and programs that translate the technical language of science and medicine into clear language and actionable steps that people can take – together with their providers, families, and friends. Through the National Kidney Disease Education Program’s Kidney Sundays, congregations can learn more about kidney disease while they receive other support to combat it. Learn more about this month's Kidney Sunday in our education programs section. 

By funding research and outreach in multiple ways, NIDDK translates scientific discoveries into health advances that can help everyone. 

In good health, 

Dr. Griffin Rodgers Signature

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P. 
Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases