The NIDDK supports a wide range of medical research through grants to universities and other medical research institutions across the country. The Institute also supports government scientists who conduct basic, translational, and clinical research across a broad spectrum of research topics and serious, chronic diseases and conditions related to the Institute's mission. In addition, the NIDDK supports research training for students and scientists at various stages of their careers and a range of education and outreach programs to bring science-based information to patients and their families, health care professionals, and the public.
Diabetes affects an estimated 25.8 million people in the United States. It is the seventh leading cause of death, and the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower limb amputations, and, in working-age adults, blindness. NIDDK supports research to understand better the causes and progression of diabetes and its complications toward developing effective prevention and treatment options.
Digestive diseases are listed on nearly 14 million hospital discharge notices each year. Digestive diseases and disorders affect the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. NIDDK supports a wide variety of digestive disease research as well as research on obesity and other nutrition-related disorders.
Endocrine and metabolic diseases span a vast range of conditions, including osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis, and hypothyroidism. Together, they affect many millions of Americans and can profoundly decrease quality of life.
Hematologic diseases include disorders of the blood and blood-forming organs. NIDDK-supported hematology researchers work in many different areas, from developing drugs to support people who receive multiple blood transfusions, to laboratory research to better understand the normal and abnormal function of blood cells.
NIDDK supports research on the environmental and genetic causes of kidney disease, as well as new strategies to prevent or halt progression of kidney disease. It has been estimated that more than 23 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD has two main causes: high blood pressure and diabetes. CKD, especially if undetected, can progress to irreversible kidney failure.
The liver performs many critical metabolic functions including processing and distributing nutrients. Liver diseases can be caused by infection, such as hepatitis B and C, or by genetic mutations. Other liver diseases can be triggered by autoimmune reactions or drug toxicity. NIDDK-supported liver research focuses on identifying liver disease early, preserving liver function, and developing new treatment options.
Approximately 1/3 of U.S. adults are obese and nearly 17 percent of children and teens are also obese. Individuals who are obese may experience devastating health problems and face reduced life expectancy. Obesity is a strong risk factor for type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and many other disorders and diseases. NIDDK supports research on the causes and consequences of obesity, approaches to prevention, and treatment strategies.
Urologic diseases and disorders include urinary tract infections, kidney stones, urinary incontinence, and benign prostatic hyperplasia (an enlarged prostate) among others. Americans spend nearly $11 billion annually on medical care for urologic diseases. NIDDK supports research on the normal and abnormal development, structure, function, and injury repair of the genitourinary tract.
NIDDK awards Research Center grants to research institutions to provide support for long-term multidisciplinary programs of medical research. Center grants help researchers address key scientific questions by supporting work across different fields and programs. One objective of the Centers program is to integrate basic (laboratory) research with applied research to develop new approaches to prevention and treatment of disease.