Commendations & Commencements
NIDDK grantee Dr. Bruce A. Beutler (pictured, center left) of the Scripps Research Institute, was among three NIH grantees to have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He shared the award with Dr. Jules A. Hoffman and the late Dr. Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University. Beutler and Hoffman’s awards recognized their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity. Steinman’s award recognized his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.
NIDDK grantee Dr. David T. Breault, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, received a 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his research characterizing a subpopulation of intestinal stem cells in mice with unique reparative properties identified using an innovative biomarker. PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
NIDDK grantee Dr. George Q. Daley, an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, was elected to the Institute of Medicine in October 2011. Daley is also the Samuel E. Lux IV Professor of Hematology at Children's Hospital Boston; and professor of biological chemistry, molecular pharmacology, and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
NIDDK grantee Dr. Jose C. Florez, a geneticist and endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School, received a 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for his studies to characterize genetic loci associated with type 2 diabetes and related traits in an effort to advance individualized therapy. PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Dr. Van Hubbard, director of the NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, was selected to receive the Barney Sellers Public Policy Award from the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.
Dr. T. Jake Liang, chief of the NIDDK Liver Diseases Branch, was invited to the White House on July 28 to give a presentation on Advances in Viral Hepatitis to congressional leaders and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's office. The event was part of the World Hepatitis Day and sponsored by the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. He attended on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Dr. Kevin O’Connell, a researcher in the NIDDK Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, was granted tenure by the NIH Central Tenure Committee in September 2011.
Dr. Anne E. Sumner, chief of the Section on Ethnicity and Health in the NIDDK Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, was granted tenure by the NIH Central Tenure Committee in September 2011.
The NIH Clinical Center, the NIH’s clinical research hospital in Bethesda, Md., is the 2011 recipient of the Lasker-Bloomberg Public Service Award. The award was presented in ceremonies on Sept. 23 by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, which has recognized outstanding advances in medical research each year since 1945. The award honors the Clinical Center for serving as a model institution that has transformed scientific advances into innovative therapies and provided high-quality care to patients.
Dr. Antonio Bianco, professor and chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami, was made a member of the NIDDK Intramural Research Program Board of Scientific Counselors.
Dr. Tom Ellenberger, Wittcoff Professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was made a member of the NIDDK Intramural Research Program Board of Scientific Counselors.
Dr. Tim Townes, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was made a member of the NIDDK Intramural Research Program Board of Scientific Counselors.
A fond farewell
Dr. Patricia Robuck, senior advisor for Clinical Trials in Digestive and Liver Diseases and director of the Clinical Trials Program within NIDDK's Division of digestive Diseases and Nutrition, is retiring in December after 27 years of federal service, including 11 in NIDDK. She also served seven years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as a nurse, nine years at the FDA in the Office of Orphan Products Development. Robuck is the recipient of four NIDDK Director's Awards and NIH Director's Group Award, among many other honors.