NIDDK Director's Update Fall 2012

Commendations & Commencements


Dr. Kevin Hall

Dr. Kevin Hall, a senior investigator in the NIDDK Laboratory of Biological Modeling, was selected as the 2012 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award winner, awarded by The Obesity Society for excellence in an established research career to a recipient within 15 years of receiving a terminal degree.

Dr. Paul Kimmel

Dr. Paul Kimmel, senior advisor for the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases’ Clinical Acute Kidney Injury, Kidney Translational Genetics, and Kidney HIV/AIDS programs, was awarded a Mastership from the American College of Physicians (ACP) in April. The award is earned for excellence and significance in his field, as well as personal character, positions of honor, and contributions towards furthering the purposes of the ACP.

Dr. Peter P. Reese

NIDDK grantee Dr. Peter P. Reese, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers for his innovative work on ethical approaches to expanding access to organ transplantation.

Dr. Georgios Skiniotis

NIDDK grantee Dr. Georgios Skiniotis, a biological sciences scholar and research assistant professor at the University of Michigan, was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers for his studies on the structure and function of signaling cell-surface receptors.


Dr. Dana Andersen

Dr. Dana Andersen joined the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition in June as director of the Clinical Studies program. He was previously vice chairman of the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. He has served as a professor at SUNY Health Science Center, the University of Chicago, Yale University, and the University of Massachusetts, where he was Chairman of the Department of Surgery. Andersen is also co-editor of “Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery.” He brings to NIDDK expertise in areas including diseases of the pancreas and bariatric surgery.

Dr. Tamara Bavendam

Dr. Tamara Bavendam will join the NIDDK Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases in October as senior scientific advisor for Women's Urologic Health. For 25 years, she has performed clinical research in different areas of urology including urinary incontinence, lower urinary tract symptoms, overactive bladder, and interstitial cystitis, including overseeing several large multi-center randomized clinical trials. Since 2002, Bavendam served as a medical director for Pfizer. In 2008, she was appointed senior medical director in the Global Medical division. Among many publications and honors, she has been cited as a Best Doctor in America.

A Fond Farewell

Dr. Paul Eggers

Dr. Paul Eggers, director of Kidney and Urology Epidemiology in NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, will retire in January 2013 after 36 years of federal service, including 12 at the NIDDK. Eggers has managed several large-scale epidemiological studies for NIDDK, including the United States Renal Data System (USRDS), the Urologic Diseases in America (UDA) project, the completed Boston Area Community Health Study and the Data Center for the NIDDK Repository. Beginning next year, he will continue to oversee the UDA and USRDS on a part-time basis.

In Memoriam

Dr. William A. Hagins

Dr. William A. Hagins, chief of the Section of Membrane Biophysics in NIDDK's Laboratory of Chemical Physics upon his retirement in 2007, died on June 6. Dr. Hagins and colleagues made the seminal discovery of the dark current in photoreceptors. This finding became central to understanding how the visual cells worked and led to knowledge of the importance of reattaching a detached retina as soon as possible for continued use. A Fulbright Fellow, he’d also served in the U.S. Navy as a Research Medical Officer. He joined NIDDK’s Laboratory of Physical Biology in 1958, doing independent research in the Section of Photobiology, headed by Dr. Frederick Sumner Brackett. Dr. Hagins was a mentor to many, particularly through his work with the Brackett Foundation, which he founded and funded himself.

Dr. Leonard Kohn

Dr. Leonard Kohn, a former chief of the NIDDK intramural Section on Biochemistry of Cell Regulation, died on April 18, 2012. He spent 36 years at NIH, and among his many achievements in thyroid research were his pioneering studies establishing that insulin/insulin growth factor 1 was critical to the synthesis of thyroglobulin and the action of thyrotropin and collaborating to discover and clone FRTL5 cells, the patents and assays for which were the basis for the first reproducible clinical assay for thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin. His work encompassed more than 400 scientific papers and 13 patents. He had also served as a captain, senior surgeon, and medical director in the U.S. Public Health Service, retiring in 2000.

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