NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2016

Commendations & Commencements


Photo of Dr. Martin Gellert

Dr. Martin Gellert, senior investigator and section chief at the intramural NIDDK Laboratory of Molecular Biology, was appointed an NIH Distinguished Investigator. Gellert and his team study rearrangement of immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor genes.

Photo of Dr. Marc Reitman

Dr. Marc Reitman, chief of the intramural NIDDK Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, has been elected to the Association of American Physicians. The organization’s goals include the pursuit of medical knowledge and advancement of basic and clinical science through experimentation and discovery.

Photo of Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers

NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers was named one of three Heroes of Government in the March issue of The Washingtonian magazine. Among other achievements, he was recognized for developing the first effective and now FDA-approved therapy for sickle-cell disease, and overseeing a recent clinical trial using stem cell transplants that reversed the disease in adults.

Photo of Dr. Wei Yang

Dr. Wei Yang, senior investigator and section chief at the intramural NIDDK Laboratory of Molecular Biology, was named an NIH Distinguished Investigator. Yang’s research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of DNA recombination, repair and replication.


Photo of Dr. Christine Lee

Dr. Christine Lee joined NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases as a program director. She is charged with managing translational research on improving outcomes for people with and at risk of developing diabetes, and developing research on diabetes in older Americans. Previously she was a staff physician at the research service of the VA Portland Health Care System and an assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University.

Photo of NIDDK Advisory Council members, from left to right, Dr. Joel Elmquist, NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, Dr. Caren Heller, and Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb.

Three members recently joined the NIDDK Advisory Council. Standing with NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, from left, are new members Dr. Joel Elmquist, Dr. Caren Heller and Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb.

Dr. Caren Heller joined the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition subcouncil. Heller is chief scientific officer at Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, where she is responsible for all mission-related activities. She was previously associate dean of intercampus and industry initiatives at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Joel Elmquist joined the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases subcouncil. Elmquist is the Carl H. Westcott Distinguished Chair in Medical Research; professor of internal medicine, pharmacology and psychiatry; and the Maclin Family Professor in Medical Science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. His research focuses on identifying brain pathways that regulate food intake, body weight and blood glucose levels.

Dr. Beverly Torok-Storb joined the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases subcouncil. Torok-Storb is a member of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Clinical Research Division. Her work on blood stem cell development contributed to the team effort to optimize development of bone marrow transplantation as a cure for blood cancers and other hematologic diseases.​

A Fond Farewell

Photo of Dr. Judah L. Rosner

Dr. Judah L. Rosner is retiring from NIDDK after more than 50 years at the intramural NIDDK Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB). He arrived at the LMB while still a graduate student at Yale University. After obtaining his Ph.D., he continued as a staff fellow and later became a senior investigator. Throughout his career he sought to learn about antibiotic resistance in specific bacteria and how to counter it. His efforts greatly increased understanding of bacteria-infecting viruses called bacteriophages, such as P1. With colleagues he discovered the transposon Tn9 and determined the regulation and mechanisms of action mediated by the MarA, SoxS & Rob proteins, information that has shed light on how antibiotic resistance works.

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