NIDDK Director's Update Winter 2017

Commendations & Commencements


Photo of Dr. T. Jake Liang

Dr. T. Jake Liang, chief of the intramural NIDDK Liver Diseases Branch, was made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section on Medical Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of viral hepatitis and liver diseases, particularly for discoveries critical to understanding pathogenesis, vaccine and treatment of hepatitis B and C viruses. The honor will be presented in February at the 2108 AAAS Annual Meeting.

Photo of Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers

Editor’s Note: NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, chief of the intramural Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch, was made a 2017 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section on Medical Sciences, for distinguished contributions to the field of hematology and molecular biology, particularly studies foundational to the development of the first effective therapies for sickle cell anemia. The honor will be presented in February at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting.


Photo of Dr. Susan Mendley

Dr. Susan Mendley joined the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases in October as a program director in pediatric nephrology. She was previously a division head in pediatric nephrology at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and served as an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Mendley also provided consulting services through Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore. She is a member of the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology Meeting Planning Committee.

Photo of Dr. Afshin Parsa

Dr. Afshin Parsa joined the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases in September as program director, focusing on clinical kidney genomics and chronic kidney disease. Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Parsa was an associate professor in the Department of Medicine and Division of Nephrology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and an attending physician the Baltimore VA Medical Center. His research expertise is in genetic and non-genetic contributors to chronic kidney disease progression and associated clinical outcomes.

Four members joined the NIDDK Advisory Council:

Photo of Dr. David D’Alessio

Dr. David D’Alessio will serve on the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases subcouncil as an ex officio member, representing the Department of Veterans Affairs. D’Alessio is a professor within the Department of Medicine at Duke University and director of the Division of Endocrinology. He is also attending physician at Duke University Hospital and the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center. His research focuses on the regulation of insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes.

Photo of Dr. Lisa Guay-Woodford

Dr. Lisa Guay-Woodford is serving on the Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases subcouncil. She holds the Richard L. and Agnes F. Hudson Professorship in Health Services Research at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C. She is an internationally recognized expert in the pathogenesis of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.

Photo of Dr. Paul Lange

Dr. Paul Lange is serving on the Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases subcouncil. He is professor emeritus of the Department of Urology at the University of Washington (UW) and founding director of the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research, a partnership between UW and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is internationally recognized for his clinical and research work in a variety of genitourinary cancers and benign urological diseases.

Photo of Mr. Thomas Nealon III

Mr. Thomas Nealon III will serve on the Digestive Diseases and Nutrition subcouncil. He is vice chairman of LNR Asset Services and Director of Legal Affairs, LNR Property LLC. Nealon is also chief executive officer and national board chair for the American Liver Foundation. As well, Nealon is an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law Program in Real Property Development, a fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and a member of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council.

A Fond Farewell

Photo of Dr. Josie Briggs

Dr. Josie Briggs, director of the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and former director of the NIDDK Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases, left NIH in October to become editor in chief of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Previously, Briggs was interim director of the NIH Precision Initiative Cohort Program (renamed "All of Us"). She also co-led the NIH Common Fund Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory and served on both the NIH Steering Committee and NIH Scientific Review Board.

Photo of Eileen Newman

Eileen Newman, associate director of the NIDDK’s National Kidney Disease Education Program, retired in August after nearly 10 years at NIDDK. A registered dietitian, Newman contributed to NIDDK kidney and urologic health information and facilitated collaborations on behalf of NIDDK with a range of government, nonprofit, and health care organizations.

Photo of Dr. Rebekah Rasooly

Dr. Rebekah Rasooly, became chief of the Wellness, Technology, and Training Branch of the NIH’s National Institute of Nursing Research starting in September. She joined NIDDK in 2001 and previously served as director for the Kidney and Urology Genetics and Genomics program within NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases. She established and directed the NIDDK Central Repositories, which house data and samples from major NIDDK-funded clinical studies and served as deputy division director for KUH from 2005-2007. Rasooly managed several large consortia and research resources in areas such as cystic kidney disease, genetics and genomics of kidney and urologic diseases, among many other roles within KUH.

Photo of Dr. Brent B. Stanfield

Dr. Brent B. Stanfield, director of NIDDK’s Division of Extramural Activities (DEA), retired on Dec. 31 after over 30 years with NIH. Stanfield joined the National Institute of Mental Health in 1987 and served as a research biologist and eventually the institute’s director of science policy. He joined the NIH Center for Scientific Review in 2000, serving as deputy director and then as acting director. Stanfield came to NIDDK in 2005 to lead DEA’s efforts to advise on the development, implementation, and coordination of extramural programs and policies. His responsibilities also included the oversight of extramural research applications, processing of awards for grants, cooperative agreements, and fellowships. In 2015, while continuing his job at NIDDK, he also served as Acting Deputy Director of NIH’s Office of Extramural Research, a post he held for over 10 months.

2017 NIDDK Employee Appreciation Awards

Several NIDDK staff received commendations for their work at the annual employee appreciation celebration in October. Awardees are:

Nancy Nossal Mentorship Award
Barbara Linder, M.D., Ph.D.

William G. Coleman Jr. Award for Diversity and Inclusion
Robert L. Hanson, M.D., M.P.H.

Director’s Award – Individual
Catherine C. Cowie, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Catherine A.S. Carr, M.S.
Marva Moxey-Mims, M.D.
Jay H. Hoofnagle, M.D.
Christine Hunter, Ph.D.
Lothar Hennighausen, Ph.D.

Director’s Award – Group
Clinical Research Working Group
Michele Barnard, Ph.D.
Maria Elena Bloom, Ph.D.
Sharon Bourque
Catherine A.S. Carr, M.S.
Xiaodu Guo, M.D., Ph.D.
Christine Hunter, Ph.D.
Teresa L. Z. Jones, M.D.
Robert Kuczmarski, Dr.P.H.
John W. Kusek
Barbara Linder, M.D., Ph.D.
Karl F. Malik, Ph.D.
Marva Moxey-Mims, M.D.
Mary K. Rosenberg
Aynur Unalp-Arida, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Terra L. Vinson, M.P.A.

The Kidney Precision Medicine Project
Kevin Abbott, M.D., M.P.H.
Michael F. Flessner, M.D., Ph.D.
Daniel Gossett, Ph.D.
Jason Hoffert, Ph.D.
Deborah K. Hoshizaki, Ph.D.
Christian Ketchum, Ph.D.
Paul L. Kimmel, M.D.
John W. Kusek
Marva Moxey-Mims, M.D.
Andrew S. Narva, M.D.
Jenna M. Norton
Tracy Rankin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Rebekah Rasooly, Ph.D.
Krystyna Rys-Sikora, Ph.D.
Yining Xie, M.D.

Re-Building A Kidney Consortium
Daniel Gossett, Ph.D.
Deborah K. Hoshizaki, Ph.D.
Christian Ketchum, Ph.D.
Krystyna Rys-Sikora, Ph.D.

Innovation Award – Individual
Betty B. Tong, Ph.D.

Innovation Award – Group
Robin J. Klevins
Vy P. Tran

Extramural Grantee Contract Group
Agnes Rooke, J.D., M.S.
Averell H. Sherker, M.D., FRCPC

NIDDK "You Make a Difference Award" – Individual
Michelle Ashmus, R.N.
Alice K. Franks
Mark Foster St. Claire, D.V.M.
Gerardo E. Hasse
Julia Jackson
Ellen Werber Leschek, M.D.
Charlene Poole
Edgar M. Salcedo
Theresa C. Smith
Rebecca Torrance, R.N., M.S.

NIDDK "You Make a Difference Award" – Group
FEDS Feed Families Food Drive Group
Robin Brooks
Carle Nowakowski
Vanessa Rebelo
Amanda Rogers
Michelle West
Iris Zavala

Genomics Core
Weiping Chen, Ph.D.
John Hanover, Ph.D.
Chithra K. Nightingale, Ph.D.
Harold Smith, Ph.D.
Sijung Yun, Ph.D.

Commissioned Corps Awards
The Unit Commendation
Megan Startzell

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