NIDDK Director's Update Fall 2019

Commendations & Commencements


Dr. William Cefalu headshot

Dr. William Cefalu is the new director of NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases. He comes to NIDDK from the American Diabetes Association, where he served as the chief scientific, medical, and mission officer. Cefalu brings more than 35 years of experience as a physician, organizational leader, and investigator to the post, including more than 25 years of experience with NIH-supported research. He previously served as professor and executive director of the Louisiana State University’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center, as the principal investigator for two NIH-funded research centers, and as a faculty member at Tulane University School of Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine.

A Fond Farewell

Andrew Narva Headshot

Dr. Andrew Narva, director of the National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP), will leave NIDDK August 31 to begin a doctoral program in urban sustainability. Since joining NIDDK’s Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (KUH) in 2006, Narva served as NKDEP director, as a KUH program director overseeing a portfolio focused on population health and pragmatic trials, and as chair of the federal Kidney Interagency Coordinating Committee. He also served as the chief clinical consultant for nephrology for the Indian Health Service.


Dr. William Eaton was selected to receive the Henry M. Stratton Medal from the American Society of Hematology. Eaton is an NIH distinguished investigator and chief of the Laboratory of Chemical Physics at NIDDK, where he leads biochemical and biophysical research on sickle cell disease pathophysiology and drug therapy.

Camille Hoover headshot

The ReImagine HHS campaign featured Camille Hoover, NIDDK executive officer, in an eblast about her work developing a tool to analyze employee survey data. Hoover and staff developed the tool to provide detailed analysis and data visualization for the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey. Managers can use that data to guide improvements in the workplace. The eblast highlighted Hoover’s creation of initiatives that support and recognize staff, as well as her, “you spoke, we listened, things happened,” campaign. Hoover also co-leads the President’s Management Agenda, Cross Agency Priority Subgoal for Improving Employee Performance Management and Engagement, a team composed of senior leaders from agencies across the federal government.

Caroline Philpott headshot

Dr. Caroline Philpott, chief of NIDDK’s Genetics and Metabolism Section in the Liver Diseases Branch, is a 2019 recipient of Duke Medical Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumna Award. The award, to be presented in November, honors Duke University School of Medicine alumni who have made significant contributions to medical education, research, and practice. Philpott is recognized internationally for her groundbreaking work in the biochemistry and cell biology of iron metabolism.

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers formal headshot

Editor’s note: The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers with the ASH Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity at its annual meeting in December. The award is for his extraordinary commitment to diversity and inclusion in hematology. In addition to serving as the director of NIDDK, Rodgers is chief of the NIDDK Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch and Molecular Hematology Section, where he has worked to achieve broad representation of diverse populations both in the scientific workforce and among those who participate in clinical trials. He also oversees several programs focused on promoting diversity by supporting researchers from underrepresented communities.

NIH Director's Awards

The 2019 NIH Director’s Awards, presented July 15, recognized more than a dozen NIDDK staff for their contributions at NIH.

Dr. Lothar Hennighausen received an individual NIH Director’s Award for outstanding achievements in fully characterizing and exploiting genome editing technologies to understand super-enhancer function and hormone-controlled gene regulation during pregnancy.

Dr. Anne Sumner received a Ruth L. Kirschstein Mentoring Award for exemplary performance while demonstrating significant leadership, skill, and ability in serving as a mentor.

U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Captain Dr. Jose Serrano received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services PHS Commissioned Corps Distinguish Service Medal, the highest Commissioned Corps honor award, for his leadership and initiative in guiding the gastrointestinal, pancreas, and liver research programs of NIDDK.

NIDDK employees who received group awards included

  • The NIH Nutrition Strategic Research Leadership Team received an award in recognition of their exceptional leadership in developing the first ever NIH Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research that represents current priorities in NIH-supported nutrition research. Team members include Kimberly Barch, Dr. Mary Evans, Rachel Fisher, Dr. Christopher Lynch, Dr. Andrew Narva, and Dr. Megan Singh.
  • Drs. Susan Buchanan and T. Jake Liang of the NIH Equity Committee, for establishing the committee as a forum for identifying and disseminating best practices in intramural research resource allocation.
  • Drs. Susan Buchanan, Deborah Hinton, and Peggy Hsieh of the Woman Scientist Advisors (WSA) Executive Committee, for leadership of the WSA in promoting recruitment, retention, and recognition of women scientists and fair treatment with respect to salary and work environment.
  • Camille Hoover for work on the Anti-Harassment Program team, in recognition of exceptional efforts in development and deployment of the NIH Anti-Harassment Program.
  • Hoover also received an award for her work on the NIH Hiring Controls Committee, for outstanding leadership in establishing and executing the hiring controls process, improving the efficiency of central workforce management for NIH, as part of Optimize NIH.
  • Dr. Paul Kimmel of the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-Term (HEAL) team, in recognition of exceptional contributions in the publication of funding opportunities announcements for the HEAL initiative.
  • Dr. Ellen Leschek of the INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE (INCLUDE) project leadership team, for extraordinary efforts to develop and launch a trans-NIH initiative addressing the health and quality-of-life needs for individuals with Down syndrome and its co-occurring conditions.
  • Dr. Christopher Mullins of the Trans-NIH ME/CFS Working Group, in recognition of efforts supporting awareness and activities that advance Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) research.
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