NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2021

Commendations & Commencements


Photo of Ludmila Pawlikowska

Dr. Ludmila Pawlikowska joined NIDDK as a program officer for genetics and genomics research in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. She also serves as a project scientist for the NIDDK Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium. Pawlikowska received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and Ph.D. from the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF), and completed post-doctoral work in genetics of biliary disorders and common and rare disease genomics. Prior to joining NIDDK, she was an associate professor and a member of the Institute for Human Genetics at the University of California, San Francisco where she conducted research in genomics of liver disorders, aging, stroke, and vascular malformations.

A Fond Farewell

Photo of Dr. Phil Smith.

Dr. Philip Smith, deputy director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases (DEM), retired in May after 31 years at NIH. In addition to overseeing the administrative management of DEM, Smith served in key leadership roles at NIDDK, including as co-director of the NIDDK Office of Obesity Research, where he helped develop long-range goals and research priorities for the institute’s obesity research portfolio. Smith also co-chaired the Accelerating Medicines Partnership in Type 2 Diabetes, a public-private research partnership that developed a large, comprehensive public database to identify potential drug targets for type 2 diabetes treatment. Smith also co-chaired the NIH the 4D Nucleome Program and the NIH Metabolomics Program through the NIH Common Fund.


Photo of Dr. Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska.

Dr. Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, Lasker Tenure Track Investigator in NIDDK’s Metabolic Diseases Branch, won the Young Physician-Scientist Award from the American Society for Clinical Investigation in recognition for her significant achievements in clinical and translational research on thyroid cancer.

Photo of Dr. Jeffrey Kopp.

Dr. Jeffrey Kopp, chief of the Kidney Diseases Section in NIDDK’s Kidney Diseases Branch, was elected as a member of the Association of American Physicians. Kopp was recognized for advancing the understanding and treatment of diverse renal syndromes. He also identified a chromosome region responsible for increased focal segmental glomerulosclerosis risk among African Americans.

Photo of Dr. Lynnette Nieman.

Dr. Lynnette Nieman, chief of the Section on Translational Endocrinology in NIDDK’s Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Obesity Branch, was elected as a member of the Association of American Physicians. Nieman was recognized for her innovative approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of Cushing’s syndrome, as well as the development of guidelines for the condition. Neiman also conducted seminal studies leading to commercialization of ulipristal acetate for the treatment of fibroids and emergency contraception.

Photo of Dr. Thomas Schmidt.

Dr. Thomas Schmidt, staff scientist in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Chemical Physics, won the 2021 John-Weil Young Investigator Award from the International EPR (ESR) Society. Schmidt was honored for his research contributions to the field of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to advance protein structure studies.

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