NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2021

Director's Note

Dr. Rodgers Speaking with a PI using a Tablet

When we as a community celebrate a milestone, we often pause to reflect on the path we took to reach it and envision the tremendous promise that lies ahead. Such is the case this year when we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of insulin.

Thanks to one of the greatest discoveries in medicine, people diagnosed with what we now call type 1 diabetes can live into adulthood with the lifesaving treatment insulin provided. And we know that insulin wasn’t discovered overnight. It took years of trial and error, imperfect theories, and experimentation to reach the experiment that finally worked.

In this issue, we celebrate the process — and progress — of research and learning that ultimately bring us to new discoveries. In addition to an overview of NIDDK’s history of diabetes research, one of the Institute’s most esteemed researchers, Dr. Gary Felsenfeld, is profiled in this issue’s Getting to Know feature. Felsenfeld was mentored by two-time Nobel Laureate Dr. Linus Pauling and went on to mentor future Nobel winners during his career at NIH.

In addition to highlighting the more senior researchers at NIDDK, this issue includes our first NIDDK Fellow Spotlight to share experiences of just some of the many rising stars participating in our post-baccalaureate and post-doctoral fellowship in our Division of Intramural Research. We will feature new fellows regularly as well as on our social media accounts. Follow us to learn more about these trainees.

NIDDK leaders and students.Drs. Griffin P. Rodgers and Lawrence Agodoa met with students of Marshall Islands High School in 2018 for the STEP-UP program.

We also take a look at the 40-year history of NIDDK’s support and training programs through the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination. Through successful programs like the Short-Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP), NIDDK continues to provide unique learning opportunities to research trainees across their learning years.

Lastly, once again NIDDK has ranked No. 1 among all NIH institutes in the 2020 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey in Global Satisfaction, Employee Engagement, and Belief in Action, with nearly 75% of eligible NIDDK staff responding. I am proud of the continuous learning and feedback efforts that our Executive Office leads here to help make NIDDK a great place to work. They live up to our motto - You Speak - We Listen - Things Happen!

In good health,

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Follow @NIDDKgov on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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