NIDDK Director's Update Fall 2022

Commendations & Commencements


Dr. Jan-Michael Klapproth

Dr. Jan-Michael Klapproth joined NIDDK's Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition as a program officer. His interest is focused on basic and clinical research into infectious diarrhea and inflammatory conditions of the gut, which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Prior to joining NIDDK, Dr. Klapproth was a clinical medical professor at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Hanyu Maggie Liang

Dr. Hanyu “Maggie” Liang joined NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases as program director for hepatic metabolism research. Liang will oversee a portfolio of research grants on carbohydrate and lipid metabolism within the liver and subsequent effects on systemic physiology including the contribution of hepatic metabolism to obesity, insulin resistance/sensitivity and diabetes. Liang comes to NIDDK from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio where she was a scientific administrator.

Dr. Khoa Nguyen

Dr. Khoa Nguyen joined NIDDK’s Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition as a program officer focusing on the biology of HIV persistence in the gut and the impact of HIV on GI health. Nguyen will also be representing NIDDK-wide interests on trans-NIH initiatives focused on HIV viral reservoirs and pathogenesis throughout the body. Nguyen has been working at NIDDK for the last two years as a contractor where he played a key role in managing and growing the Institute’s HIV/AIDS research portfolio across divisions.

Dr. Sanaz Sakiani

Dr. Sanaz Sakiani joined NIDDK as a staff clinician and associate program director for the Inter-Institute Endocrinology Fellowship Program. Prior to joining NIDDK, Sakiani was a clinical endocrinologist in Baltimore, Maryland focusing on the treatment of people with type 2 diabetes and other endocrine diseases.

Dr. Theresa Teslovich Woo

Dr. Theresa Teslovich Woo joined NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases as program director for the Human Behavioral Neuroscience of Obesity and Diabetes portfolio. This newly established portfolio supports research exploring the relationship between the brain and behavior and how these interactions may impact metabolic health including diabetes and obesity. Prior to joining NIDDK, Woo was the clinical research protocol specialist overseeing the traumatic brain injury research portfolio at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Maryland.


Dr. Sriram Gubbi

Dr. Sriram Gubbi, assistant research physician in NIDDK’s Metabolic Diseases Branch, was awarded the Distinguished Clinical Teaching Award, the highest honor bestowed on an NIH investigator, staff clinician or tenure-track investigator by the NIH Fellows Committee. Gubbi received the award for his outstanding contributions towards mentoring and training fellows in the NIH Inter-Institute Endocrine Fellowship Program.

Dr. David Saslowsky

Dr. David Saslowsky, deputy director of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, received the American Gastroenterological Association Research Service Award for contributing to the career development of countless digestive health and disease early career investigators, including creating a new program in response to hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fond Farewell

Dr. Lawrence Agodoa

Dr. Lawrence Agodoa, director of NIDDK’s Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC), has retired after 35 years of service to NIH. As OMHRC director since 2000, Agodoa spearheaded many of NIDDK’s signature programs to advance health equity and scientific workforce diversity. His career accomplishments also include leading the development and implementation of NIDDK’s first Strategic Plan on Minority Health Disparities and making valued public health contributions through kidney disease research and clinical practice. In all his roles, he remained tirelessly dedicated to achieving NIDDK’s mission of improving health for all people.

Dr. James Balow

Dr. James (Jim) Balow, senior investigator in NIDDK’s Kidney Diseases Branch and former NIDDK clinical director, retired in June after 50 years of service at NIH. Balow began his career in NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1972 before starting with NIDDK in 1977. He served as NIDDK’s clinical director from 1989 to 2020. Balow contributed to countless biomedical discoveries including establishing the NIH regimen for treating lupus nephritis, and started several unique programs including the first in-house nephrology patient consult service at the NIH Clinical Center and a world-class clinical research program on immunologically mediated glomerular diseases. Read more about Balow and his career in the Winter 2020 issue of the Director’s Update.

Dr. Anthony Furano

Dr. Anthony Furano, section chief in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Cell and Molecular Biology, retired after 39 years with NIDDK. Furano and his lab carried out several pioneering studies, including showing the protein chain elongation factor, Tu, is the most abundant cytoplasmic protein found in E. coli, and that Tu is co-regulated with its RNA components. Before the emergence of whole-genome DNA sequencing, Furano’s lab demonstrated that around 20% of DNA in mammals consists of mobile genetic elements that have been continuously evolving in mammals for millions of years. This finding led Furano’s group to demonstrate that DNA repair can cause genetic mutations. Furano also serves on the editorial board of Mobile DNA and is a contributing member of the University of California San Diego Project for Explaining the Origin of Humans.

Dr. Joseph Shiloach

Dr. Joseph Shiloach, senior investigator and head of NIDDK’s Biotechnology Core Laboratory, has retired after 43 years with NIH. Shiloach divided his time at NIDDK between basic biotechnological research and the production of various biological compounds for research projects across NIDDK and the NIH. Shiloach’s work focused on developing methods to produce and isolate biological products from sources such as mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria, yeast, and fungi. His work played a large role in various vaccine development, drug development, and beyond. Along with Shiloach’s retirement, NIDDK will also retire the Biotechnology Core Laboratory and its production facility. Learn more about the lab and the role it played in numerous significant scientific developments in the News Around NIDDK section.

Dr. Karen Teff

Dr. Karen Teff, program director in NIDDK’s Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases, has retired after nine years of service. Teff oversaw a diverse research portfolio covering basic and clinical research on the effects of bariatric surgery on diabetes; the mechanisms of hypoglycemia; autonomic nervous system control of metabolic dysfunction; and human sleep and circadian rhythms. Teff also served as Co-Director for the NIDDK Office of Obesity Research since 2021.

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