Commendations & Commencements
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 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 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 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. 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. 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 (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, 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, 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.