NIDDK Director's Update Fall 2023

Director's Note

Thanks in large part to NIH-funded medical research, Americans today are living longer and healthier lives. With an annual budget of more than $40 billion, NIH is the largest single public funder of biomedical and behavioral research in the world. By providing support for ambitious projects, it empowers researchers to delve into uncharted territories and expand the boundaries of human knowledge.

Biomedical research often requires collaboration across diverse disciplines, from clinical medicine and chemistry to engineering and data science. These collaborations can lead to unexpected breakthroughs and novel solutions that would not have been possible within the confines of a single discipline. In this issue we read about the impact of the remarkable 50-year history of the Diabetes Research Centers, which spearheaded the interdisciplinary approach in diabetes research, and the 40-year commemoration of the groundbreaking NIDDK-supported Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) that changed clinical practice in type 1 diabetes management and spurred decades of new research avenues and advances.

Also highlighted in this issue is the new NIH-supported BRIDGES consortium to bring resources to increase diversity, growth, equity, and scholarship in obesity, nutrition, and diabetes research. While scientific talent is well-represented among people from all backgrounds, opportunity is not. BRIDGES supports post-doctoral scholars in advancing their careers and competing for federal research funding. We also get to know Dr. Mary Evans, the program director for the BRIDGES consortium in NIDDK’s Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition.

We also learn about new research advances, such as a new atlas of human kidney cells. The Kidney Atlas is an open, interactive, hypothesis-generating resource for kidney disease investigators and clinicians around the world and establishes a critical foundation for discovering new treatments for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and acute kidney injury (AKI).

As faithful stewards of public resources, we are committed to making results of NIH-funded research available. Open data maximizes research participants’ contributions and the scientific value and impact of original studies. NIDDK’s Central Repository has datasets and more available and just received the CoreTrustSeal certification, which assures the research community that data, all only of the highest quality are managed safely, ethically, and in adherence to best practices of open science.

NIH’s committed, long-term support makes rigorous research possible. At NIDDK, we are proud to help drive scientific breakthroughs, medical advances, and ultimately, meaningful improvement for the well-being of all people and society as a whole.

In good health,

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Follow Us on Social Media @NIDDKgov

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