NIDDK Director's Update Spring 2023

Commendations & Commencements


Rajatava Basu, Ph.D.

Dr. Rajatava Basu joined the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases to oversee programs focused on the physiologic contribution of the immune system and the development, severity, and resolution of non-autoimmune diabetes, obesity, and associated metabolic syndromes. Prior to joining NIDDK, Basu was an assistant professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, Department of Pathology, at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Rafael Gorospe, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. J. Rafael (Raffy) Gorospe joined the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases as program director for translational research on diabetes in older adults and programs focused on improving outcomes for adults with and at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Prior to joining NIDDK, Gorospe was a program director at NIH’s National Center for Research Resources, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and a science advisor in the Office of AIDS Research.


Behdad (Ben) Afzali, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.

Dr. Behdad (Ben) Afzali, Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator and section chief in NIDDK’s Kidney Diseases Branch, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation for his work on basic mechanisms of tissue inflammation.

Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.Sc

Dr. Joanna Klubo-Gwiezdzinska, Lasker Tenure Track Investigator and acting section chief in NIDDK’s Metabolic Diseases Branch, was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation for her work on thyroid cancer.

Lee S. Weinstein, M.D.

Dr. Lee Weinstein, chief of NIDDK’s Metabolic Diseases Branch, was elected as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is recognized for his distinguished contributions to the fields of endocrinology and metabolism, particularly defining genetic and epigenetic defects associated with endocrine disorders and the role of G protein signaling in metabolic regulation.

Jürgen Wess, Ph.D.

Dr. Jürgen Wess, section chief in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Bioorganic Chemistry, was selected as a fellow of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. Wess is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the pharmacology field, particularly through pioneering research on G protein-coupled receptors, as well as his long-standing commitment to mentoring young scientists of diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Jinwei Zhang

Dr. Jinwei Zhang, Senior Investigator in NIDDK’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology, received the RNA Society’s Early-Career Award for his outstanding achievements in the field of RNA research which may lead to the development of novel antibacterial and antiviral drugs against drug-resistant bacteria and HIV.

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