NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2023

Director's Note

What inspires us to do what we do?  Where do we find our “why”? 

For some, a unique experience or seeing something that strikes an emotional chord may compel action. Others may be blessed with an innate curiosity that frequently leads them down untrodden roads filled with questions to answer. 

For many in scientific research and medicine, inspiration often comes from a desire to make a positive impact on the lives of others. At NIDDK, our “why” is, at its simplest, a guiding principle in our mission and strategic plan – “to improve disease prevention, treatment, and health equity—pursuing pathways to health for all.”

In this issue, we feature a behind-the-scenes look at our new "Pathways to Health for All" report, which complements the NIDDK Strategic Plan to provide a roadmap for advancing NIDDK’s research portfolio to improve health equity and eliminate health disparities. The report relied on input from experts in scientific research, and equally important, from the communities our research serves – including patients, caregivers, health care providers, patient-advocacy organizations, and other members of the public with interest in our work. We hear from David Rodriguez, a community member and kidney and liver transplant recipient, who participated in developing the report. In doing so, he put his imprint on helping NIDDK pursue its mission.

We also get to know clinical researcher Dr. Madhumita Sinha, from NIDDK’s Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, and postdoctoral fellow Dr. Karl-Frédéric Vieux from our Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology. They talk about their “whys” and what fuels their commitments to improving health and access to information and resources in their communities. 

This year also commemorates the 20th anniversary of NIDDK’s Central Repository, which provides access to resources, including data and biospecimens, from NIDDK-funded research to investigators around the globe. Read how this data-sharing tool helps maximize the impact of NIDDK’s investments to improve health for all.

Lastly, we celebrate some of NIDDK’s staff, including Drs. Alan Schechter and Constance Noguchi, who are making notable transitions within the Division of Intramural Research, and Dr. Anne Sumner, who recently received an award for her leadership in advancing diversity and inclusion in the medical science field. Learn more about these outstanding achievements and how so many in NIDDK’s global community mobilize their “whys” into improving health care, information access, opportunity, and equity for people everywhere. 

In good health,

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P.
Director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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