NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2024

Director's Note

NIDDK is well known for supporting research on some of the most common, costly, and consequential diseases in the United States. However, NIDDK's efforts extend to lesser-known areas, such as researching rare diseases and ensuring that scientific knowledge is effectively communicated and disseminated to patients and healthcare providers who could benefit from it most.

In this issue, we highlight how NIDDK researchers are working with patients to advance research on a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). In addition to PSC, NIDDK conducts and supports research in a variety of rare disease areas, underscoring the Institute’s dedication to addressing the needs of all patients, including those with less common conditions.

NIDDK is also committed to translating the science-based knowledge gained from its research into clear, accessible information that can be shared efficiently and broadly with healthcare professionals, patients and their families, and the public. This issue spotlights a new, innovative pilot project that expands access to relevant and timely NIDDK health information by integrating it into Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems nationwide.

Another NIDDK priority is fostering exceptional research training and mentoring opportunities. In this issue, we see that work in action as we meet NIDDK postdoctoral trainee Dr. Blake Wilson and get to know Program Director Dr. Shilpa Hattangadi, who mentors early-career investigators and facilitates training programs. These efforts are vital for cultivating the next generation of researchers and ensuring continued innovation and excellence in the biomedical research field.

To maximize investments, NIDDK supports cross-cutting science that is broadly applicable to many disease-specific research issues. The diversity of NIDDK’s research is reflected in this issue’s research updates, which cover topics including how early-stage heart disease is detectable via MRI in asymptomatic persons living with HIV, a gut bacteria that may reduce cholesterol and lower heart disease risk, and how metabolic inflexibility may affect calorie intake.

NIDDK’s multi-faceted approach to health research and dissemination aims to enhance the quality of life and improve health outcomes for all individuals. By addressing both common and rare diseases, translating research findings into practical health information, and supporting the development of future researchers, NIDDK continues to inspire progress and improve public health.

In good health,

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

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