U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
NIDDK Director's Update

Director's Note

Summer 2017

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers meets with faculty at the Washington University School of MedicineDr. Griffin P. Rodgers meets with faculty at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Division of Nephrology.
Photo credit: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

No man is an island. Many hands make light work. The sum is greater than its parts. We find the truths of these sayings throughout our work, where forging collaborations can result in new hypotheses and efficiencies as we build toward the greater goal: discoveries that improve health.

You’ll find many examples of this in our NIDDK Centers programs, which encourage collaboration in many forms. As part of the Centers program, we fund cores that provide highly specialized skills or services in NIDDK areas. We encourage Centers to offer core resources widely, building an efficient, cost-effective and scientifically rigorous network of sharable facilities. I encourage you to learn more about our Centers programs in this issue.

We also collaborate across borders, for example, working in partnership with our counterpart agency in India to advance diabetes research, as you can read about in this issue.

Our NIDDK Technology Advancement Office (TAO) also enables vast collaboration. Sometimes it comes in the form of an agreement with a company to share medicines or technology for a trial, extending our ability to conduct or translate research more effectively and economically. Or a company or other outside organization may seek collaboration with one of our internationally renowned NIDDK investigators, as you can read more about in our News Around NIDDK section, where we profile TAO Director Dr. Chuck Niebylski.

NIDDK offers many opportunities for partnerships beyond what you can find in this issue. For example, an NIDDK small business grant helped a company bring the successful Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle intervention as a digital product adaptable to mobile devices – providing the intervention on the go. Now, this company has become one of the major providers of the DPP intervention.

TAO, NIDDK Centers and other facets of NIDDK facilitate partnerships where benefits are mutual, helping us gain knowledge. We're not selling a product. We are advancing research that could improve health. When collaboration brings to the table a unique contribution, then the American people can benefit.

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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