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NIDDK establishes Office of Nutrition Research

On August 1, the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) will establish the Office of Nutrition Research within the NIDDK Office of the Director. The office will replace the NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination (DNRC).

Guided by an assessment of DNRC activities, the new office will assist in leading a trans-NIH group that will strategically plan new initiatives for NIH nutrition research. The office will also be closely aligned with nutritional sciences grant funding programs across NIDDK. The NIDDK is NIH’s largest funder of nutrition research.

The director of the Office of Nutrition Research will both lead the office and serve as chief of the Nutrition Research Branch in the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. “The new office will continue the DNRC’s commitment to nutritional research coordination, while taking careful steps to expand NIH mission-specific nutrition research,” said NIDDK Deputy Director Dr. Gregory Germino. “We believe the office’s new structure will improve coordination and stimulate new, cutting-edge research in the field.”

The announcement coincides with the planned retirement of Dr. Van Hubbard, director of the Division of Nutrition Research Coordination. Hubbard has had a long and distinguished career at NIH starting in the intramural program in 1976, leading NIDDK extramural nutritional sciences research programs since 1983, and serving as a senior advisor on obesity to the HHS Secretary. He is also a retired assistant surgeon general and rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service.

“Van has been a titan in this field—a world-renowned and respected scientist, advocate for public health and coordinator of nutrition research,” said Dr. Stephen James, director of the NIDDK Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition. “We will miss his wisdom, dedication and enthusiasm for research.”

During the transition, NIDDK will continue many of the DNRC’s ongoing activities.

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