NIDDK Director's Update Summer 2020

Commendations & Commencements


Dr. Frank Hamilton, NIDDK program director in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, was honored in March with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Digestive Disease National Coalition. He was recognized for his outstanding career, his continued leadership on medical research focused on functional gastrointestinal disorders, and for his stellar administration of NIDDK’s gastrointestinal research portfolio.

Editors’ note: NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers received the National Liver Leadership Award from the American Liver Foundation (ALF) for his exemplary leadership in fostering basic and clinical research in liver disease. Rodgers accepted the award during the ALF Leadership Conference in February.

Rodgers was also named a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the “Sammies,” alongside colleague Dr. John Tisdale for pioneering innovative research on sickle cell disease, an illness affecting more than 20 million people worldwide. Rodgers played a leading role in the development of hydroxyurea, the first effective Food and Drug Administration-approved medicine for treatment of sickle cell disease.

Dr. Robert Best, senior investigator in the NIDDK Laboratory of Chemical Physics, was awarded the 2020 Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, presented to an investigator who excels in the field and is under age 45. Best develops novel computational methods and theories for better understanding large biological molecules, including protein function and evolution. Best is one of two recipients selected to receive the award this year.

Dr. Marius Clore, NIH distinguished investigator in the NIDDK Laboratory of Chemical Physics, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, an honor bestowed for exceptional contributions to science. Clore is known for his pioneering nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) work on protein structure, including the detection of transient, excited states of proteins and their complexes, which has shed unique insights into macromolecular recognition and assembly.

Dr. Robert Tycko, deputy chief in the NIDDK Laboratory of Chemical Physics, was elected into the National Academy of Sciences. He was recognized for his invention of new methods in magnetic resonance spectroscopy of large protein assemblies and for structural characterization of protein fibers that develop in the pancreas and brain and play a role in diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases.

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