NIDDK Director's Update Spring 2022

Director's Note

Dr. Rodgers in the NIH Clinical Center.After a year of community and partner conversations, NIDDK published its new five-year strategic plan to accelerate research opportunities—a shared vision to improve prevention, treatment, and health equity to build pathways to better health for all. The plan aims to empower multidisciplinary science, engage diverse stakeholders, and leverage discoveries of connections among diseases across NIDDK’s mission.

One way we build and support diversity among research teams is through training and mentorship. In this issue, postdoctoral fellow Dr. Agnes Karasik, from NIDDK’s Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, discusses her inspiration to pursue research and create an inclusive environment for others. NIDDK’s Dr. Caroline Philpott also shares her experience as an NIH trainee and how she supports her staff and gives back through mentorship. In fact, led by the efforts of Philpott’s former lab manager, Minoo Shakoury-Elizeh, Philpott’s lab has become a beacon for other NIH labs on how to “go green,” demonstrating how small changes can make an environmental impact.

NIDDK seeks to make our world better in many ways. Each year I’m pleased to see all of the research advances published by NIDDK-funded scientists and their colleagues in our annual NIDDK Recent Advances & Emerging Opportunities report and in our quarterly Research Updates section.

As so many of our research advances have shown, the roads between diseases and conditions under NIDDK’s mission are intertwined: some may share the same root causes; the presence of one disease may raise the risk of another; and treating one disease may improve the outcome of others. Nutrition research is one example of this – what we eat affects every system in our bodies. In this issue you’ll learn about one new collaborative effort between NIDDK and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop dietary biomarkers – signposts of sorts – to advance nutrition research, a project that aligns with our NIH-wide Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research.

What makes a plan succeed is the passion and purpose of the research and patient communities working hand-in-hand toward shared goals. NIDDK is proud to work with so many toward our shared vision of healthier individuals, communities, and environment.

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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