NIDDK Director's Update Winter 2022

Commendations & Commencements

In Memoriam

Paul D. Berk

Dr. Paul D. Berk, the founding director of NIDDK’s Liver Diseases Branch and a long-term NIDDK-funded investigator died on July 11, 2021. Dr. Berk received funding from NIDDK to research bilirubin and fatty acid metabolism, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, and bariatric surgery. He also served on the NIDDK Advisory Council from 1990-1993. Dr. Berk was the founding editor of Seminars in Liver Disease and later the editor-in-chief of Hepatology, the official publication of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). He served on the AASLD Council for many years, was elected president of the Council in 1988 and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2003.

Peter J. Roach

Dr. Peter J. Roach, longtime NIDDK grantee and distinguished professor of Indiana University, died on March 11, 2022. Dr. Roach was a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and was considered the world’s foremost expert on glycogen metabolism and regulation. Dr. Roach’s groundbreaking discoveries have contributed to the scientific understanding of glycogen storage diseases, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease and informed potential treatment approaches. Most recently, he described the molecular mechanisms responsible for the rare genetic glycogen storage disease known as Lafora disease and helped develop a novel drug to treat it. The drug, an oral glycogen synthase inhibitor, has entered early-stage clinical testing for treatment of people with various glycogen storage diseases.


Ben Afzali

Dr. Behdad (Ben) Afzali was elected as a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, an honor that recognizes innovative and exceptional physicians for their ongoing contributions to medicine. A Stadtman Tenure-Track Investigator, Afzali oversees the Immunoregulation Section in NIDDK’s Kidney Diseases Branch, which focuses on understanding the mechanisms and resolution of tissue inflammation.

The NIDDK Green Labs team received the 2022 Honorable Mention Award for Communications and Education of Green Labs Strategies from the International Institute of Sustainable Laboratories. To learn about how NIDDK labs are practicing sustainability, energy and water conservation, and waste reduction, check out this video and article from the Spring 2022 issue of the NIDDK Director’s Update.

Kenneth Jacobson

Dr. Kenneth Jacobson was awarded the American Chemical Society’s 2023 E.B. Hershberg Award for Important Discoveries in Medicinally Active Substances. Jacobson’s decades of research have led to the development of promising therapies for many diseases, and his lab has produced more than 35 compounds that are commercially available as research tools and used in hundreds of laboratories. Read about his work in drug discovery.

Griffin Rodgers

Editors' Note: NIDDK Director Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers was awarded the 2022 Atkinson Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service from The Obesity Society for his strong and sustained commitment to improving the lives of people with obesity and other nutrition-related chronic diseases.

2022 NIDDK Employee Appreciation Awards

This year’s NIDDK Employee Appreciation Awards, presented October 20, recognized the following people for their noteworthy achievements and dedication to federal service:

Nancy Nossal Mentorship Award
Meryl Waldman

William G. Coleman Jr. Award for Diversity and Inclusion – Individual
Madhumita Sinha, M.D.
Lisa Spain, Ph.D.
Rachel Williams

William G. Coleman Jr. Award for Diversity and Inclusion – Group

LGBTQ+ Community Support Group
Brent Abel
Bonnie Burgess-Beusse, Ph.D.
Maureen Monaghan Center, Ph.D.
Maureen Clark
Sandeep Dayal, Ph.D.
Elise DiSciullo
Nikki Durham
Ryan Gonzales
Erica Hennes
Deborah Hinton, Ph.D.
Christine Maric-Bilkan, Ph.D.
Susanne Neumann, Ph.D.
Ludmila Pawlikowska, Ph.D.
Heather Rieff, Ph.D.
Heather Rogers
Beth Shapiro
Terez Shea-Donohue, Ph.D.
Jaime Smith, Ph.D.
Julie Wallace, Ph.D.
Kateri Ware
Vanessa White
Bonnie Zimmerman

Director’s Award (Scientific) – Individual
Beena Akolkar, Ph.D.
Charles Bou Nader
Ann Jerkins, Ph.D.
Sayuko Kobes

Director’s Award (Scientific) – Group

COVID 19 New Onset Diabetes Working Group
Miranda Broadney, M.D.
Maureen Monaghan Center, Ph.D.
Thomas Eggerman, M.D., Ph.D.
Maren Laughlin, Ph.D.
Jean Lawrence, Sc.D.
Barbara Linder, M.D., Ph.D.
Saul Malozowski, M.D., Ph.D.
Michael Mensah

ICD-Pieces Consortium
Kevin Chan, M.D.
Susan Mendley, M.D.

NIDDK Strategic Plan Development
Kevin Abbott, M.D.
Kristin Abraham, Ph.D.
Beena Akolkar, Ph.D.
Tamara Bavendam, M.D.
Henry Burch, M.D.
Rebecca Cerio, Ph.D.
Sandeep Dayal, Ph.D.
Mary Evans, Ph.D.
Lisa Gansheroff, Ph.D.
Julie Heck
Erica Hennes
Teresa Jones, M.D.
Paul Kimmel, M.D.
Ziya Kirkali, M.D.
Ellen Leschek, M.D.
Barbara Linder, M.D., Ph.D.
Christine Maric-Bilkan, Ph.D.
Christopher Mullins, Ph.D.
Jennifer Norton, Ph.D.
Voula Osganian, M.D., Sc.D.
Afshin Parsa, M.D.
Peter Perrin, Ph.D.
Matthew Portnoy, Ph.D.
Anna Sadusky, Ph.D.
David Saslowsky, Ph.D.
Sheryl Sato, Ph.D.
Beth Shapiro
Terez Shea-Donohue, Ph.D.
Averell Sherker, M.D.
Philip Smith, Ph.D.
Lisa Spain, Ph.D.
Victoria Spruance, Ph.D.
Pamela Thornton, Ph.D.
Robert Tilghman, Ph.D.
Aynur Unalp-Arida, M.D., M.Sc., Ph.D.
Julie Wallace, Ph.D.
Susan Yanovski, M.D.

Trans-NIH CURE Program
Yuxia Cui, Ph.D.
Raquel Greer M.D.
Bonnie Joubert, Ph.D.
Paul Kimmel, M.D.
Susan Mendley, M.D.
Kathleen Michels, Ph.D.
Deepak Nihalani, Ph.D.
Afshin Parsa, M.D.
Ivonne Schulman, M.D.
Neha Shah

SDP T1D Research Planning Team
Beena Akolkar, Ph.D.
Rebecca Cerio, Ph.D.
Mary Tilghman, Ph.D.
Julie Wallace, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist Advisory Board
Lara Abramowitz, Ph.D.
Robert Brychta, Ph.D.
Tomos Cabeza De Baca, Ph.D.
Weiping Chen, Ph.D.
Amber Courville, Ph.D.
Herman Edskes, Ph.D.
Daniel Garrett, Ph.D.
Oksana Gavrilova, Ph.D.
Rodolfo Ghirlando, Ph.D.
Alison Hickman, Ph.D.
Daman Kumari, Ph.D.
Min Li, Ph.D.
Susanne Neumann, Ph.D.
Olga Protchenko, Ph.D.
Cuiying Xiao, M.D., Ph.D.
Peter Yuen, Ph.D.

Director’s Award (Clinical) – Individual
Stephanie Chung, M.B.B.S.

Director’s Award (Clinical) – Group

Clinical Research Team
Nehna Nehna Abdul Majeed, M.D.
Patricia Alcivar
Steffan Cooper
Asif Hitawala, M.D.
Jaha Norman-Wheeler
Elenita Rivera
Anna Liza Rivero
Shani Scott
Gracia Viana Rodriguez, M.D.
Teaira Tolson
David Yardeni, M.D.

DEM Stakeholder Engagement Center Team
Kristin Abraham, Ph.D.
Beena Akolkar, Ph.D.
Shavon Artis Dickerson, Dr.P.H.
Miranda Broadney, M.D., Ph.D.
Carol Haft, Ph.D.
Barbara Linder, M.D., Ph.D.
Saira Mehmood, Ph.D.
Michael Mensah
Lisa Spain, Ph.D.
Karen Teff, Ph.D.
Pamela Thornton, Ph.D.

Quality Assurance and Compliance Group
Courtney Duncan
Nicole Kofsky
Sheila Smith
Mary Walter, Ph.D.
James Welch

Director’s Award (Administrative) – Individual
Dee Doherty
Lynn Oundo
Katie Tucker

Director’s Award (Administrative) – Group

Extension of K and F Awards in Time and Funding Group
Arthur Castle, Ph.D.
Mitchell Curling
Christine Densmore
Shilpa Hattangadi, M.D.
Yan Li, Ph.D.
Christine Maric-Bilkan, Ph.D.
Voula Osganian, M.D., Sc.D.
Tracy Rankin, Ph.D.
Cindy Roy, Ph.D.
David Saslowsky, Ph.D.
Aliecia Shepherd
Lisa Spain, Ph.D.

Office of Research Evaluation and Operations Staff
Thomas Smith
Terra Vinson

NIDDK Travel Team
Audra Harrison
Sabrina Intoranat
Lynn Oundo
Becca Peak

Innovation Awards

NIDDK HIV/AIDS Research Program
Koha Nguyen, Pharm.D.
Peter Perrin, Ph.D.

NIDDK Live Chat Team
Jessica Barbalho
William Bennett
Leslie Curtis
Adam Hall
Kathleen Hamill
Sonja Hatten
Julia Jackson
Sterling Krauss
Daniel Owens
Benjamin Pinegar
Rathna Ramani
Erica Reifinger
Jen Rymaruk
Michael Schultz
Dana Sheets
Joslin Sheridan
Hilary Shutak
Clayton Tompkins
Anthony Zacharias

NIDDK Radio and Satellite Television Media Tour Team
Emily Back
Alicia Clement
Jessica Culotta
Leslie Curtis
Toni Dove
Jonathan Frost
Claire Gerner
Julia Jackson
Alexis Lindo
Alexandra Malaty
Matt Oldham
Jen Rymaruk
Hilary Shutak
Ali Skodol
Griffy Tannenbaum
Alyssa Voss

Reimagining of the KUH Institutional Training Program
Tracy Rankin, Ph.D
Victoria Spruance, Ph.D

50 Years of Service
James Balow, M.D.

40 Years of Service
Marcy Comly
Deborah Hinton, Ph.D.
Victoria M. Ossowski
Ruth Robinson

30 Years of Service
Harris Bernstein, Ph.D.
Jam’esetta Jamie Coaster
Elaine Cochran
Samantha Jarvis
Michael Krause, Ph.D.
Schendell Lindsay
Jennifer Portas
OIeg Voloshin, Ph.D.

20 Years of Service
Art Castle, Ph.D.
Helen Cox
Dolores Doherty
William Esquerra Jr.
Tetsunari Fukushige, Ph.D.
Ying Huang, M.D.
Padma Maruvada, Ph.D.
Christopher Mullins, Ph.D.
Kevin O’Connell, Ph.D.
Renee Rabben
Heather Rieff, Ph.D.
Paul Rushing, Ph.D.

10 Years of Service
Robert Best, Ph.D.
Gishell Cruz
Steven Dudas, Ph.D.
Juen Guo, Ph.D.
Kirby Gutierrez
Sabrina Intoranat
Vikas Khator
Luis Fernando Menezes, M.D., Ph.D.
Robert O’Connor, Ph.D.
Rathna Ramani
Michael Reidy, Ph.D.
Amanda Rogers
Hilary Shutak
Jaime Smith, Ph.D.
Michael Stagliano
Yen Trang
Michael Traurig

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