NIH 1998 Almanac/The Organization/NIDDK/      

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases : Biographical Sketch of NIDDK Director

Phillip Gorden, M.D.

Born December 22, 1934, in Baldwyn, Miss., Dr. Gorden received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1957 and his M.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 1961. He completed his internship and residency at Yale University and began his research career as a PHS clinical fellow and research fellow in metabolism there in 1964.

He joined NIDDK in 1966 as senior investigator in the Clinical Endocrinology Branch, and, in 1974, he became senior investigator in the Diabetes Branch. From 1976 to 1978, he was a visiting professor at the Institute of Histology and Embryology at the University of Geneva School of Medicine in Switzerland. From 1974 to 1976 and 1980 to 1986, he was institute clinical director.

In 1983 Dr. Gorden was appointed chief of the Diabetes Branch. He has held the position of chief, section on clinical and cellular biology of the Diabetes Branch since 1978. For several years, Dr. Gorden has held appointments as clinical professor of medicine, Uniformed Services Medical School in Bethesda, Md., and clinical associate professor, Howard University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

He was appointed director, NIDDK, on September 5, 1986, to succeed Dr. Lipsett. He was sworn in as an assistant surgeon general (rear admiral) of the USPHS on June 15, 1989.

An internationally recognized expert in diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism, Dr. Gorden’s research interests include disorders of insulin secretion, heterogeneity of circulating polypeptide hormones, hypoglycemic states, and disorders of growth hormone secretion. In collaboration with leading scientists in the diabetes field, he has extensively studied insulin-resistant states in man, especially those characterized by disorders of the insulin receptor, and has pioneered work on receptor mediated endocytosis of polypeptide hormones.

He is the author of more than 250 scientific papers and has received many honors and awards for his work. In 1986 he was presented an honorary doctorate by the University of Geneva in Switzerland for collaborative research relating to diabetes and the mechanisms of insulin action, which has been conducted with the university over the past 10 years. Also in 1986, he was awarded the PHS Distinguished Service Medal.

In 1988 Dr. Gorden received the PHS Commendation Medal. In 1990 he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award and Medal from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. He was honored "for his high achievement through outstanding leadership and contributions to the profession as distinguished physician, clinical scientist, and progressive leader supporting the profession and reflecting high honor on his alma mater through his actions as physician, researcher, alumnus director at NIH and national and international contributor to the profession of medicine."

He received the Instituto Rotariano per l'Italia Meridonale Award of the Rotary International in Naples, Italy, and the Public Information Award of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International in 1992. In 1993 he received the National Scientific Leadership Award of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foun-dation of America, and the PHS Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal.

Dr. Gorden in 1994 received the David Rumbough Award for Research from the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, International; the John K. Lattimer Award from the American Urological Association in 1996;

the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Nephrology in 1997; and in 1998 the Distinguished Scientist Award from the National Disease Research Interchange and the Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award from the Endocrine Society.

Directors of NIDDK

NameDate of Birth Dates of Office
William Henry Sebrell, Jr.1901 Aug. 15, 1950Oct. 1, 1950
Russell M. Wilder1885 Mar. 6, 1951June 30, 1953
Floyd S. DaftMay 19, 1900Oct. 1, 1953May 3, 1962
G. Donald Whedon July 4, 1915Nov 23, 1962Sept. 30, 1981
Lester B. SalansJan. 25, 1936 June 17, 1982June 30, 1984
Mortimer B. LipsettFeb. 20, 1921Jan. 7, 1985Sept. 4, 1986
Phillip GordenDec. 22, 1934Sept. 5, 1986.........................


National Institutes of Health