|Kidney Expert Named Director of Kidney, Urology and Hematology Research
Robert A. Star, M.D., has been named director of the Division
of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases at the National Institute
of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, by Institute Director
Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers. Star has been acting director of the extramural
research division since September 2006 and was appointed director
Feb. 26, 2008, after a nationwide search. As division director,
Star will oversee a $400 million program of grants and contracts.
"Dr. Star is an exemplary and creative physician-scientist,
leader, and manager. A scientific leader, not just a manager," said
Rodgers. "He rolls up his sleeves; steps up to tough issues;
and attracts problem-solving, talented scientists from within as
well as outside NIH to craft solutions. His approach allows us
to take full advantage of scientific opportunities and public and
private resources to improve the health of Americans through research."
"Each of the division's three major areas has different
needs. I'm excited about continuing to lead the division
to create and nurture vibrant and sustainable research and training
communities that advance medical discoveries and efficiently translate
clinical discoveries and basic research to solve critically important
health needs," Star said.
Star was a postdoctoral fellow at NIH in the mid-1980s before
joining the faculty of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical
Center in Dallas. In 1999, he returned to NIH as a senior scientific
advisor for kidney disease and to run a lab studying
acute kidney injury. In 2002, he became senior advisor for
clinical research in the NIH Office of Science Policy and Planning.
There he worked on NIH Roadmap for Medical Research initiatives
to re-engineer the clinical research enterprise. The Roadmap aims
to stimulate research and develop research resources for cross-cutting,
large and complex projects with profound potential impact. He also
led training and career programs for clinical researchers and helped
develop the clinical and translational science awards (CTSA).
Especially interested in translational research, Star's
own innovative intramural work on early identification, prevention,
and pre-emption of sepsis and acute kidney injury will continue.
His research has produced more than 100 published manuscripts,
and he has written 8 textbook chapters and holds several patents.
Star graduated summa cum laude in applied mathematics
from Harvard College and cum laude from the Harvard Medical
School-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Program in Health
Sciences and Technology. His internship and residency in internal
medicine were performed at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago.
Star has received honorary awards and research support from NIH,
FDA, biotech, and the prestigious Young Investigator Award recognizing
excellence in nephrology research, jointly awarded by the American
Society of Nephrology and the American Heart Association. He currently
serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,
a component of the NIH, conducts and supports research in diabetes
and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases,
nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases.
Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of
all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the
most common, severe, and disabling conditions affecting Americans.
For more information about NIDDK and its programs, see www.niddk.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.