NIH Press Release
National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Tuessday, Mar. 18, 1997

Contact: Mary Harris
Lisa Schwartzbach
(301) 496-3583

Nephrologist to Direct NIH Research Program

Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., has been named to head the Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"Dr. Briggs' strong scientific and leadership background and her work with lay and professional communities make her especially well suited to both direct and invigorate the program," said Phillip Gorden, M.D., Director of the NIDDK.

Dr. Briggs will come to the NIH from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where she is professor of internal medicine and physiology and associate chair of research and faculty affairs in the department of internal medicine.

Her research has focused on the juxtaglomerular apparatus and its role in regulating renin and renal blood flow. Current studies target the development of this structure and the cellular transmission mechanisms in the juxtaglomerular apparatus. This work is important in understanding progressive renal disease, hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Dr. Briggs has authored or co-authored more than 75 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including Science, at least a dozen in other journals, and more than 15 book chapters. Having received several NIH grants and having chaired an NIH study section, she is no stranger to the NIH grants process from both sides of the transom.

Awards and honors to her credit include established investigatorship of the American Heart Association and election to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and to the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Briggs sits on editorial boards of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, American Journal of Physiology, International Yearbook of Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine, Kidney International, and Seminars in Nephrology. She is deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Active in professional and patient advocacy groups, Dr. Briggs is secretary-treasurer and councilor of the American Society of Nephrology and member at large of the medicine section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has been an active member of the scientific advisory board of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan and the high blood pressure and kidney councils of the American Heart Association. Dr. Briggs is past president of Women in Nephrology.

Dr. Briggs graduated cum laude from Radcliffe College in 1966 and earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1970. She completed her internship and residency, was chief resident in internal medicine, and held a fellowship in clinical nephrology, all at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. In 1979, Dr. Briggs completed a research fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine in Connecticut. She was subsequently an Alexander von Humboldt fellow at the University of Munich before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Briggs will oversee the nearly $200 million research grants and contracts portfolio for kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases beginning May 1. She succeeds Gary Striker, M.D., who headed the program for 12 years before returning to full-time research in September 1996.

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