National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

Until May 19, 1972, the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases; until June 23, 1981, the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases; and until April 8, 1986, the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


The mission of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is to conduct and support medical research and research training and to disseminate science-based information on diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutritional disorders, and obesity; and kidney, urologic, and hematologic diseases, to improve people’s health and quality of life.


The NIDDK supports a wide range of medical research through grants to universities and other medical research institutions across the country. The Institute also supports government scientists who conduct basic, translational, and clinical research across a broad spectrum of research topics and serious, chronic diseases and conditions related to the Institute's mission. In addition, the NIDDK supports research training for students and scientists at various stages of their careers and a range of education and outreach programs to bring science-based information to patients and their families, health care professionals, and the public.

External research funded by the NIDDK is organized into three scientific program divisions:

  • Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases
  • Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
  • Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases

The NIDDK’s overarching principles in moving research forward include:

  • maintaining a vigorous, investigator-initiated research portfolio that supports cross-cutting science that can be broadly applied to many disease-specific research areas
  • supporting pivotal clinical studies and trials, with a focus on substantial participation of groups at highest risk.
  • preserving a stable pool of talented new investigators
  • fostering exceptional research training and mentoring opportunities
  • ensuring that science-based health information reaches patients, their families, health care providers and the public through communications and outreach activities

Important Events in NIDDK History

August 15, 1950—President Harry S. Truman signed the Omnibus Medical Research Act into law, establishing the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (NIAMD) in the U.S. Public Health Service. The new Institute incorporated the laboratories of the Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute, and expanded to include clinical investigation in rheumatic diseases, diabetes, and a number of metabolic, endocrine, and gastrointestinal diseases.

November 15, 1950—The National Advisory Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases Council held its first meeting and recommended approval of NIAMD's first grants.

1959—Dr. Arthur Kornberg, former chief of the Institute's enzyme and metabolism section, won the Nobel Prize for synthesizing nucleic acid.

1961—Laboratory-equipped mobile trailer units began an epidemiological study of arthritis among the Blackfeet and Pima Indians in Montana and Arizona, respectively.

October 16, 1968—The Nobel Prize was awarded to Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg of the National Heart Institute, who reported his celebrated partial cracking of the genetic code while an NIAMD scientist.

November 1970—The Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary. U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird addressed leaders in the department, representatives from voluntary health agencies and professional biomedical associations, and past and present Institute National Advisory Council members.

May 19, 1972—The Institute's name was changed to the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases (NIAMDD).

October 1972— Dr. Christian B. Anfinsen, chief of the Institute's Laboratory of Chemical Biology, shared a Nobel Prize with two other American scientists for demonstrating one of the most important simplifying concepts of molecular biology: that the three-dimensional conformation of a native protein is determined by the chemistry of its amino acid sequence. A significant part of the research cited by the award was performed while Anfinsen was with the NIH.

September 1973—The creation of the first Diabetes-Endocrinology Research Centers marked the beginning of the Institute’s Diabetes Centers Program.

November 1975—After nine months of investigation into the epidemiology and nature of diabetes mellitus and public hearings throughout the United States, the National Commission on Diabetes delivered its report, the Long-Range Plan to Combat Diabetes, to Congress. Recommendations included expanding and coordinating diabetes and related research programs; creating a diabetes research and training centers program; accelerating diabetes health care, education, and control programs; and establishing a National Diabetes Advisory Board.

April 1976—The National Commission on Arthritis and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases issued The Arthritis Plan. This report to Congress called for increased arthritis research and training programs, multipurpose arthritis centers, epidemiologic studies and data systems in arthritis, a National Arthritis Information Service, and a National Arthritis Advisory Board.

October 1976—Dr. Baruch Blumberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for research on the hepatitis B virus protein, the "Australia antigen," which he discovered in 1963 while at the Institute. This advance has proven to be a scientific and clinical landmark in detecting and controlling viral hepatitis and led to the development of preventive measures against hepatitis and liver cancer.

April 19, 1977—The NIH director established a trans-NIH program for diabetes, with the NIAMDD taking lead responsibility.

September 1977—Over $5 million in grants was awarded to 5 institutions to establish Diabetes Research and Training Centers.

October 1977—In response to the recommendation of the National Commission on Diabetes, the National Diabetes Data Group was established within the Institute to collect, analyze, and disseminate diabetes data to scientific and public health policy and planning associations.

December 1977—Institute grantees Drs. Roger C.L. Guillemin and Andrew V. Shally shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with a third scientist. Guillemin's and Shally's prizes were for discoveries related to the brain's production of peptide hormones.

1978—The NIDDK created the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse to increase knowledge and understanding about diabetes among people with these conditions and their families, health professionals, and the general public.

January 1979—The National Commission on Digestive Diseases issued the report, The National Long-Range Plan to Combat Digestive Diseases. Recommendations to Congress included establishing a National Digestive Diseases advisory board and information clearinghouse, and emphasizing digestive diseases educational programs more in medical schools.

June 1980—The NIDDK created the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse to increase knowledge and understanding about digestive diseases among people with these conditions and their families, health professionals, and the general public.

September 1980—Dr. Joseph E. Rall, director of NIAMDD intramural research, became the first person at the NIH to be named to the distinguished executive rank in the Senior Executive Service. President Jimmy Carter presented the award in ceremonies at the White House on September 9.

October 15, 1980—NIAMDD celebrated its 30th anniversary with a symposium, "DNA, the Cell Nucleus, and Genetic Disease." Dr. Donald W. Seldin, chairman of the department of internal medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, was guest speaker.

1981—A report entitled An Evaluation of Research Needs in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases was prepared by an external group of scientific experts, and was submitted to the NIH and the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

June 23, 1981—The Institute was renamed the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIADDK).

April 1982—U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Richard S. Schweiker elevated the NIADDK's programs to division status, creating five extramural divisions and the Division of Intramural Research.

November 1982—Dr. Elizabeth Neufeld, chief of the NIADDK’s genetics and biochemistry branch, received a Lasker Foundation Award. She was cited, along with Dr. Roscoe E. Brady of the then-named National Institute of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke (NINCDS), for "significant and unique contributions to the fundamental understanding and diagnosis of a group of inherited diseases called mucopolysaccharide storage disorders (MPS)."

November 1984—Grants totaling more than $4 million were awarded to six institutions to establish the Silvio O. Conte Digestive Diseases Research Centers. The research centers investigate the underlying causes, diagnoses, treatments, and prevention of digestive diseases.

April 8, 1986—The Institute's Division of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases became the core of the new National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. The NIADDK was renamed the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

June 3, 1986—The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Advisory Board was established to formulate the long-range plan to combat kidney and urologic diseases.

1987—The NIDDK created the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse to increase knowledge and understanding about diseases of the kidneys and urologic system among people with these conditions and their families, health care professionals, and the general public.

August 1, 1987—Six institutions were funded to establish the George M. O'Brien Kidney and Urological Research Centers.

December, 1987—In response to congressional language on the fiscal year (FY) 1988 appropriation for the NIDDK, the Institute established a program of cystic fibrosis research centers.

March, 1990—The National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Advisory Board issued its "Long-Range Plan: Window on the 21st Century." The Plan presented recommendations for uniting the public and private sectors in the quest to prevent these diseases; improve methods for early detection, treatment, and rehabilitation; and ultimately find cures.

September 16, 1990—The NIDDK celebrated its 40th anniversary. Dr. Daniel E. Koshland, Jr., editor of Science, was guest speaker.

June, 1991—The NIDDK Advisory Council established the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity to synthesize current science on preventing and treating obesity and to develop statements about topics of clinical importance based on critical analyses of the scientific literature.

September 30, 1992—Three Obesity/Nutrition Research Centers were established, along with an extramural animal models core to breed genetically obese rats for obesity and diabetes research.

October 12, 1992—Drs. Edwin G. Krebs and Edmond H. Fischer were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work on "reversible protein phosphorylation." At the time of the award, the scientists had been receiving continuous NIDDK grant support since 1951 and 1956, respectively.

October 30, 1992—In response to congressional language on the Institute's FY 1993 appropriation, the NIDDK initiated a program to establish gene therapy research centers with emphasis on cystic fibrosis.

November 1, 1993—The functions of the NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination, including those of the NIH Nutrition Coordinating Committee, were transferred to the NIDDK.

October 10, 1994—Drs. Martin Rodbell and Alfred G. Gilman received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering G-proteins, a key component in the signaling system that regulates cellular activity. Dr. Rodbell discovered the signal transmission function of GTP while a researcher at the then-named NIAMD.

June 22, 1997—Led by the NIDDK, the NIH and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the creation of the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) at the American Diabetes Association annual meeting in Boston. The NDEP's goals are to reduce the rising prevalence of diabetes, the morbidity and mortality of the disease, and its complications.

July 18, 2000—The NIDDK created the National Kidney Disease Education Program to raise awareness among the public of kidney disease and its risk factors, and make resources available to consumers and health care providers.

June 2000—To reduce the disproportionate burden of many diseases in minority populations, the NIDDK initiated an Office of Minority Health Research Coordination.

November 16, 2000—The NIDDK celebrated its 50th anniversary. Professional societies in eight U.S. locations and Canada sponsored scientific symposia and hosted an NIDDK exhibit. In addition, A New Century of Science: A New Era of Hope was published to highlight research supported and conducted by the NIDDK. The Institute concluded the year with a joint scientific symposium at the Society for Cell Biology's 40th anniversary meeting in December.

October 8, 2003—NIDDK grantee Dr. Peter Agre shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with another scientist for studies of channels in cell membranes. Agre discovered aquaporins, proteins that move water molecules through the cell membrane.

October 4, 2004—Dr. Richard Axel, once an intramural research fellow under Dr. Gary Felsenfeld at the NIDDK, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with another scientist for discovering a large family of receptors selectively expressed in cells that detect specific odors.

October 6, 2004—Long-time grantees Drs. Irwin A. Rose and Avram Hershko shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with another scientist for discovering ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation inside the cell.

October 2007—Institute grantee Dr. Oliver Smithies shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with two other scientists for discovering principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by using embryonic stem cells.

2010—The NIDDK celebrated its 60th anniversary. Special events included the September 21 scientific symposium "Unlocking the Secrets of Science: Building the Foundation for Future Advances" and the publication of the commemorative report NIDDK: 60 Years of Advancing Research to Improve Health.

September 2010—NIDDK grantee Dr. Jeffrey Friedman and former grantee Dr. Douglas Coleman won the 2010 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discovering the hormone leptin, which plays a key role in regulating energy intake and energy expenditure.

October 3, 2011—NIDDK grantee Dr. Bruce Beutler shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with NIH grantee Dr. Jules Hoffman for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity. NIH grantee Dr. Ralph Steinman also shared the award posthumously for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

December 2011—The journal Science named an HIV-prevention research study led by NIDDK grantee Dr. Myron Cohen the 2011 Breakthrough of the Year. The study found that people infected with HIV reduced the risk of transmitting the virus to their sexual partners by taking oral antiretroviral medicines when their immune systems were relatively healthy. Cohen, an NIH MERIT Award recipient, has received more than 20 years of continuous NIH funding, including NIDDK funding for basic science research earlier in his career.

April 29, 2012—The Treatment Options for type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth (TODAY) study, the results of which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine on April 29, 2012, is the first major comparative effectiveness trial for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in young people. The NIDDK-funded study found that combined therapy with metformin and rosiglitazone was superior to metformin alone. The rate of treatment failure with metformin alone suggested that most youth with type 2 diabetes will require combination treatment or insulin within a few years after diagnosis.

September 21, 2012—Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, distinguished service professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a longtime NIDDK grantee, received the 2012 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award – shared with Dr. Roy Calne, University of Cambridge emeritus — for his work developing liver transplantation, an intervention that has restored normal life to thousands of people with end-stage liver disease. View image.

October 2012—Dr. Robert J. Lefkowitz, who trained at NIDDK from 1968-1970 as a clinical associate in the Clinical Endocrinology Branch, won the 2012 Nobel in chemistry for studies of protein receptors that let body cells sense and respond to outside signals.

October 2013—Dr. James Rothman, an NIDDK grantee, received the 2013 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, shared with fellow NIH grantees Drs. Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells,” according to the Nobel organization. The researchers’ work revealed how cells use small sacs, called vesicles, to import and export materials to and from cells. This transport system is a fundamental process in how cells work. View image.

NIDDK Legislative Chronology

December 11, 1947—The Experimental Biology and Medicine Institute was established under Section 202 of Public Law (P.L.) 78—410.

August 15, 1950—The Omnibus Medical Research Act (P.L. 81—692) established the NIAMD to "... conduct researches relating to the cause, prevention, and methods of diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and rheumatism and other metabolic diseases, to assist and foster such researches and other activities by public and private agencies, and promote the coordination of all such researches, and to provide training in matters relating to such disease..." Section 431 also authorized the U.S. Surgeon General to establish a national advisory council.

May 19, 1972—President Richard M. Nixon signed P.L. 92—305 to re-emphasize digestive diseases research by changing the name of the Institute to the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases (NIAMDD) and by designating a digestive diseases committee within the Institute's National Advisory Council.

July 23, 1974—The National Diabetes Mellitus Research and Education Act (P.L. 93—354) was signed. The National Commission on Diabetes, authorized by this act, was chartered on September 17, 1974. The act authorized diabetes research and training centers, and an intergovernmental diabetes coordinating committee that included representatives from the NIAMDD and six other NIH Institutes.

January 1975—The National Arthritis Act of 1974 (P.L. 93—640) was signed into law to further research, education, and training in the field of connective tissue diseases. The act authorized the creation of a national commission, centers for research and training in arthritis and rheumatic diseases, a data bank, and an overall plan to investigate the epidemiology, etiology, control, and prevention of these disorders.

October 1976—The Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive Diseases Amendments of 1976 (P.L. 94—562) established the National Diabetes Advisory Board, charged with advising Congress and the Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Secretary on implementing the Long-Range Plan to Combat Diabetes developed by the National Commission on Diabetes. The law also established the National Commission on Digestive Diseases to investigate the incidence, duration, mortality rates, and social and economic impact of digestive diseases.

December 1980—Title II of the Health Programs Extension Act of 1980, P.L. 96-538, changed the Institute's name to the National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The Act also established the National Digestive Diseases Advisory Board. The law authorized the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, the Diabetes Data Group, and the National Digestive Diseases Information and Education Clearinghouse. In addition, it reauthorized advisory boards for arthritis and diabetes research.

November 20, 1985—The Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (P.L. 99—158) changed the Institute’s name to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The act also established the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Advisory Board. The law gave parallel special authorities to all Institute operating divisions, including authorization of the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse; National Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases Coordinating Committee; National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Data System; National Digestive Diseases Data System; Kidney and Urologic Diseases Research Centers; and Digestive Diseases Research Centers.

June 10, 1993—The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (P.L. 103—43) established the NIDDK as the lead Institute in nutritional disorders and obesity, including the formation of a research and training centers program on nutritional disorders and obesity. The act also provided for the directors of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Dental Research, and the NIDDK to expand and intensify research and related programs concerning osteoporosis, Paget's disease, and related bone disorders.

July 25, 1997—A House report accompanying H.R. 2264 and Senate report with S. 1061, FY 1998 appropriations bills for Labor/HHS/Education, urged NIH and NIDDK to establish a diabetes research working group to develop a comprehensive plan for NIH-funded diabetes research that would recommend future initiatives and directions. Dr. C. Ronald Kahn, diabetes research working group chairman, presented "Conquering Diabetes, A Strategic Plan for the 21st Century" to the Congress on March 23, 1999.

August 5, 1997—The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-33), as immediately amended by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-34), established a Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research (now Section 330B of the Public Health Service Act). This legislation provided $30 million per year for FY 1998 through FY 2002. (The program has been extended and has had funding increased in subsequent years.) This funding program augments regularly appropriated funds HHS receives for diabetes research through the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations committees. The NIDDK, through authority granted by the HHS Secretary, has a leadership role in planning, administering, and evaluating the allocation of these funds. In parallel with the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research, P.L. 105-33 also established the Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which is administered by the Indian Health Service.

October 17, 2000—Title IV, Section 402 of the Children’s Health Act of 2000 (P.L. 106—310) entitled "Reducing the Burden of Diabetes Among Children and Youth" specified that the NIH conduct long-term epidemiology studies, support regional clinical research centers, and provide a national prevention effort relative to type 1 diabetes.

December 21, 2000—The FY 2001 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 106-554) increased funding for the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research to $100 million per year for FY 2001 and FY 2002, and extended the program at a level of $100 million for FY 2003.

December 17, 2002—The Public Health Service Act amendment relating to diabetes research (P.L. 107-360) extended and augmented the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research from FY 2004 through FY 2008.

December 8, 2003—Title VII, Subtitle D, Section 733 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-173) authorized the NIDDK to conduct a pancreatic islet transplantation clinical trial that includes Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare would cover routine costs, transplantation, and appropriate related items and services for Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the trial.

October 25, 2004—The Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-362) amended the Public Health Service Act to increase the supply of pancreatic islet cells for research and provide better coordination of federal efforts and information on islet cell transplantation. A provision of this law specified that the annual reports prepared by the NIDDK-led Diabetes Mellitus Interagency Coordinating Committee include an assessment of the federal activities and programs related to pancreatic islet transplantation.

September 2004—The reports accompanying the FY 2005 Senate and House Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bills (Senate Report 108-345 and House Report108-636) called on the NIH and HHS to establish a national commission on digestive diseases to develop a long-range research plan. The NIH director subsequently established the National Commission on Digestive Diseases under NIDDK leadership in August 2005.

December 29, 2007—The Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-173) extended funding for the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2009.

July 15, 2008—The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-275) extended funding for the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2010 and FY 2011.

February 17, 2009—President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 (P.L. 111—5), providing the NIH with a two-year infusion of funding. The NIDDK developed a plan to use its portion of the ARRA funds to meet the stimulus goals set forth in the Recovery Act. This funding supported a range of biomedical research efforts across the Institute's research mission.

June 15, 2010—H. Res. 1444, a bipartisan resolution recognizing the 60th anniversary of the NIDDK, was introduced.

December 15, 2010—The Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-309) extended funding for the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2012 and FY 2013.

January 2, 2013—The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-240) extended funding for the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2014.

April 1, 2014—The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-93) extended the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research. The law provided $150 million for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2015.

April 16, 2015—The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-10) extended the Special Statutory Funding Program for Type 1 Diabetes Research.  The law provided $150 million per year for type 1 diabetes research in FY 2016 and FY 2017.

Biographical Sketch of NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P.

Photo of NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P. Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P. NIDDK/NIH

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.A.C.P., was named director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)—one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—on April 1, 2007. Dr. Rodgers had served as the NIDDK's acting director since March 2006 and was the Institute's deputy director from2001-2009. Dr. Rodgers also has been chief of the Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch since 1998. The branch is now administratively managed by the NIH's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Dr. Rodgers received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees from Brown University in Providence, RI. He performed his residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His fellowship training in hematology/oncology was through a joint program of the NIH with George Washington University and the Washington Veterans Administration Medical Center. In addition to his medical and research training, Dr. Rodgers earned a master's degree in business administration, with a focus on the business of medicine, from Johns Hopkins University in 2005.

As a research investigator, Dr. Rodgers is widely recognized for his contributions to the development of the first effective, and now FDA-approved, therapy for sickle cell anemia. He was a principal investigator in clinical trials to develop therapy for patients with sickle cell disease. He also performed basic research that focused on understanding the molecular basis of how certain drugs induce gamma-globin gene expression. Recently, he and his collaborators have reported on a modified blood stem-cell transplant regimen that is highly effective in reversing sickle cell disease in adults and is associated with relatively low toxicity.

Dr. Rodgers has been honored for his research with numerous awards, among them the 1998 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the 2000 Arthur S. Flemming Award, the Legacy of Leadership Award in 2002, and a Mastership from the American College of Physicians in 2005.

Dr. Rodgers has been an invited professor at medical schools and hospitals in France, Italy, China, Japan, and Korea. He has been honored with many named lectureships at American medical centers and as commencement speaker at many medical schools. He has published over 200 original research articles, reviews, and book chapters; has edited four books and monographs; and holds three patents.

Dr. Rodgers served as governor to the American College of Physicians for the Department of Health and Human Services from 1994 to 1997. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served as chair of the Hematology Subspecialty Board and a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Board of Directors. Dr. Rodgers is board certified in internal medicine, emergency medicine, and hematology.

NIDDK Directors

Name In Office from To
William Henry Sebrell, Jr. August 15, 1950 October 1, 1950
Russell M. Wilder March 6, 1951 June 30, 1953
Floyd S. Daft October 1, 1953 May 3, 1962
G. Donald Whedon November 23, 1962 September 30, 1981
Lester B. Salans June 17, 1982 June 30, 1984
Mortimer B. Lipsett January 7, 1985 September 4, 1986
Phillip Gorden September 5, 1986 November 14, 1999
Allen M. Spiegel November 15, 1999 March 3, 2006
Griffin P. Rodgers April 1, 2007 Present


Division of Intramural Research

The Division of Intramural Research oversees research and training conducted within the NIDDK’s laboratories and clinical facilities by government scientists in Bethesda, MD, and Phoenix, AZ. Several of NIDDK's intramural scientists have received national and international awards for scientific excellence.

The division includes 10 branches, nine laboratories, and four offices, which focus on issues of technology transfer, fellow recruitment and career development, and the overall management of the division’s basic and clinical research efforts. In addition, seven core facilities provide centralized scientific support services to the laboratories and branches.

The intramural branches conduct basic, translational, and clinical biomedical research related to diabetes mellitus, endocrine, bone and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, including liver diseases and nutritional disorders; kidney diseases; and hematologic diseases. The NIDDK’s intramural labs are involved in fundamental research in biophysics; cell biology; chemical biology and medicinal chemistry; developmental biology; genetics, pathogenesis, and novel therapies of disease; molecular biology; signal transduction; and structural biology.

Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases

The Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases (DEM) supports research, research training, and career development related to a vast and diverse range of diseases and conditions, including diabetes mellitus, obesity, osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis, thyroid and other endocrine disorders, and metabolic diseases. The division also leads the administration of trans-NIH diabetes research; coordinates federally supported, diabetes-related activities; promotes public awareness and education about diabetes and other diseases; and collects and disseminates data.

Diabetes and Related Research Programs

Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Research Programs

Diabetes Mellitus Interagency Coordinating Committee

The Diabetes Mellitus Interagency Coordinating Committee (DMICC) coordinates diabetes research and activities across the NIH and other federal programs. The DEM division director chairs the DMICC, which includes representatives from all federal departments and agencies whose programs involve health functions and responsibilities relevant to diabetes and its complications.

National Diabetes Data Group

The DEM's National Diabetes Data Group serves as the federal lead for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data on diabetes and its complications. The group draws on the expertise of the research, medical, and lay communities to support its data initiatives.

National Diabetes Education Program

For more information, see "Health Information Clearinghouses and Information Services.

Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition

The Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition (DDN) supports research related to digestive diseases, including the alimentary tract, liver and pancreas, nutrition and obesity. The programs include basic, translational and clinical research. DDN also promotes public awareness and education about digestive diseases and related conditions, and oversees several national public awareness campaigns.

Digestive Diseases Research Programs

Liver Disease and Related Research Programs

Pancreatic Diseases Research Programs

Obesity, Nutrition Sciences and Related Research Programs

The division oversees and supports health education and awareness campaigns:

For more information about these initiatives, see “Health Information Clearinghouses and Information Services.”

Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases

The Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic (KUH) Diseases provides research funding and support for basic, translational, and clinical research studies of the kidney, urinary tract, and disorders of the blood and blood-forming organs. The division also provides funding for training and career development of people committed to academic and clinical research in these areas.

Kidney Diseases Research Programs

The division encompasses research programs related to kidney research, including

Urological Diseases Research Programs

The division encompasses research programs related to urology research, including

Hematology Research Programs

The division encompasses research programs related to hematology research, including

The division oversees the following health education and awareness campaigns:

For more information about these initiatives, see "Health Information Clearinghouses and Information Services.”

Cross-cutting Programs

Division of Extramural Activities

The Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) provides leadership, oversight, tools, and guidance to manage the NIDDK's grants policies and operations, including efforts related to the scientific peer review process for assessing grant applications. The DEA also coordinates the NIDDK's committee management activities and Advisory Council meetings, and performs and coordinates programmatic analyses and evaluation activities.

The DEA is organized into three primary components:

  • the Grants Management Branch, the focal point for all business-related activities associated with the negotiation, award, and administration of grants and cooperative agreements within the NIDDK.
  • the Scientific Review Branch, which coordinates the initial scientific peer review of applications submitted in response to Request for Applications (RFAs), training and career awards, program projects, multicenter clinical trials, and research contracts, including Loan Repayment Program applications. Most R01s, fellowship, and SBIR grant applications are reviewed in the Center for Scientific Review.
  • the Office of Research Evaluation and Operations (OREO), within the DEA Office of the Director, oversees and coordinates disease coding/reporting for the NIDDK extramural program, manages the Early Notification System and NIH Guide publication process associated with NIDDK Funding Opportunity Announcements, and supports NIDDK Advisory Council activities. The office also facilitates harmonization of activities among NIDDK's four extramural divisions and coordinates or performs special projects at the request of the NIDDK leadership. 

NIDDK Office of the Director

Office of Minority Health Research Coordination

The NIDDK director created the Office of Minority Health Research Coordination (OMHRC) to address diseases and disorders that disproportionately affect minority populations. The OMHRC helps implement the Institute's strategic plan for health disparities and build on the strong partnership with the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the NIH.

OMHRC manages the NIDDK Diversity Summer Research Training Program (DSRTP) for undergraduate students and the extramural Short-term Research Experience For Underrepresented Persons (STEP-UP)​.

Additionally, OMHRC manages the Research Supplements to Promote Re-Entry into Biomedical and Behavioral Research Careers program and the Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research program, OMHRC also manages the Promoting Organ and Tissue Donation Among Diverse Populations program, which supports efforts to educate minorities and other groups affected by health disparities about the need for, risks, and benefits of organ donation.

To help increase the number of minority health researchers who compete for NIH research support in fields of interest to NIDDK, NIDDK’s OMHRC established the Network of Minority Health Research Investigators (NMRI). It promotes mentorships and communication between its members and NIDDK. NMRI participants also recommend to NIDDK strategies to enhance opportunities for diversity in biomedical research and to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

Office of Obesity Research

The NIDDK Office of Obesity Research coordinates obesity-related research within the NIDDK and carries out its functions through the NIDDK Obesity Research Working Group. The co-directors represent the two divisions primarily responsible for obesity-related extramural research: DDN and DEM.

The Obesity Research Working Group includes representatives of DDN, DEM, KUH, the NIDDK Review Branch, the Office of Scientific Program and Policy Analysis (OSPPA), and the Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL). The working group

  • provides a forum for sharing and coordinating trans-NIDDK and trans-NIH obesity research activities
  • helps the NIDDK director identify research opportunities, initiatives, and advances
  • identifies and plans workshops and conferences
  • prepares obesity-related reports and inquiries

The NIDDK Clinical Obesity Research Panel (CORP), composed of leading obesity researchers and clinicians, is charged with providing advice to the NIDDK Advisory Council on important clinical research needs related to obesity prevention and treatment, including their relative priority and costs, and identifies concepts for future clinical studies of obesity. The CORP serves in an advisory capacity to the Weight-control Information Network. The CORP is placed organizationally under the auspices of the NIDDK Advisory Council.

Health Information Clearinghouses and Information Services

NIDDK Clearinghouses

The NIDDK operates three clearinghouses that provide information about diabetes, digestive diseases, and kidney and urologic diseases to patients, their families, health professionals, and the general public:

Each clearinghouse was authorized by Congress to increase knowledge and understanding about these areas by disseminating information.

The clearinghouses launched two information services in 2004 to focus on additional NIDDK-related conditions such as hormone and blood disorders:

The clearinghouses and information services translate science into easy-to-understand information for the public. They provide print and online information and resources for patients, the public, and health professionals, including many easy-to-read publications available in several languages and in large print. The clearinghouses answer inquiries and work closely with professional and patient-advocacy organizations and U.S. government agencies to coordinate resources on relevant topics.

NIDDK Public Awareness Campaigns

The clearinghouses also manage two public awareness campaigns directed at conditions that are frequently underdiagnosed or untreated:

The NDDIC's Bowel Control Awareness Campaign provides resources to health care providers and the public about how to talk about and manage problems with bowel control. Resources include news, information about research and clinical trials, fact sheets, online tools, and links to other organizations.

The NKUDIC’s "Bladder Control for Women" awareness campaign raises awareness about the common but infrequently discussed problem of urinary incontinence. The campaign promotes resources to help women understand the condition and talk about it with their doctors. A booklet, fact sheets, online diary, poster, and other resources are available from the campaign.

NIDDK Education Programs

National Diabetes Education Program

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP), a program of the NIDDK and CDC, brings together diverse partners around shared, evidence-based messages about diabetes prevention and control for delivery at national, state, local, and community levels. NDEP works with partners to develop the tools people need to make and sustain lifestyles to stay healthy — whether they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease.

National Kidney Disease Education Program

The National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) is an NIH initiative designed to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by kidney disease and its complications among communities bearing the greatest burden of disease, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. NKDEP aims to improve early detection of chronic kidney disease (CKD), slow the progression of CKD, promote evidence-based interventions, and support the coordination of Federal responses to CKD. A variety of materials is available for laboratory and health care professionals, people with kidney disease and their families, and the general public. Resources include a range of educational and clinical tools: fact sheets, data, reports, brochures, online tools and videos.

Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition (We Can!)

We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children's Activity & Nutrition)®: A national educational program developed by the NIH, offers many science-based resources such as lesson plans, tips, tools, recipes and fun activities to parents and communities around the country. All are designed to help children 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight by encouraging healthy eating, increased physical activity, and reduced sedentary screen time.   

Weight-control Information Network

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), established in 1993, develops and disseminates health information on a variety of topics, including healthy eating, physical activity, bariatric surgery, and portion control, for adults, youth, older adults, community groups and others. 

This page last reviewed on February 27, 2017