News Release

Monday, April 2, 2007

Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., Named Director of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Bethesda, Maryland — Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the appointment of Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., as director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), effective April 1, 2007.

“Griff Rodgers is an outstanding physician-scientist and molecular hematologist.  He has made singular contributions to the study of globin disorders and is internationally recognized for his contributions to the development of effective therapy for sickle cell anemia and other genetic diseases of hemoglobin.  In addition to his research experience, Dr. Rodgers is a dedicated and knowledgeable clinician and a first rate research administrator.  He has all the qualities we search for in an Institute Director,” said Zerhouni.

Dr. Rodgers, who was appointed Deputy Director of NIDDK in January 2001, is currently Acting Director of NIDDK and also serves as chief of NIDDK's Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch, which he has headed since 1998

As the new Director of the NIDDK, Dr. Rodgers will oversee an annual budget of $1.8 billion and a staff of 650 scientists, physician-scientists, and administrators.  The Institute conducts and supports research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health including diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition, including obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases.  NIDDK conducts and supports much of the clinical research on the diseases of internal medicine and related subspecialty fields as well as many basic science disciplines at its research facilities in Bethesda, Md. and Phoenix, Ariz. and at research institutions and medical centers throughout the United States.  In addition, NIDDK also supports education programs to translate the results of research to health professionals, patients and the public.

“It is truly an honor to be given the opportunity to lead an organization with a mission as far-reaching and varied as the NIDDK,” said Dr. Rodgers. “While NIDDK has a long and distinguished history of accomplishment as an Institute, we must look to the future to capitalize on the opportunities for disease prevention that new technologies and discoveries are giving us.  The health problems we face as a Nation are real and the results of research offer substantive promise for solving the difficult questions faced by millions of Americans every day and the health professionals who treat them,” he said. 

Dr. Rodgers received his undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees from Brown University in Providence, R.I. 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 in 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, he 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 and also performed basic research that focused on understanding the molecular basis of how certain drugs induce gamma-globin gene expression. He was honored for his research with numerous awards including the 1998 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award, the 2000 Arthur S. Fleming 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 has published over 150 original research articles, reviews, and book chapters and has edited four books and monographs.

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, and the Association of American Physicians, among others.  He is the chair of the Hematology Subspecialty Board and is a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine Board of Directors.  He is board certified in Internal Medicine, in Emergency Medicine and in Hematology.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 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. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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On April 29, 2008 "Clinical and Molecular Hematology Branch" was corrected to read "Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch" in the third paragraph, at the request of NIDDK.