News Release

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

NIDDK Welcomes Five New Members to Advisory Council

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) today announced the appointment of five new members to its Advisory Council. NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The NIH is the federal agency with primary responsibility for funding and conducting biomedical research within the United States. NIDDK welcomed the following members at its February meeting:

David M. Klurfeld, Ph.D., is a National Program Leader in Human Nutrition in the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As a Program Leader, Dr. Klurfeld oversees ARS research, the purpose of which is to define the role of food and its constituents in optimizing health throughout the life cycle for all Americans. Dr. Klurfeld will serve as an Ex-Officio member of the Advisory Council and will attend the Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Subcommittee.

Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D., Ph.D., is a Sylvan H. Eisnman Professor of Medicine and Genetics and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He is also the Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Lazar’s research interests include the regulation of gene expression and metabolism by nuclear hormone receptors and mechanisms of obesity-associated insulin resistance and diabetes. Dr. Lazar joins the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases Subcommittee.

Juanita Lynne Merchant, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan. Dr. Merchant’s research interests include the use of animal and cell culture models to better understand how bacterial colonization in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to ulcers and cancer. She also studies gastrointestinal peptides to further understanding of gastric epithelial development. Dr. Merchant joins the Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Subcommittee.

David H. Perlmutter, M.D., is the Vira I. Heinz Professor and Chair of Pediatrics and Professor of Cell Biology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He is also Scientific Director of the John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center and Physician-in-Chief at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He is a liver disease researcher, whose work on alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, the most common genetic cause of liver disease in children and of emphysema in adults, has greatly advanced the understanding of these diseases. Dr. Permutter joins the Digestive Diseases and Nutrition Subcommittee.

Margery Deutz Perry is the past Chair of Research at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) International, the leading charitable funder and advocate of juvenile (type 1) diabetes research worldwide. As Chair of Research at the JDRF, Ms. Perry oversaw both the development and implementation of JDRF’s research goals and priorities. She also had responsibility for supervising and approving all aspects of JDRF’s research programs. Ms. Perry joins the Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases Subcommittee.

They will serve until 2009.

Established by law and charter, the NIDDK Advisory Council meets three times annually to advise the NIDDK about its research portfolio. The Council typically undertakes broad issues of science policy. Members of the Advisory Council are drawn from the scientific and lay communities, are appointed for 4-year terms, and represent all areas within the Institute’s research mission. An important role of the Council is to provide second-level peer review of grant applications that have been scored by scientific review groups. The Council members are an important liaison between the research communities they represent and the NIDDK, which supports each community’s research efforts.

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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