skip navigation nih record
Vol. LIX, No. 8
April 20, 2007

previous story

next story

No Longer 'Acting'
Zerhouni Taps Leaders for NCRR, NIDDK - Rodgers Named NIDDK Director

On the front page...

Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers has been named director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, effective Apr. 1.

"Griff Rodgers is an outstanding physician-scientist and molecular hematologist," said NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni. "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."


  Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers  
  Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers  
Rodgers has served as NIDDK acting director since March 2006 and as NIDDK deputy director from January 2001 until his appointment as NIDDK director. He also is chief of NIDDK's Clinical and Molecular Hematology Branch, which he has headed since 1998.

As new director of NIDDK, 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 and Phoenix and at research institutions and medical centers throughout the U.S. In addition, NIDDK 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 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."

Rodgers received his undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees from Brown University. 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 NIH, George Washington University and the Washington, D.C., 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, 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.

Rodgers has been an invited professor at medical schools and hospitals in Brazil, the Caribbean, France, Italy, China, Japan and Korea. He has been honored with many named lectureships at American medical centers and has published more than 150 original research articles, reviews and book chapters and has edited four books and monographs. He also holds three patents for his work in molecular diagnostics.

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 chairs 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. NIH Record Icon

back to top of page