Griffin Rodgers, MD, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), visited with UC researchers on Oct. 24 at the Metabolic Diseases Institute on the UC Reading Campus and at the CARE/Crawley Building. He also visited Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Rodgers’ visit was hosted by the department of pathology and laboratory medicine and coordinated by professor Patrick Tso, PhD.
"It was wonderful to have Dr. Griffin Rodgers visit us here at the University of Cincinnati out of his extremely busy schedule not only with NIDDK but also with NIH in general. This is an example of how much he cares about NIDDK and the research investigators supported by the institute,” says Tso.
Rodgers became NIDDK’s ninth director in 2007. He oversees a $2 billion annual budget for basic and clinical research into some of the most common, costly, and serious diseases afflicting Americans and people around the world. The institute’s broad research programs extend from diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases to obesity, digestive diseases and nutrition to kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases.
He earned undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees from Brown University and a master’s of business administration with a focus on the business of medicine from Johns Hopkins University. He was also recently awarded an honorary doctor of science degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed an internship, residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital and the St. Louis VA Hospital. He then completed a fellowship in hematology oncology through a joint program of the NIH with George Washington University and the Washington (D.C.) VA Medical Center.
In addition to being an invited professor and honored with many named lectureships, he has published more than 150 original research articles, reviews and book chapters and edited four books and monographs. He is a member of societies and associations, including the American Society of Hematology and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Hematology, Rodgers has served as chair of the Hematology Subspecialty Board and is on the American Board of Internal Medicine Board of Directors.
His own research has focused on the molecular basis of drug-induced gamma-globin gene expression, and he is widely recognized for clinical research that led to the first effective and now FDA approved--therapy for sickle cell anemia. He and collaborators recently reported that their modified blood stem-cell transplant regimen reversed sickle cell disease in adults and has relatively low toxicity. He has received many awards for his research, including the Scroll of Merit Award from the National Medical Association, a Mastership from the American College of Physicians, the Arthur S. Flemming Award and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award.