As director of the NIDDK since 2007, Griffin P. Rodgers oversees the institute’s research into some of the most serious public health issues today. Rodgers received an honorary doctor of science degree in 2011.
The institute, which has a $2 billion annual budget, conducts and supports research on diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases and nutrition, including obesity; and kidney, urologic and blood diseases. It conducts and supports clinical research on the diseases of internal medicine and related fields as well as other basic science disciplines.
The institute also supports education programs to translate the results of research to health professionals, patients and the public.
Researching therapy options for sickle cell anemia
Rodgers is internationally recognized for his contributions to the development of the first effective, and FDA approved, therapy for sickle cell anemia. More 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.
He has received a variety of awards for this research, including the Scroll of Merit Award from the National Medical Association in 2010, a Mastership from the American College of Physicians in 2005, the 2000 Arthur S. Flemming Award and the 1998 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award.
Rodgers earned undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees from Brown University, and later earned a master’s of business administration with a focus on the business of medicine from Johns Hopkins University in 2005.
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 VA Medical Center.