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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
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The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, conducts and supports research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health. The Institute supports much of the clinical research on the diseases of internal medicine and related subspecialty fields as well as many basic science disciplines.
The Institute's Division of Intramural Research encompasses the broad spectrum of metabolic diseases—including diabetes, obesity, inborn errors of metabolism, endocrine disorders, disorders of mineral metabolism—as well as digestive and liver diseases, nutrition, urology and renal disease, and hematology. Basic research studies include biochemistry, biophysics, nutrition, pathology, histochemistry, bioorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, chemical and molecular biology, and pharmacology.
NIDDK extramural research is organized into four divisions: Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases; Digestive Diseases and Nutrition; Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases; and Extramural Activities.
The Institute supports basic and clinical research through investigator-initiated grants, program project and center grants, and career development and training awards. The NIDDK also supports research and development projects and large-scale clinical trials through contracts.
Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., M.B.A, M.A.C.P. is currently the director of the NIDDK. Dr. Rodgers also serves as deputy director of NIDDK (since 2001) and as chief of NIDDK's Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch (since 1998).
Dr. Rodgers received his undergraduate, graduate and medical degrees from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also has a master's degree in business administration, with a focus on the business of medicine from Johns Hopkins University. He did his residency and chief residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital, and the St. Louis VA Hospital, respectively, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. 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.
Dr. Rodgers is widely recognized for his contributions to the development of the first effective — and now approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — therapy for sickle cell anemia. He has served as the principal investigator in clinical trials to elevate pharmacologically fetal hemoglobin to counteract the deleterious molecular and cellular effects present in the red cells of these patients. Dr. Rodgers' basic research has focused on understanding the molecular basis of how these drugs induce gamma-globin gene expression and on lineage-specific differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells. He was honored for his research with the 1998 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award and the 2000 Arthur S. Fleming Award, among others. He has published over 150 original research articles, reviews, and book chapters and has edited two books.
Dr. Rodgers served as governor to the American College of Physicians for the Department of Health and Human Services and is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Association of American Physicians. He is the chair of the Hematology Subspecialty Board and is a member of the ABIM Board of Directors.
Under the Office of the Director are the following branches and offices: Office of Communications and Public Liaison, Office of Scientific Program and Policy Analysis, Office of Minority Health Research Coordination, Office of Obesity Research and the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council, as well as the Executive Office.
The Executive Office contains the following branches and offices: Extramural Administrative Management Branch, Intramural Administrative Management Branch, Computer Technology Branch, Ethics Office, Office of Financial Management and Analysis, Office of Management and Policy Analysis, Office of Workforce Development and Planning, and the Office of Technology Transfer and Development.
The NIDDK Office of Technology Transfer and Development (OTTD) facilitates research collaborations and the exchange of research materials between NIDDK and the global scientific community by developing partnerships for the Institute with universities, non-profit research institutions, government agencies, corporations and other organizations. NIDDK OTTD is committed to transferring its technologies and research resources to external organizations for further research, development and/or commercialization to create biomedical products and services that benefit public health. OTTD's staff members have been drawn from industry as well as other external organizations to provide a remarkable variety of skills to assist potential research partners.
The Division of Intramural Research conducts research and training within the Institute's laboratories and clinical facilities in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch in Arizona.
The Division has 12 Branches and 10 Laboratories that cover a wide range of research areas. In addition, there is a section on veterinary sciences, a section on biological chemistry, the Office of Fellow Recruitment and Career Development, and an Administrative Management Branch. Six core laboratories provide scientific support services to investigators.
The Intramural Branches engage in both basic and clinical research on diabetes, bone metabolism, endocrinology, obesity, hematology, digestive diseases, kidney diseases, kidney transplantation and genetics. Additionally, the Phoenix Branch develops and applies epidemiologic and genetic methods to the study of diabetes and obesity. The tenth branch addresses mathematical modeling of biological problems.
The Laboratories are engaged in fundamental research related to the institute's mission in the fields of molecular biology, structural biology, chemistry, cell biology, pharmacology, chemical physics, biochemistry, neuroscience, and developmental biology, and mathematical modeling of biological problems.
The Laboratory Animal Science section provides research animal support and collaboration for institute research programs. The six core laboratories provide services to interested NIDDK scientists in the areas of proteomics and mass spectrometry, microarray, chemical biology, mouse metabolism/transgenic support, biotechnological support, and knockout mice.
The Division of Extramural Activities (DEA) is responsible for coordinating the receipt, referral and scientific review of extramural research applications and proposals before funding, and for the processing of awards for grants, cooperative agreements and contracts. It logs in, assigns and internally distributes all extramural applications and proposals received by the NIDDK, and conducts scientific and technical peer review for grant applications and contract proposals requiring special programmatic consideration. The DEA also manages an acquisitions and general contracting service center that services NIDDK and several other NIH Institutes/Centers as well. The DEA also coordinates the Institute’s Committee Management Activities and the meetings of the National Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. Finally, the DEA performs and coordinates programmatic analysis and evaluation activities.
Organizationally the Division has three primary functional components: The Grants Management Branch is the focal point for all business-related activities associated with the negotiation, award, and administration of grants and cooperative agreements within the NIDDK.
The Scientific Review Branch coordinates the initial scientific peer review of applications submitted in response to Request for Applications (RFAs), training and career awards, program projects, multi-center clinical trials and research contracts, including Loan Repayment Program applications. Most R01s, R21s, Fellowship and SBIR grant applications are reviewed in the Center for Scientific Review.
The Office of Acquisitions plans, organizes, directs, awards, and administers a comprehensive acquisition program for three Institutes and one Center: NIDDK, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD); the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA); and the John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC).
The DEMD supports research and research training related to diabetes mellitus, endocrinology, and metabolic diseases including cystic fibrosis. In addition, DEMD leads the administration of the Trans-NIH Diabetes Program and coordinates federally supported diabetes-related activities.
This division supports research related to liver and biliary diseases, pancreatic diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, including neuroendocrinology, motility, immunology, and digestion in the GI tract, nutrient metabolism, obesity, eating disorders, and energy regulation. The division provides leadership in coordinating activities related to digestive diseases and nutrition throughout the NIH and with various other Federal agencies.
The division supports research on diseases of the kidney, genitourinary tract, and blood and blood-forming organs, and on the fundamental biology relevant to these organ systems. It funds training and professional development of investigators in disciplines critical for research in these areas.
The NDDIC also operates three information clearinghouses: the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC), the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), and the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC). The three clearinghouses serve as information resources for patients, the public, and health professionals concerned with diabetes, digestive diseases, and kidney and urologic diseases. Each was authorized by the United States Congress to increase knowledge and understanding about these areas through the effective dissemination of information. The NDIC was authorized by Congress in 1976, the NDDIC in 1980, and the NKUDIC in 1987.
The clearinghouses answer inquiries; develop, print and distribute publications; and work closely with professional and patient-advocacy organizations and U.S. Government agencies to coordinate informational resources about diabetes, digestive diseases, and kidney and urologic diseases. They provide disease-specific information to patients and their families, as well as to health care professionals, government agencies, and the general public. Publications produced by the Clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts.
The clearinghouses also develop and maintain a free, online bibliographic database of reference materials, audiovisuals, educational materials, and “fugitive” literature in its Reference Collection, as well as an image library of free non-copyrighted images, and linkages to relevant interactive resources.
The NDEP, co-sponsored by the NIDDK and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is focused on improving the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promoting early diagnosis, and ultimately preventing the onset of diabetes. The goal of the program is to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes through public awareness and education activities targeted to the general public, especially those with at risk for type 2 diabetes, people with diabetes and their families, health care providers, and policy makers and payers. These activities are designed to
The NKDEP addresses the growing problem of kidney disease in this country and aims to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by kidney disease and its complications. The program is dedicated to raising awareness of the seriousness of kidney disease and its risk factors, the importance of testing those at high risk, and the availability of treatment to prevent or slow the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
The WIN was established in 1994 to provide health professionals and consumers with science-based information on obesity, weight control, and nutrition. The WIN has also developed the Sisters Together: Move More, Eat Better Media program that encourages Black women 18 and over to maintain a healthy weight by becoming more physically active and eating healthier foods.