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National Institutes of Health Director Stepping Down

Elias Zerhonni Photo courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

Elias Zerhouni, MD, recently stepped down as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pursue writing projects and other professional opportunities. He has served in the post since May 2002. During his tenure, the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research was launched, as well as new programs aimed at encouraging high-risk innovative research-such as the Director's Pioneer Awards and New Innovator Awards. His service is also marked for his efforts to encourage trans-NIH collaborations. These efforts, along with his continual advocacy for the public's investment in the NIH, greatly contributed to Congress passing the NIH Reform Act of 2006. Several other milestones of his tenure include the development of the Office of Portfolio Analysis and Strategic Initiatives (OPASI); the establishment of an NIH-wide research program-The Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research; support for the NIH Neurosciences Blueprint; and focus on making health disparities a research priority.

Dr. Zerhouni is a renowned leader in the field of radiology and medicine. In particular, he is known for improving medical imaging. He pioneered magnetic tagging and is known for his work refining computed tomographic densitometry. Prior to his tenure at the NIH, Dr. Zerhouni served as executive vice-dean of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, chair of the Russell H. Morgan department of radiology and radiological science, and Martin Donner professor of radiology, and professor of biomedical engineering. Before that, he was vice dean for research at Johns Hopkins. He served on the National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Advisors from 1998-2002 and was a consultant to both the World Health Organization (1988), and to the White House under President Ronald Reagan (1985). Earlier this year, Dr. Zerhouni was made Knight of the Légion d'honneur (French National Order of the Legion of …

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