Bush Names New Director of NIH

OncologyONCOLOGY Vol 16 No 5
Volume 16
Issue 5

Elias Zerhouni, MD, nominated by President Bush to the position of director of the National Institutes of Health, is a leading researcher in cardiovascular imaging.

Elias Zerhouni, MD, nominated by PresidentBush to the position of director of the National Institutes of Health, is aleading researcher in cardiovascular imaging. 

Zerhouni also has a formidablecancer background, having conducted substantial National Cancer Institute-fundedresearch early in his career on diagnostic imaging of lung, prostate,colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. Moreover, he is a member of the NCI Board ofScientific Advisors, and many of the 157 journal articles he has authored orcoauthored focus on cancer topics. In addition, Zerhouni is Martin DonnerProfessor and chairman of the Russell H. Morgan department of radiology at JohnsHopkins Medical School, as well as executive vice dean of the medical school. 

His background prompted Martin D. Abeloff, director of the Sidney KimmelComprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and a former president of theAmerican Society of Clinical Oncology, to say, "Dr. Zerhouni is animpressive clinical scientist and administrator."

Bush chose Zerhouni not only for the quality and depth of hisresearch experience, but also because of his political acceptability: Zerhouniis reported to oppose research on cloned human embryos, which is in line withthe Bush administration’s position. Democrats, who control the Senate, whichmust confirm Zerhouni, favor a bill presented by Sen. Dianne Feinstein(D-Calif) that bans human cloning but allows research involving nucleartransplantation to produce stem cells. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass),chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee,commented positively on Zerhouni. Jim Manley, Kennedy’s spokesman, saysZerhouni has "impressive credentials and a distinguished record at JohnsHopkins." He adds, "We will review his record carefully."

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