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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

For Immediate Release
Monday, August 20, 2007


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NIEHS/NTP Management Review to Begin

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that NIH will convene a panel of senior management experts to begin a comprehensive review of the management and leadership of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to ensure that a series of issues that have been raised over the past few months are fully and independently evaluated and, as necessary, properly addressed.

“Congress and others have raised important questions and concerns over the past few months, and we will be fully responsive. It is critical that this review be done in a fair, comprehensive, and independent manner,” said Dr. Zerhouni.

The management review of NIEHS/ NTP will be conducted by a panel of senior NIH officials, not associated with NIEHS or NTP, and expert management consultants. The panel will review the specific issues raised to date, but also include an evaluation of administrative areas such as governance, internal controls, human resources, contracts, grants, and financial management as well as the administration of the ethics program.

To eliminate even the perception that the review is anything other than independent and unbiased, Dr. David Schwartz, Director of NIEHS and NTP, has agreed to temporarily step aside from his position for the time necessary to complete the review. He will continue to serve as Chief, Laboratory of Environmental Lung Disease, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and will also serve as senior advisor on environmental health sciences to Dr. Zerhouni during this interim period.

Dr. Zerhouni has asked Samuel Wilson, M.D., Deputy Director of NIEHS, to serve as the Acting Director of NIEHS and the Acting Director of NTP during this interim period. Dr. Wilson is an internationally known scientist in genetic toxicology. He has been with NIEHS since 1996. He will consult regularly with Dr. Raynard Kington, Deputy Director of NIH, regarding management and operation decisions.

“My hope is that this intensive review will not only help clarify the issues that have recently surfaced, but it is also an opportunity to do a self assessment that will strengthen the institute and its programs in the all important missions of NIEHS and the NTP. I know that our staff at NIEHS is deeply committed to these missions and we owe it to them to do as comprehensive and fair an assessment as we can,” noted Dr. Zerhouni.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.


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