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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Don Ralbovsky

NIH Conflict of Interest Panel to Meet in Early March

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., announced today that the first meeting of the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on Conflict of Interest Policies will be held on March 1-2, 2004. The NIH Director also announced the full membership of the Panel, which is co-chaired by Bruce Alberts, Ph.D., President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Norman R. Augustine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. The Panel is a working group of the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), NIH.

The Panel's charge is to review and make recommendations for improving the existing rules and procedures under which NIH currently operates regarding real and apparent financial conflict of interest of NIH staff and requirements and policies for the reporting of NIH staff's financial interests. The Panel will provide recommendations to the ACD for deliberation and final recommendations to the Director.

The Panel members are prominent leaders and experts in the fields of research administration and ethics management. The new Panel members are: Christine Cassel, M.D., President, American Board of Internal Medicine and member of the ACD; Thomas H. Murray, Ph.D., President, The Hastings Center; Phillip Pizzo, M.D., Dean, School of Medicine, Stanford University; The Honorable Stephen D. Potts, Chairman, ERC Fellows Program, Ethics Resource Center; Dorothy Robinson, Esq., Vice President and General Counsel, Yale University; Lawrence Sadwin, President, Lifestyle Security, L.L.C., and member of the NIH Council of Public Representatives; James Siedow, Ph.D., Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Biology, Duke University; and Reed V. Tuckson, M.D., Senior Vice President, Consumer Health and Medical Care Advancement, UnitedHealth Group.

In announcing the Blue Ribbon Panel members, NIH Director Zerhouni said, "We have assembled leading experts on institutional management and ethics to provide an impartial review of NIH's consulting practices and provide recommendations to my advisory committee for systemic changes to ensure NIH ethics policies and procedures regarding outside activities are fully transparent to the public."

The Panel's first meeting will be convened at the NIH, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland, Building 31C, Conference Room 10. There will be an opportunity for public input at this open meeting.

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