Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., Named New Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Bethesda, Maryland – Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the
National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced the appointment
of Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., as director of the National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Dr. Nabel, who is currently
the Scientific Director of Clinical Research in the NHLBI intramural
program, will begin her appointment on February 1, 2005.
“Dr. Nabel is a leading scientist and recognized expert
in the development of novel genetic and cellular therapies for
cardiovascular disease. Her research on vascular biology and the
regulation of smooth muscle cell growth has provided important
insights into the development of heart disease,” said Dr.
Zerhouni in announcing the appointment. “As both a researcher
and a clinician, Dr. Nabel brings a well-rounded scientific background
and strong management skills to this position. She has championed
the concept ‘from bench to bedside.’ This effort to
bring research advances into clinical practice continues to be
a focus of the NHLBI and of NIH.”
Dr. Nabel will oversee an annual budget of almost $3 billion and
a staff of approximately 850 Federal employees. The Institute provides
leadership for a national research program on heart, lung, blood,
and sleep diseases and disorders. Since 1993, the Institute has
been the home of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research
and, since 1998, it has had responsibility for the NIH Women’s
Health Initiative. Institute-funded research is conducted in Bethesda,
Maryland in the NHLBI’s intramural laboratories and throughout
the country by institutions and individuals supported by research
grants and contracts. In addition, the NHLBI conducts educational
activities, including the development and dissemination of materials
for health professionals, patients, and the general public, with
a strong emphasis on prevention.
“I am honored to lead the NHLBI,” said Dr. Nabel. “The
Institute has a long and distinguished record in support of research
on heart, lung, blood, and sleep diseases. As we look to the future,
there are unprecedented opportunities to advance our understanding
of these diseases and to improve upon the care and treatment of
the millions of people affected by them. The NHLBI will strive
to address these challenges through a research agenda that builds
upon innovation, creativity, and the most advanced biomedical technologies,” she
Dr. Nabel is a board certified cardiologist who has taken care
of many patients with cardiovascular disease, including women with
heart disease. She joined the NHLBI in 1999 as the Institute’s
Scientific Director of Clinical Research. Among her many accomplishments
as Scientific Director, she initiated a cardiothoracic surgery
branch, a state of the art training and research program in cardiovascular
surgery. She also began a program to investigate genetic variation
among patients with vascular diseases. During her time at the NHLBI,
Dr. Nabel has also served as the chief of the Institute’s
Vascular Biology Section, directing research on the molecular,
cellular, and genetic mechanisms that cause vascular disorders.
Her lab, which has published more than 200 papers, has studied
factors involved in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle cell
growth and vascular inflammation. This research has opened up new
avenues for therapeutic targets for vascular diseases.
A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Dr. Nabel received her medical
education at Cornell University Medical College before moving to
Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University where
she completed an internship and residency in internal medicine
and a clinical and research fellowship in cardiovascular medicine.
She joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 1987 as
an Assistant Professor of Medicine, and rose through the ranks
becoming Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center in 1992,
Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology in 1994, and Director
of the Division of Cardiology in 1997. While at the University
of Michigan, she became known for her research in the field of
vascular biology and molecular cardiology and for her gene transfer
studies of the cardiovascular system.
Dr. Nabel has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished
Achievement Award from the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council
of the American Heart Association and the Amgen-Scientific Achievement
Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology. She is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical
Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2001,
Dr. Nabel received an honorary doctoral degree from the University
of Leuven in Belgium.
Dr. Nabel is an editorial board member of The New England Journal
of Medicine. She has been a reviewing editor for Science and an
editorial board member of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
She also served as a consulting editor for Circulation, Circulation
Research, and Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.
Dr. Nabel has served on American Heart Association committees
including: the Board of Directors; the Scientific Publishing Committee
(Chair); the Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology Council
(Chair); the executive committee of the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences
Council, and the Science Advisory and Coordinating Committee. Other
national and international leadership roles include President of
the North American Vascular Biology Organization, Councilor of
the American Society of Clinical Investigation, member of the Board
of Directors for the Keystone Symposium, member of the Scientific
Advisory Board of The Stanley J. Sarnoff Endowment for Cardiovascular
Science, and as a member of the membership committee of the Institutes
of Medicine. She has also served on international advisory committees
including the Center for Transgene Technology and Gene Therapy
and the Center for Molecular and Vascular Biology at the University
of Leuven, and the International Vascular Biology Organization.
To interview Dr. Nabel or to obtain her biosketch or a photo,
please contact the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236.