December 20, 2021

Honored to Steer the NIH During This Time of Transition

Today I am honored to assume the role of the Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health and lead the agency during this time of transition. I am grateful to have the confidence of Health and Human Services Secretary Becerra, and the strength and support of the NIH leadership within my own office and across the agency. Having served at Dr. Collins’ side as the Principal Deputy Director since August 2010, I have been intimately involved in the science, policies, and operations of the agency and will continue to carry out the important initiatives that Dr. Collins and I have built and fostered together over the past 12 years. I thank Tara A. Schwetz, Ph.D., for her willingness to serve as the Acting NIH Principal Deputy Director during this transition; I will rely heavily on her. I also thank John Burklow for agreeing to continue as the Acting Chief of Staff.

On behalf of all at NIH, I want to extend my gratitude and appreciation to Dr. Collins for his years of steady leadership and service. Last week we paid tribute to Dr. Collins in a way that I think is fitting for all he has accomplished. He has done an incredible amount of good and has led NIH through both wonderful times and troubled times. In all instances, he has led with his head and his heart. Dr. Collins’ singular focus has always been finding the best ways that NIH research can improve health, end suffering, and provide hope for all people. As Acting Director of NIH, I will try to sustain that legacy.

Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Acting Director, NIH