May 27, 2008

A Statement from the NIH Director, Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., on Change in Leadership for the National Human Genome Research Institute

Dr. Francis Collins has announced that he will step down as Director of NHGRI as of August 1, 2008, to pursue other opportunities outside of Federal service. I am pleased to announce that Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D. — currently NHGRI's Deputy Director as well as Director of the Office of Policy, Communications, and Education — will serve as Acting Director beginning August 1, while we conduct a broad search for a new permanent Director of the Institute.

Francis has been an outstanding leader and made enormous contributions for NHGRI and for the scientific community in general. He is also a wonderful colleague and friend, and we will all miss him. I know that this change in his career will not mean an end to his efforts to advance science, and I wish him the best in all his future endeavors.

Dr. Guttmacher, a highly regarded pediatric geneticist, has played a major leadership role at NHGRI since joining the Institute in 1999. He came to NHGRI and the NIH from the University of Vermont and first served as Senior Clinical Advisor to the Director, NHGRI. He has provided excellent leadership at the Institute as well as participating in many trans-NIH efforts. His service as Acting Director at NHGRI will ensure a seamless transition.

I am sure that you will join me in offering thanks and good wishes to Francis, as well as offering Alan full support when he takes on the additional responsibilities of guiding NHGRI later in the summer.

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director, NIH