News Release

Friday, September 30, 2011

Darryl C. Zeldin named National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences scientific director

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is pleased to announce that physician-scientist Darryl C. Zeldin, M.D., will become the Institute's new scientific director. Effective Oct. 23, Zeldin will lead and manage a $114 million biomedical research program focused on discovering how the environment influences human health and disease.

"I can think of no one better suited for this position," said NIEHS/NTP Director Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. "Darryl is passionate about science, understands the mission of the Institute, and has extensive laboratory and clinical research experience. He has already proven himself to be a leader by establishing our world-class clinical research program." Zeldin has served as the Institute's acting clinical director since 2007, in addition to leading two research groups within the Laboratory of Respiratory Biology, focusing on both basic and clinical translational research.

Zeldin is trained in internal medicine with a subspecialty in pulmonary and critical care medicine. He has spent most of his professional career at NIEHS, arriving in 1994 as a tenure-track investigator before being promoted to a tenured senior investigator in 2001. Zeldin has served in several leadership roles at NIEHS, including representing his fellow scientists as president of the NIEHS Assembly of Scientists, and participating in developing strategic research plans for the division and for NIEHS.

As scientific director, Zeldin will oversee the intramural, or in house, research programs with approximately 950 employees working in 12 different laboratories and branches, and eight core facilities.

"I am both honored and humbled to be selected to lead such an outstanding group of scientists," Zeldin said. "I believe the work we do here at NIEHS is pivotal to improving the overall health of our nation. I'm looking forward to building upon our existing research strengths by using emerging technologies and effective scientific collaboration to develop a cutting edge research program."

Zeldin also said one of his highest priorities as the scientific director will be to recruit and train the next generation of leaders in the field of environmental health sciences. "I will work hard to recruit outstanding tenure-track scientists and to expand our training programs. The future of our country depends on it."

Zeldin earned a B.A. in chemistry from Boston University in 1982 and an M.D. from Indiana University School of Medicine in 1986. He completed a residency in internal medicine at Duke University in 1989 and a fellowship in pulmonary/critical care medicine at Vanderbilt University in 1993. Zeldin is internationally recognized for his contributions to the fields of environmental health, respiratory disease, and cardiovascular disease.

He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians and the American Heart Association. He has served on National Institutes of Health and foundation study sections and is a member of the editorial boards of several scientific journals. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in leading biomedical journals, as well as numerous reviews and book chapters. Zeldin is on staff at Duke University Medical Center, where he serves as an attending physician on the pulmonary consult service and the medical intensive care unit.

The NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health and is part of NIH. For more information on environmental health topics, visit Subscribe to one or more of the NIEHS news lists ( to stay current on NIEHS news, press releases, grant opportunities, training, events, and publications.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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