News Release

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lawrence A. Tabak named principal deputy director NIH

National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., today announced the appointment of Lawrence A. Tabak, D.D.S., Ph.D., as principal deputy director of the National Institutes of Health.

"I am delighted to have Dr. Tabak as deputy director during this critical time for biomedical research," said Dr. Collins. "His outstanding service in numerous activities across the NIH and combination of skills and experience will help the NIH move forward in these revolutionary times for the biomedical sciences."

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work more closely with Dr. Collins and his leadership team to contribute to NIH's continued success in supporting biomedical research, career development and training," said Dr. Tabak. "While I will surely miss my day-to-day interactions with my colleagues at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the members of the dental, oral and craniofacial research community, it will be a great privilege to serve NIH in this new way."

Dr. Tabak assumes the position held by Raynard Kington, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Kington served as NIH deputy director since 2003, as well as acting NIH Director from October 2008 to August 2009. Dr. Kington is leaving the NIH to become the president of Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa.

Dr. Tabak has served as the director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research from September 2000. He served as acting NIH deputy director in 2009 and most recently as the acting director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiative.

He came to NIH from the School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Rochester, where he had most recently been the senior associate dean for research, director of the Center for Oral Biology, professor of dentistry, and professor of biochemistry and biophysics. While maintaining an active research lab within the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Dr. Tabak’s major research focus has been on the biosynthesis and function of mucin-glycoproteins, molecules that are heavily decorated with sugars and help form the coating that protects the delicate inner soft (mucosal) tissues of the body.

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Tabak received his undergraduate degree from City College of the City University of New York, his D.D.S. from Columbia University, and both a Ph.D. and certificate of proficiency in endodontics from the University of Buffalo. A former NIH MERIT recipient, Dr. Tabak has received several honors and awards for his work including being elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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