News Release

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

NIH Director Welcomes Five New Members to the Advisory Committee to the Director

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected five individuals to serve as members of the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD). Since 1966, the ACD has advised the NIH Director on policy and planning issues.

“We are delighted to welcome these five outstanding individuals as new members to the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. “The success of NIH depends on the willingness of over 21,000 scientists and public members who come to NIH every year to participate on advisory councils and peer-review committees. They are a tremendous asset to NIH.”

The new members, who join 11 current members of the council, are Nancy E. Adler, Ph.D., of San Francisco, California; David Botstein, Ph.D., of Princeton, New Jersey; Alexander R. Lerner of Glencoe, Illinois; Christine E. Seidman, M.D., of Milton, Massachusetts; and Tadataka Yamada, M.D., of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania.

Nancy E. Adler, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, where she is also Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Center for Health and Community. She did her undergraduate work at Wellesley College and received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University. She has been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and was named a National Associate of the National Academies. Dr. Adler’s current work examines the pathways from socioeconomic status (SES) to health. As director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on SES and Health, she coordinates research spanning social, psychological, and biological mechanisms by which SES influences health.

David Botstein, Ph.D., is Director and Anthony B. Evnin Professor of Genomics at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University. Dr. Botstein’s research has centered on genetics, especially the use of genetic methods to understand biological functions. In the early 1970’s, he devised novel methods to study budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and devised novel genetic methods to study the functions of the actin and tubulin cytoskeletons. In 1980, he began his theoretical contributions on linkage mapping of the human genome. Linkage mapping of human disease genes became one of the foundations of the new science of genomics. At Princeton, Dr. Botstein leads a team of faculty who are teaching a new, experimental introductory science curriculum, where the basic ideas of physics, chemistry, computer science and biology, along with the relevant mathematics, are taught together. His current research effort is devoted to the study of yeast biology at the system level.

Alexander R. Lerner is Chief Executive Officer of the Illinois State Medical Society, a professional organization representing 14,000 Illinois physicians. He also holds the position of Chief Executive Officer of ISMIE Mutual Insurance Company, the state’s largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, as well as of Illinois State Medical Insurance Services, Inc., the management arm of ISMIE Mutual. He joined the State Medical Society as its CEO in 1981, after serving as President of his own consulting firm, Governmental Affairs, Inc.

Christine E. Seidman, M.D., is a Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She is also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She was an undergraduate at Harvard College and received an M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine in 1978. Dr. Seidman served as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and received subspecialty training in cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 1987 and is the Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Center.

Tadataka Yamada, M.D., is Chairman of Research and Development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and a member of GSK’s Board of Directors. He joined SmithKline Beecham as a non-executive Member of the Board of Directors in February 1994, and became President of Healthcare Services and Executive Director in February 1996. He was named Chairman of Research and Development, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, in February 1999, and in January 2001, he assumed his current role. He was formerly Chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and Physician-in-Chief of the University of Michigan Medical Center. Dr. Yamada is a graduate of Stanford University with a B.A. in history. He earned his M.D. at New York University School of Medicine. He is a gastroenterologist who has focused his research on the molecular biology of gastrointestinal hormones and is the editor of the Textbook of Gastroenterology.

The ACD advises the NIH Director on policy matters important to the NIH mission of conducting and supporting biomedical and behavioral research, research training, and translating research results for the public. Additional information is available at

The Office of the Director, the central office at NIH, is responsible for setting policy for NIH, which includes 27 Institutes and Centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH. Additional information is available at

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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