News Release

Monday, January 22, 2007

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

Bethesda, Maryland — The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has selected seven 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.

“These seven outstanding new members to the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director join a dedicated team of esteemed advisors,” said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D. “The NIH relies on the willingness of these great minds and the efforts of other scientists and public members who participate on advisory councils and peer-review committees.”

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.

The new members, who join 13 current members of the council, are Catherine D. DeAngelis, M.D., MPH, of Chicago, Illinois; Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D., of Columbus, Ohio; Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D., of Stanford, California; Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., of Seattle, Washington; Alan, I. Leshner, Ph.D., of Washington, District of Columbia; John C. Nelson, M.D., MPH, FACOG, FACPM, of Chicago, Illinois; and Barbara L. Wolfe, Ph.D., of Madison, Wisconsin.

Catherine D. DeAngelis, M.D., MPH, is editor-in-chief of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association; editor-in-chief of Scientific Publications and Multimedia Applications; and Professor of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine; her MPH from the Harvard Graduate School of Public Health (Health Services Administration); and her pediatric specialty training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Dr. DeAngelis oversees JAMA as well as nine Archives publications and JAMA related Web site content. Dr. DeAngelis is a past council member of the National Academy of Science, Institute of Medicine, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and has served as an officer of numerous national academic societies, including former chairman of the American Board of Pediatrics and chair of the Pediatric Accreditation Council for the Residency Review Committee of the American Council on Graduate Medical Education.

Karen A. Holbrook, Ph.D., is president of The Ohio State University, and professor of Physiology and Cell Biology and Medicine (Dermatology) in the College of Medicine. Dr. Holbrook earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in biological structure from the University of Washington School of Medicine. She came to Ohio State from the University of Georgia, where she served as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, as well as professor of cell biology and adjunct professor of anatomy and cell biology and medicine at the Medical College of Georgia. Prior to these roles, she served at the University of Florida at Gainesville as vice president for research and dean of the Graduate School, as well as professor of anatomy and cell biology and medicine (dermatology). She spent the majority of her academic career as a professor of biological structure and medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where her research focused on human fetal skin development and genetic skin disease.

Ralph I. Horwitz, M.D., is the Arthur Bloomfield Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. Dr. Horwitz received his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine; trained in internal medicine at McGill University and the Massachusetts General Hospital; and was a research fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale. He is internationally known for his pioneering research that helped to establish the field of clinical investigation and outcomes research; for his innovative programs in the education of physicians and the training of physician scientists; and his visionary renewal of the social contract linking the practice of medicine to the civic responsibility of the profession of medicine. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Association of American Physicians (AAP). He recently completed a term as president of the American Board of Internal Medicine and member of the Council of the AAP.

Mary-Claire King, Ph.D., is the American Cancer Society Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genome Sciences at the University of Washington. Dr. King was an undergraduate mathematics major at Carleton College. She completed her Ph.D. in genetics at the University of California, Berkeley, demonstrating in her dissertation that human and chimpanzees are 99 percent identical in protein and DNA sequences. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco and a faculty member at University of California, Berkeley prior to joining the University of Washington. Her current research focuses on the genetics of complex human traits, particularly inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.

Alan I. Leshner, Ph.D., is chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and executive publisher of its journal, Science. Previously, Dr. Leshner had been Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Deputy Director and Acting Director of the National Institute of Mental Health. Before that, he held a variety of senior positions at the National Science Foundation. Dr. Leshner began his career at Bucknell University, where he was Professor of Psychology. He received an A.B. in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College and M.S. and Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology from Rutgers University. Dr. Leshner is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science; and a fellow of AAAS, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2004, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Science Board.

John C. Nelson, M.D., MPH, is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist from Salt Lake City, Utah. A graduate of Utah State University and the University of Utah, Dr. Nelson has been in active clinical practice since 1975. He has served as deputy director of the Utah Department of Health and was president of the Salt Lake County Medical Society, the Utah Medical Association, and served as the 159th president of the American Medical Association. He is a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the American College of Preventive Medicine and is currently serving as medical director for HealthInsight, the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for Utah and Nevada. He has served on numerous federal committees, most recently the Medicaid Advisory Commission. He has long been concerned with access to health care coverage for all Americans, the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in health care, prevention of disease, and quality improvement in health care delivery.

Barbara L. Wolfe, Ph.D., is Professor of Economics, Population Health Sciences, and Public Affairs and Faculty Affiliate at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also is currently serving as Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Dr. Wolfe did her undergraduate work at Cornell University and her doctoral work in economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses broadly on poverty and health issues. Current projects examine the effect of expansions in public health insurance on health care coverage and labor force outcomes; the role of income on health using a natural experiment; whether housing voucher programs lead to higher earnings, higher quality child care, and less reliance on other public assistance programs; the adequacy of resources when individuals retire and during their first decade of retirement; and the increasing selectivity of high quality universities. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine ( and vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences/Institute of Medicine Board on Children, Youth and Families.

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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

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