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1948-1952 Cassius James Van Slyke, M.D.
Dr. C.J. Van Slyke became the first Director of the National Heart Institute 6 weeks after President Harry S. Truman signed the National Heart Act.
Under his leadership, the Institute established four Cooperative Research Units, which were jointly funded by the universities and the Institute; established the Institute's intramural program of laboratory and clinical research; and acquired and redesigned the landmark Framingham Study, which continues to yield important epidemiological evidence on cardiovascular and other diseases.
Dr. Van Slyke left the Institute to become Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health for six years, and then was named the first NIH Deputy Director, until his retirement in 1959. He had first joined NIH as Chief of the Division of Research Grants and Fellowships in 1946 after a distinguished career of experimental research in venereal disease, which began in 1936 and culminated in being named Assistant Chief of the Venereal Disease Division in Washington, D.C. in 1944. He had entered the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1928 and was assimilated into the Regular Corps in 1932. He received a Lasker Award in 1957.