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NHLBI Research and Policy Update
Number 65   November 2009

Message from Dr Elizabeth G. Nabel
Re: Acting Director for the NHLBI Announced

Dear Colleagues:
As you may know, last month I announced my plans to take a new position as President of Brigham and Women’s/Faulkner Hospitals in Boston.

This morning, Dr. Francis Collins announced (message below) that Dr. Susan Shurin will assume the role of Acting Director of the NHLBI effective December 1, 2009.  Dr. Shurin joined the NHLBI as Deputy Director in February 2006, coming from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Susan and I have had the great pleasure of working together with you over the past several years. She is extraordinarily well-equipped to take over the helm and lead this terrific Institute to even greater heights.

It has been my extraordinary privilege and honor to be part of this remarkable Institute and the NIH community for the past 10 years.  Please join me in wishing Susan the very best in her new role.

Best regards,

Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D.



Message from Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, NIH, to all NIH staff
I wanted to let all of you know about transitions in the leadership of two of our Institutes. Effective December 1, 2009, Dr. Susan B. Shurin will be Acting Director of NHLBI and Dr. Alan E. Guttmacher will be Acting Director of NICHD.
For further information, please see the memo pasted in below, which I sent a short time ago to the NIH leadership.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
As we all learned last month, Dr. Elizabeth Nabel will soon be leaving her position as Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Her last day at NHLBI will be November 30, and we all wish her well in Boston. I am pleased to inform you that Susan B. Shurin, M.D., who has been Deputy Director of NHLBI since February 2006, will serve as Acting Director of NHLBI, effective December 1, 2009.

Dr. Shurin is a pediatric hematologist and oncologist who held appointments as Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Oncology at Case Western Reserve University before coming to the NIH and NHLBI in 2006. Her extensive experience in managing large research programs, particularly clinical programs, her research expertise, and her familiarity with and within the Institute all will serve her and the organization well as she guides NHLBI through this period of transition.

Dr. Shurin’s stepping in to guide NHBLI while we conduct a nationwide search for a new permanent director for that Institute leaves vacant the top post at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, where she has been serving as Acting Director since October 1.

Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D., has agreed to become NICHD’s new Acting Director, also effective December 1.

Dr. Guttmacher brings a unique combination of expertise and experience to this new role. A highly regarded pediatrician and medical geneticist, he has served in a number of roles at NHGRI since joining the Institute from the University of Vermont in 1999. He became NHGRI’s Deputy Director in 2002 and has served as the Institute’s Acting Director since August 2008. Dr. Guttmacher’s own research has focused in two areas: syndrome identification and delineation, and hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. While at the University of Vermont, his activities included directing the Department of Pediatrics’ Vermont Regional Genetics Center and Pregnancy Risk Information Service, serving as the medical director of the Vermont Newborn Screening Program, and founding Vermont’s only pediatric intensive care unit.

I appreciate Susan’s and Alan’s willingness to provide direction for NHLBI and NICHD. And I know that you will join me in offering them full support.

Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.


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