Dr. Donald Frederickson's NIH career spanned nearly three decades, beginning in 1953 when he joined the staff of the National Heart Institute as a researcher and ending in 1981 when he completed six years' service as NIH Director.
A prominent biomedical scientist known worldwide for discoveries on lipid metabolism, in 1965 he and his colleagues introduced a system for classifying blood-lipid abnormalities, which became an international standard for identifying increased risk of heart disease. He also discovered two genetic diseases related to cholesterol transport and an enzyme deficiency.
Committed to integrating laboratory research with clinical practice, he served as Chief of the Molecular Diseases Branch (1966-74), in part while directing the Institute. He also led the Institute's intramural research division, from 1969 to 1974. He served as President of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences from 1974 to 1975 before being named NIH Director in 1975. In 1981, he returned to the National Academy of Sciences as a visiting scholar. He was Vice President, then President and CEO, of Howard Hughes Medical Institute from 1983 to1987, until becoming a scholar at the National Library of Medicine.
Dr. Frederickson died in 2002.