WASHINGTON—Sept. 24, 2008—Research!America responds to the news of the resignation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director, Elias Zerhouni, MD:
The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America chair and former Illinois Congressman, said, “Our country owes Elias Zerhouni a tremendous debt of gratitude for his outstanding public service. He has guided NIH through its most difficult period-six years of stagnant budgets and challenges to the independence of science.
“He is tremendously respected and admired, both within the scientific community and in the Congress. He has shown great foresight in meeting challenges and concerns raised by Congress-handling them directly and with great credibility. He has shown courage in speaking out for principles he stands for, including federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.”
Mary Woolley, Research!America’s president and CEO, said, “NIH is one of the federal government’s most respected agencies-in no small measure due to Elias Zerhouni’s vision, principled leadership, and an urgency to make a difference. He has been a compelling voice in communicating what NIH research has accomplished-the return it has brought on the American taxpayers’ investment. His legacy includes the NIH Roadmap, the Pioneer Awards to encourage bold new ideas, an emphasis on translational research, and the four P’s that describe his vision for the future of medicine-predictive, personalized, preemptive and participatory.
“This vacancy in NIH leadership makes last week’s National Academies report, led by John Porter, even more important in its guidance to the presidential candidates for filling key science and technology positions promptly and thoughtfully in their new Administration,” Woolley concluded.