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Former NIH Director Elias Zerhouni Rejoins Johns Hopkins Medicine as Senior Advisor - 04/20/2009

Former NIH Director Elias Zerhouni Rejoins Johns Hopkins Medicine as Senior Advisor

Release Date: April 20, 2009

It’s a homecoming, of sorts. Elias Zerhouni, M.D., director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2002 to 2008 and former Johns Hopkins Medicine executive vice dean, returns to Hopkins May 1, 2009, as a senior advisor to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

“After six and a half years of outstanding national and international leadership in biomedical research and innovation, Elias has graciously consented to offer us his wise counsel at a time of great challenges and great opportunities for innovation in academic medicine,” said Edward Miller, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “With a new administration in Washington, a global economic downturn, and anticipated reforms in health care finance and delivery, we will look to him again for help and sound guidance. He knows Hopkins like few others.”

Miller praised Zerhouni, who recently joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior fellow for global health, as “a brilliant scientist, entrepreneur and administrator” who was a force in developing the research enterprise at Hopkins, and who had a seminal influence on the East Baltimore biotech project to transform the area north of the campus into an emerging biotech powerhouse. Among his many contributions to Hopkins, Zerhouni was also instrumental in creating the Institute for Cell Engineering. A radiologist by training, he focused much of his research on developing computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging methods to diagnose and treat cancer and cardiovascular, pulmonary and other diseases.

“Hopkins is truly a second home for me, and I am honored to rejoin Ed Miller and the Hopkins family in this capacity,” said Zerhouni. “We are witnessing unprecedented transitions in both science and health. I am looking forward to contributing meaningfully to the many dimensions of Hopkins Medicine through these challenging but exciting times.”

Zerhouni earned his medical degree in 1975 from the University of Algiers and came to the United States in 1975 at the age of 24 with his wife, Nadia. After completing his residency in diagnostic radiology at Johns Hopkins in 1978 as chief resident, he rose to the rank of full professor of radiology in 1992 and biomedical engineering in 1995. In 1996, he was named director of the Department of Radiology. During the following years, he rose rapidly within Hopkins, assuming additional duties as vice dean for clinical affairs and president of the Johns Hopkins Clinical Practice Association, vice dean for research and executive vice dean for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine until his nomination as the 15th director of the NIH by the president of the United States with confirmation by the U.S. senate in April 2002.

Under his leadership, the NIH embarked on a number of initiatives, chief among them the Roadmap for Medical Research, designed to enhance synergy and collaborative work among all 27 NIH institutes and centers and leading to the passing by the US congress of the NIH Reform Act of 2006. Other new programs included those designed to foster high-risk but potentially high-impact research, and enhanced support for young career scientists.

Zerhouni now serves on the boards of the Lasker Foundation, Research America, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Mayo Clinic Foundation. He also serves as an external chief advisor for global science and technology for Sanofi-Aventis and was named chair of the Maryland Economic Development Commission in April 2009. He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2000.

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