Cardiologist Gibbons of Morehouse School of Medicine named to head NHLBI

April 05, 2012

WASHINGTON — National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins MD, PhD, announced today the selection of Gary H. Gibbons, MD, as the new director of the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Gibbons is the founder and current director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, chair of the Department of Physiology, and professor of physiology and medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Gibbons’ institute at Morehouse is recognized for its discovery science related to cardiovascular health of minority populations. His laboratory is focused on discovering novel mediators of vascular disease. His program involves collaborative efforts to study the functional significance of genomic variation and changes in gene activities due to ‘epigenetic’ modifications of DNA that do not involve a change in the genetic code, as factors that enhance the susceptibility to cardiovascular disease.

“It is my sincere pleasure to welcome Dr. Gibbons to the NIH team,” said Collins. “His extraordinary scientific skills, tremendous energy and bold vision will be an asset to NHLBI and NIH.” Susan B. Shurin, M.D., will continue as acting director of NHLBI until Gibbons joins, at which point she will resume her role as the institute’s deputy director. “I want to extend my deep gratitude to Susan for her strong leadership in this role,” added Collins.

Gibbons will oversee the third largest institute at the NIH, with an annual budget of more than $3 billion and a staff of 917 federal employees. Gibbons will also direct his own lab at the NIH, focusing on predictive health and genomic medicine in minority populations. The NHLBI provides global leadership for research, training, and education programs to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives.

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