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Former NIH Head Joins Mayo Clinic Trustees

ROCHESTER, Minn., May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., has joined the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees. Dr. Zerhouni, who directed the NIH from May 2002 through October 2008, participated in his first meeting as a board member on May 8th in Rochester.

"We are very pleased to have Dr. Zerhouni with us," says Jim Barksdale, Chairman of the Mayo Clinic Board. "He brings a wealth of experience and expertise that will be of great value as we move forward."

"I am honored to be a trustee at Mayo Clinic because I share Mayo's well-known missions of excellence in clinical care, teaching and translation of biomedical research into outstanding patient care," says Dr. Zerhouni.

While at NIH, Dr. Zerhouni made numerous program changes designed to encourage interdisciplinary efforts between the 27 institutes and centers of the NIH such as the development of an integrated research effort into the problem of widespread obesity, supported the reduction of health care disparities and the development of the Neuroscience Blueprint. Well known for his "NIH Roadmap" to accelerate medical research, he also was instrumental in creating the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), which funds dozens of CTSA Centers across the nation, aimed at re-invigorating the scientific discipline of translational research designed to move scientific discoveries into medical practice more effectively and to bridge the gaps between fundamental research and practice. He also focused much of his efforts on the support of young scientists and the encouragement of high risk/high impact potentially transformative research. His efforts led to the passing of the NIH Reform Act by Congress in 2006 that institutionalized many of his reforms, the first such act in decades.

Dr. Zerhouni, a native of Algeria, completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine after receiving his medical degree from the University of Algiers in 1975. He remained on faculty at Johns Hopkins until he joined Eastern Virginia Medical School from 1981 to 1985. He returned to Johns Hopkins in 1985 where he rose to become chairman of radiology, vice dean for research and executive vice dean. President George W. Bush nominated him to be NIH director in March 2002, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in May of 2002. He has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine since 2000.

The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, a 29-member group of public representatives and Mayo physicians and administrators, is responsible for patient care, medical education and research activities at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.; Rochester, Minn.; and Scottsdale and Phoenix, Ariz.

About Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to For information about research and education, visit ( is available as a resource for your health stories.

SOURCE Mayo Clinic
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