Elias Zerhouni, M.D., will step down at the end of October as director of the National Institutes of Health, which has been under fire for allegations of conflicts of interest. In a teleconference, Zerhouni, 57, emphasized that he was not resigning and that his decision to leave was based on the fact that his tenure was coming to a close. He said the decision to leave prior to the elections signaled that he was not interested in continuing in his role as NIH director. In addition, I wanted to allow people to prepare for the transition at the NIH sooner rather than later, following the elections and the establishment of a new administration, he explained. He also stated that his departure had no direct connection to a probe requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who called for an investigation into whether government health officials violated a policy meant to stem conflicts of interest at the NIH. Zerhouni placed 29th this year on Modern Physicians list of 50 Most Powerful Physician Executives, and ranked 20th this year on Modern Healthcares 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare list.
Zerhouni, Elias, M.D.
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