Zerhouni returns to Johns Hopkins University

April 23, 2009

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the first board-certified radiologist to serve as chief of the National Institutes of Health, will rejoin Johns Hopkins University as a senior adviser to the $4 billion Hopkins Medicine institution after a six-and-a-half year stint at the NIH. He will focus on academic medicine innovation.

Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the first board-certified radiologist to serve as chief of the National Institutes of Health, will rejoin Johns Hopkins University as a senior adviser to the $4 billion Hopkins Medicine institution after a six-and-a-half year stint at the NIH. He will focus on academic medicine innovation.

"With a new administration in Washington, a global economic downturn, and anticipated reforms in healthcare finance and delivery, we will look to him again for help and sound guidance," said Dr. Edward D. Miller, dean of the school of medicine and Johns Hopkins Medicine CEO. "He knows Hopkins like few others."

Zerhouni was chief of radiology at JHU's Medical Center in Baltimore at the time of his NIH appointment by former President George W. Bush in May 2002. He led the biomedical research agency until his resignation in late October 2008. According to a release by Johns Hopkins Medicine, his new position will become effective May 1, 2009.

The NIH saw remarkable scientific breakthroughs and expansion during Zerhouni's tenure, including the creation of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. He is also credited with the launch of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research in 2003 and the passage by Congress of the NIH Reform Act of 2006. The Roadmap was designed to have all of the NIH's 27 institutes and centers pulling together toward research initiatives that could not be undertaken by a single institution. Zerhouni served through controversial times due to the Bush administration's partial ban on stem cell research.

A radiologist by training, Zerhouni was the lead investigator in several CT- and MRI-based studies focused on techniques to diagnose and treat cancer as well as cardiovascular, pulmonary, and other conditions. He was involved in the development of Hopkins Institute for Cell Engineering. Zerhouni also helped developed the Hopkins research enterprise and was influential in the East Baltimore biotechnology project to turn the campus into an emerging biotech powerhouse, Miller said.

"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 said.

Zerhouni earned his medical degree in 1975 from the University of Algiers and came to the U.S. with his wife that same year at the age of 24, completing his residency in diagnostic radiology at Hopkins in 1978. He became a full professor of radiology in 1992 and of biomedical engineering in 1995. He became chair of radiology in 1996. He was also 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 appointment as NIH's 15th director.

Zerhouni serves on the boards of the Lasker Foundation, Research America, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and the Mayo Clinic Foundation. He is an external chief adviser 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. Zerhouni recently joined the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior fellow for global health.

For more information from the Diagnostic Imaging and SearchMedica archives:

Zerhouni announces resignation as NIH chiefNIH chief cites central role for imaging in medical progressSystems-based healthcare hinges on imaging researchZerhouni defines terms for future of medical imaging