ACR Chair Thrall to serve on NIH director advisory committee

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James H. Thrall, ACR chair. Image courtesy of the ACR.

James H. Thrall, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors, radiologist-in-chief at Massachusetts General Hospital and a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, has been selected to serve as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Since 1966, the ACD has advised the NIH director on policy and planning issues important to the NIH mission of conducting and supporting biomedical and behavioral research, research training and translating research results for the public.

The ACD consists of 20 members who are knowledgeable in the fields of research pertinent to the NIH mission and individuals who represent the academic and private sector research community, as well as representatives of the general public. Members meet no less than five times annually.

Thrall is internationally known for his work in nuclear medicine and for his development of research programs in radiology. He has served on the boards of several national organizations. He also is secretary of the Academy of Radiology Research, former chair of the ACR Molecular Imaging Commission and a past president of the American Roentgen Ray Society.

"Of course, I am extremely honored at this selection. I am glad to offer any assistance to the director of the NIH. Radiology and radiation oncology serve an increasingly vital and central role in the healthcare system. I am proud to represent this sector of medicine on this prestigious and important council," said Thrall.

The director of the NIH is responsible for setting policy for the NIH, which includes 27 institutes and centers. This involves planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all NIH components. The Office of the Director also includes program offices which are responsible for stimulating specific areas of research throughout NIH.

Raynard S. Kington, MD, PhD, is the current acting director of the NIH, stepping in when Elias A. Zerhouni, MD, a world-renowned radiologist, ended his tenure as NIH director in late 2008.

The NIH will host a teleconference of the Advisory Committee to the Director to discuss the NIH Economic Stimulus implementation plans on April 16, from 3-5 p.m. EST. Members of the public are invited to listen and may send written comments in advance to the ACD contact person.