Gary H. Gibbons, MD, founder and current director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute in Atlanta, will assume the duties of director the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in the summer of 2012.
He will replace the institute’s acting director, Susan B. Shurin, MD, who will resume the position of deputy director.
Gibbons is attending cardiologist in the division of cardiology at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta as well as a professor of physiology and medicine and chair of the school’s physiology department. As director of the NHLBI-sponsored Cardiovascular Research Institute, he directs research in vascular biology and the pathogenesis of vascular diseases. Until accepting his NHLBI director role, he also served as a member of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Advisory Council.
He joined the Cardiovascular Research Institute in 1999 after serving on the faculties at the Harvard Medical School in Boston from 1996 to 1999 and Stanford University in Stanford, Calif., from 1990 to 1996.
“The globally recognized research and training supported by the NHLBI continues to advance biomedical knowledge in fields related to heart, lung, and blood diseases,” Gibbons said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the institute staff and with the many researchers supported by the institute to foster multidisciplinary approaches to improve disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment that will advance the health of all Americans.”
The NHLBI is the third largest institute at the NIH. As director, Gibbons will be responsible for an annual budget of more than $3 billion, a staff of 917 federal employees and a lab at the NIH that focuses on predictive health and genomic medicine in minority populations.
Gibbons’ honors include election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences as well as recognition and support from the American Heart Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. He has published more than 70 reviews and papers on topics as varied as vascular biology, gene therapy, hypertension, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular medicine.