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Memorandum from the NIH Director: Departure Memo

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

For over six years, I have had the privilege of leading one of the greatest institutions in the world, the National Institutes of Health, the "Nation’s Medical Research Agency." I have decided, however, that it is time for me to turn my attention to new opportunities, including several writing projects.

NIH is one of the true “wonders of the world,” and its strength comes from you, our scientists, administrators, staff, contractors, and trainees. As NIH Director, I have had the unparalleled privilege of working with the most extraordinary staff in the world, each one of you dedicated to a great, single mission: improving the nation’s health. Every one of you has played an integral part in our ability as an agency to build upon an outstanding record of achievement while creating new inroads that will continue to pay off for years to come. I want to express my sincere thanks for your support and your spirit of commitment, cooperation, and resourcefulness during my term as NIH director. It has made all the difference during my time here.

I admire your unparalleled dedication to advancing innovative research, fostering scientific collaboration, and enhancing basic and clinical research for the benefit of people everywhere. I feel a special debt to the people I have worked with most closely—the Institute and Center Directors and my staff in the Office of the Director.

To everyone at NIH, thank you for your support. Together, we are experiencing a true revolution in the biomedical sciences, one that continues to have broad and profound implications for human health. I am extremely fortunate to have led the agency that has been at the center of this revolution, and an agency that met every challenge put to it as a result of that revolution.

I will be leaving NIH by the end of October, and Secretary Leavitt and I are working together to ensure an orderly transition in the weeks ahead. We will keep you informed of plans as they develop.

Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D.

This page was last reviewed on September 24, 2008 .
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