Duke medical school dean in running for top NIH role

Mary Klotman, MD, dean of the Duke School of Medicine in Durham, N.C., is under consideration as the next director of the National Institutes of Health, The Washington Post reported May 4, citing three people with knowledge of the selection.

Dr. Klotman has served as dean of Duke's medical school since June 2017. She is a clinician and scientist with research interests focused on HIV, according to her biography on Duke's website. She is also a member of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.

At NIH, part of HHS and the world's largest biomedical research agency, Dr. Klotman would replace Francis Collins, MD, PhD, who stepped down in December 2021 after serving as NIH director for 12 years.

Lawrence Tabak, DDS, PhD, is serving as acting NIH director. In February, Dr. Collins was chosen to serve as science adviser to President Joe Biden and co-chair of the president's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

The next NIH director must be chosen by President Biden's administration and confirmed by the Senate.

Two officials with knowledge of the search process told The Washington Post the administration is considering at least one other individual for the role.

Dr. Klotman did not respond to an email from the newspaper seeking comment.

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