This morning, I announced that I will step down as NIGMS Director at the end of June 2011. I had no intention of leaving NIGMS at this point, but am doing so in support of the career of my wife, Wendie, a leading breast imaging clinical researcher. After a change in her situation in May, we have been looking for a suitable position for her to continue her work on testing new methods for breast cancer screening. She has been actively recruited by a number of institutions around the country, and we have particularly explored options in the Baltimore-Washington area.
After considering all known options, we have decided to accept positions at the University of Pittsburgh. She will be starting in the Department of Radiology at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC in March 2011. I will be waiting until the end of June to move in order to complete some important projects at NIGMS and to allow our youngest child to finish her freshman year of high school. I will be serving as the University of Pittsburgh’s Associate Senior Vice Chancellor for Science Strategy and Planning in the Health Sciences and as a faculty member in the School of Medicine’s Department of Computational and Systems Biology.
My time at NIGMS has been one of the highlights of my career. When I joined the Institute more than 7 years ago, I was immediately impressed with the dedication and competence of the staff at all levels. During my tenure, we have been able to recruit a number of outstanding individuals to join this team. So while I am very sad to leave such an outstanding organization, I am confident that it will be in good hands, and I look forward to the new adventures that await me and my family.