Anderson appointed Director of NIH Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives

James Anderson, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology has been appointed to the position by Francis Collins, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

"With experience in clinical medicine, in academic research, and in administration, Dr. Anderson has a broad understanding of the biomedical research spectrum that will serve him and the NIH well as he works with us to evaluate, prioritize, and coordinate a wide range of trans-NIH research opportunities," said Dr. Collins in a release from the NIH. “I am thrilled to have recruited him to NIH.”

Dr. William L. Roper, Dean of the UNC School of Medicine said, “We hate to lose Jim Anderson -- but this new NIH position is a national recognition of his leadership and expertise.  Our loss is the Nation's gain.”

Dr. Anderson joined UNC in 2002 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology. During his time as Chair external research funding has doubled to approximately $10 million a year while the faculty size remains the same. He hired a cohort of outstanding junior faculty and steered research in a more integrative and disease focused direction based on genetic models. The department includes more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellow trainees. Dr. Anderson served as mentor for many students and junior faculty members and taught in a wide range of courses in addition to overseeing his research program with his spouse-collaborator Dr. Christina Van Itallie. He has also published dozens of articles in peer-reviewed journals with collaborators here at UNC and other universities. Outside the department he served on many school and university committees, was founding Director of the UNC Med-into-Grad Program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and served a leadership role with the UNC Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute. Dr. Anderson earned both his MD and PhD from Harvard University.

Dr. Marschall Runge, Executive Dean of the School of Medicine, said, “Jim has been an innovative and highly respected chair in the SOM over the past eight years. We will miss his leadership greatly.”

Dr. Anderson will take up his new post in September 2010. Dr. Carol Otey, Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, has been appointed Interim Chair. Dr. Leslie Parise, Professor and Chair of Biochemistry and Biophysics, will lead a committee that will conduct a national search for Dr. Anderson’s replacement.

Click here to read the NIH news release. Click here to view the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology's website.

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