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Olden to relinquish directorships.

On 29 July 2003, Kenneth Olden announced he will step down as director of the NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) after 12 years of service in both capacities. Olden said his decision was based on his desire to spend more time with his family and to be more directly involved in the work of his research program in the NIEHS Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, which has continued since he became director of the NIEHS/NTP. Olden said he would remain until both posts could be filled.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson commended Olden on his vision, outreach, and communication efforts during his directorship, stating, "He has been an articulate and compelling spokesperson on the need for better scientific information for making important public policy decisions." Olden's efforts in these areas have included conducting Town Meetings around the country to gain input on decisions regarding NIEHS research activities and his support of the NIEHS journal EHP.

NIH director Elias Zerhouni noted that Olden has contributed greatly to biomedical research throughout his tenure as NIEHS/NTP director and has been a notably innovative leader, as evidenced by his work to bring minority scientists into the NIH program, to focus attention on health disparities, and to expand the scope of NIEHS research. From its core in basic biology, NIEHS research initiatives have grown to include studies such as the 50,000-woman Sister Study being conducted on breast cancer and to incorporate cutting-edge toxicogenomics tools in the search to determine how exposures to environmental chemicals affect human health.
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Title Annotation:NIEHS News
Publication:Environmental Health Perspectives
Date:Sep 1, 2003
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