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NIH Record - 75th Anniversary - National Institutes of Health

NHLBI Branch Chief Sorlie Retires After 48 Years

Dr. Sorlie

Dr. Paul Sorlie

Dr. Paul Sorlie, chief of the Epidemiology Branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, will retire from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on Oct. 27 after 48 years of service.   

Sorlie received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota, in mathematics and biometry respectively. From 1965 to 1967, he served in Ghana as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching high school mathematics. He came to the then National Heart and Lung Institute in 1969 as a Public Health Service commissioned officer, working as a statistician for the landmark Framingham Heart Study.

In 1971, he took a 2-year break from NIH and lived in Uganda to develop and implement protocols and techniques to evaluate performance of a maternal and child health project in Kampala. He returned to NHLBI in 1973 and has worked tirelessly to advance research in cardiovascular epidemiology ever since. It is also during his tenure at NHLBI that he obtained his doctoral degree in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Sorlie has had a distinguished research and administrative career, leading a wide range of epidemiology research studies, including serving as project officer for the Framingham Heart Study for 11 years and initiating the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, the largest longitudinal health study in the U.S. with a diverse representation of Hispanic/Latino heritage groups. He has had over 150 publications and received numerous awards, including multiple NIH Merit Awards and NIH Director’s Awards.

In addition to his research, Sorlie was a lecturer and course director at the FAES Graduate School at NIH from 1990 to 2010. He has been a mentor to scores of trainees and staff, some here for short visits, others who have continued long and productive careers at NHLBI. He also participated in community volunteer activities during this time.

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