Zuk Named NIGMS Deputy Director
Dr. Dorit Zuk was recently selected as NIGMS deputy director. In this role, she will provide leadership on the full range of NIGMS activities supporting basic research that increases understanding of foundational biological processes and drives advances in human health. Zuk had served as acting NIGMS deputy director since November 2020, and director of the Division of Genetics and Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology since January 2016.
“Dr. Zuk is a trusted advisor who can always be counted on for her expertise and sound judgment,” said NIGMS director Dr. Jon Lorsch. “She has formed strong collaborations within NIGMS and across NIH and has made numerous contributions to building a stronger and more diverse biomedical enterprise. I am extremely pleased that she will continue her dedicated service to the institute as a vital part of our leadership team.”
Zuk is a molecular biologist whose research has focused on muscle development and RNA metabolism. She also has a strong background in science policy and communication, and has spearheaded NIGMS initiatives to diversify the research organism landscape, develop a collaborative program with the National Science Foundation to fund research that advances the scientific basis of science and innovation policy, and enhance the rigor and reproducibility of biomedical research.
“I am excited to work with Dr. Lorsch and all of NIGMS to achieve the institute’s goals of funding the highest quality science; developing research capacity around the nation; and supporting an innovative, sustainable and diverse biomedical research workforce,” Zuk said.
Prior to joining NIGMS, Zuk directed the former Office of Policy, Communications and Strategic Alliances at NCATS. Before that, she served as the science policy advisor to the NIH deputy director for extramural research, providing leadership on a range of topics, including financial conflicts of interest policies and the future of the biomedical research workforce.
Zuk came to NIH in 2007 as a science and technology policy fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. From 2008 to 2009, she served as a program officer for science policy and Hellman fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She began her policy career after working in scientific publishing, serving as the deputy editor of the journal Cell from 2000 to 2002 and as the editor of the journal Molecular Cell from 2003 to 2007.
Zuk earned a B.Sc. in biology from Tel Aviv University and an M.Sc. in biology and a Ph.D. in cell biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. She conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Allan Jacobson. She is the recipient of numerous NIH honors, most recently an NIH Director’s Award for her contributions to incorporate natural language processing into grant referral processes.