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Klausner Leaves NIH to Head New Institute

NCI director Dr. Richard Klausner ended more than 6 years in that position when he resigned effective Sept. 30. While he will still work voluntarily in an NCI intramural lab on occasion, he has accepted leadership of a new philanthropic enterprise — the Case Institute of Health, Science and Technology launched by the Case Foundation, the family foundation of AOL Time Warner Chairman Steve Case and his wife, Jean. The foundation's creation was announced Sept. 11, the day Klausner made public his resignation at a meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board.

Appointed NCI director in 1995 by President Clinton, Klausner created many new programs and initiatives, and oversaw a large budget expansion. In a "dear colleague" letter sent Sept. 11, he said he had wanted "to help make the NCI a place that reflected the wonderful values and ethos of science, and for it to be a place that does and enables great science and is a great place to be part of. I leave feeling that together we have moved far in achieving those goals."

"Rick is the most brilliant and gifted physician scientist I have ever had the privilege of working with," said Dr. Alan Rabson, NCI deputy director. "I have watched with great pleasure as he progressed from a research fellow in my division to become the most creative and imaginative director in the history of NCI."

Klausner conducted research and held leadership positions at NIH for more than 20 years.

"Rick has made enormous contributions to the NIH," added NIH acting director Dr. Ruth. Kirschstein. "As NCI director, he transformed the organization while moving the science forward at an exceptional pace. Over the years, he has been a trusted advisor to a number of NIH directors and always brought a 'big picture' view to medical research."

Klausner came to the NCI directorship from NICHD, where he headed the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch. He retained his post as chief of the section on cancer cell biology in that branch while at NCI.

The new organization he will head is an outgrowth of the Case Foundation, established in 1997. As president of the Washington-based Case Institute of Health, Science and Technology, Klausner is expected to generate new ideas and solutions across the boundaries of traditional scientific disciplines, develop partnerships with academic, philanthropic, for-profit and other organizations, fund pilot projects, and launch and fund new initiatives not specific to any disease.

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