Dr. Alan M. Michelson has been named associate director for basic
research at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. He will
be responsible for basic science policies, the development and
integration of basic science initiatives and coordination of these
policies and programs with other NIH institutes and federal agencies.
NHLBI director Dr. Elizabeth Nabel described Michelson as a recognized
national leader and expert in genetics, systems biology, developmental
biology and signaling pathways. According to her, his skills will
be invaluable in the new position as it will require broad integrative
scientific and policy knowledge encompassing NHLBI's goals in heart,
lung, blood and sleep research.
Michelson's research focuses on characterization of transcriptional
networks involved in heart and muscle development in Drosophila.
The prospect of further developing his research program was a major
attraction of the job, said Michelson, but the deciding factor
was the opportunity to join Nabel's staff. "It's the chance to
combine the conduct of my own laboratory research with the ability
to help shape science policy."
|Dr. Alan M. Michelson
According to Michelson, his broad mandate will be to identify
critical areas of contemporary research in the basic sciences and
to implement innovative programs that will help the institute fulfill
its mission in these areas.
"I am especially committed to the support of new initiatives that
promote interdisciplinary research, with a focus on a systems biology
approach to biomedical problems," he said. "The institute is in
an ideal position to encourage and 'jump-start' such interactions
among individuals with diverse expertise.
"My role will be to catalyze new initiatives by identifying key
scientific problems, and then to focus, promote and shape discussion
and collaboration among the relevant participants. I hope to facilitate
the forging of novel and effective connections among different
disciplines, with the ultimate goal of promoting the kinds of science
that will have the greatest impact on the mission of the NHLBI."
Prior to joining NHLBI, Michelson was at the Howard Hughes Medical
Institute and the division of genetics in the department of medicine
of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. A member
of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, he also provided
faculty leadership to the M.D./Ph.D. training program at Harvard