Dr. Chris A. Kaiser has been selected as director
of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. He is currently professor
and head of the department of biology
at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Kaiser expects to begin his duties as NIGMS director in spring 2012, taking the reins from Dr. Judith Greenberg, who became acting director in July 2011 after the departure of Dr. Jeremy Berg.
Kaiser is not new to the NIH community—he has been an NIGMS grantee since 1992 and has served on several NIH review committees. A leading cell biologist, he uses yeast to study the basic mechanisms of protein folding and intracellular
transport, molecular processes essential to normal cell function. He joined the MIT faculty
in 1991, became a full professor in 2002 and has chaired the biology department since 2004.
As NIGMS director, he will oversee a $2 billion budget, which primarily funds more than 4,500 research grants (about 10 percent of those funded by NIH as a whole) as well as a substantial
amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical
and behavioral research workforce. He also plans to continue his scientific studies in a lab at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
“In taking this position,” said Kaiser, “I feel a compelling call to duty for national service and to be an advocate for the basic research